PONTIFICAL MASS AT ST JOHN’S CO-CATHEDRAL
All the delegates and participants of the Order of Malta met at the Auberge D’Italy and took part in a procession to St John’s Co-Cathedral where the Pontifical Mass was celebrated by His Grace the Archbishop, Mgr Scicluna. For this occasion, the battle sword of Grand Master De Valette and a silver cross were brought over from the Vittoria Parish Church Museum.
The silver cross arrived from Rhodes when the Order first set foot on land in Malta in 1530 and was used by successive Grand Masters on taking oath of office. Both this cross and the sword are appreciated at present as relics from the Order.
In his homily, His Grace the Archbishop stressed the point that the EU could take and an example to the Order when it comes to care for humanity and learn from its motto obsequum pauperum et tuitio fidei. He further said that Europe seems to be ashamed of its Christian cultural and spiritual history and values and that religion has become a subculture in Europe. The archbishop sang the Te Deum while the Grand Commander said the prayer of the Order. And the end of the Pontifical Mass, the Archbishop led the Sovereign Council into the crypt of the Grand Masters, blessing their tombs and saying a small prayer. When everyone was back in their chairs, the national anthem of Malta was played, after which the Archbishop blessed all and concluded with ita, missa est.