Former Central Bank Governor becomes professed Knight of Malta
The Maltese Association of the Sovereign Order of Malta is proud to announce that one of its members – Francis J. Vassallo – has become a Professed Knight of the Order.
For the first time since 1798 a member of the Order of Malta has taken his vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience in the Church that was designed for that very purpose: the Oratory in St John’s co-Cathedral. With the impressive backdrop of Caravaggio’s beheading of the Baptist, Francis J Vassallo professed his First Temporary Vows in the hands of the Order’s Grand Commander, H.E. The Ven. Bailiff Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein, who was in Malta to represent the Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing at the ceremony.
The President of the Maltese Association, Marchesino Daniel de Petri Testaferrata and Dr Stephen Vassallo acted as First and Second witness respectively, and the ceremony was held in the presence of H.E. the Ven. Bailiff Fra’ John E. Critien and H.E. Fra’ Duncan Gallie, both of whom are members of the Order’s Sovereign Council, and in the company of many members of the Order, his family and friends.
Fra’ Francis was widowed in 2013, having been married to Erminia (Mimici) nee Miceli Farrugia. They had three children, Alexia, Adriana and Steffan, and eight grandchildren. After he became widowed he accepted the vocation to dedicate himself more fully to the Order, which he had joined as a Knight of Magistral Grace fifteen years ago. He started his novitiate last year, which he has now successfully completed. He shall repeat his temporary vows for at least three consecutive years, at the end of which, by the grace of God, he shall be eligible to take his final permanent vows.
The main celebrant for Holy Mass was The Very Rev. Mgr Lawrence Gatt, Principal Chaplain of the Maltese Association of Malta, assisted by a number of the Order’s chaplains. Holy Mass was offered for the repose of the souls of Fra’ Francis’ late wife and his late parents.
Formerly a Governor of the Central Bank of Malta after a successful career with Chase Manhattan Bank, Fra’ Francis is the President of his financial services firm, and has served as a roving diplomat for Malta with a special focus on Latin America.
He serves as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion within the Chapel of Divine Mercy in Naxxar, and dedicates much time towards the activities of the Sovereign Order of Malta, especially within its Grand Magistry where he is a voluntary consultant to the Receiver of the Common Treasure.