The Feast of St. John the Baptist, our Patron Saint, was very fittingly celebrated at St. John’s Co-Cathedral, this year on the Solemnity proper.
Unfortunately the most exceptional thunderstorm which hit our Islands earlier in the afternoon, and the heavy rain which that brought along, lead to the cancellation of the outdoor procession which had originally been scheduled to precede the liturgical celebration.
However, the splendour of the cathedral which never ceases to marvel very soon wiped away any disappointment as the relatively good turnout of Members, including two visiting confreres, solemnly processed out of the sacristy.
His Grace the Archbishop was also one of the casualties of the inclement weather, though Solemn High Mass was most ably celebrated by Monsignor Lawrence Mifsud as Main Celebrant, together with all other members of the clergy who concelebrated.
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta organised its annual pilgrimage to Our Lady of Ta’Pinu on Saturday 28 May. The Maltese Association invited many patients and residents from various hospitals and homes for this activity.
The Vice-President of the Maltese Association of the Order, Major Raymond Miller, led the Members of the Order of Malta and the Volunteer Corps.
Mass was celebrated by His Lordship Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo, the Principal Chaplain of Maltese Association Mgr Lawrence Gatt and Canon Carmel Busuttil. The Laudate Pueri Choir also sang during Holy Mass.
After the Mass, the Sick and Elderly attended lunch at Villa Fiorita in Marsalforn. The Maltese Association wishes to thank all those who attended, Fr Gerard Buhagiar Rector of Ta`Pinu Sanctuary, all staff of hospitals and homes, SVDP, transport services, Mr Spiro Sillato and his musicians, the Gozo Channel Line and the Police Force for providing escort for all special buses which conveyed Our Lords the Sick.
The following is the homily in Maltese given by His Lordship Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo, during the Association’s Pilgrimage and Holy Mass celebrated at Ta’ Pinu:
Riflessjoni fil-Pellegrinaġġ għall-Morda organizzat mill-Ordni ta’ Malta
Santwarju Nazzjonali Madonna Ta’ Pinu, l-Għarb
Is-Sibt 28 ta’ Mejju 2016
L-E.T. Mons. Mario Grech, Isqof ta’ Għawdex
It-tingiża tax-xewka dlonk tnissina li mix-xewk joħroġ il-ward; imma l-esperjenza tikkonfermalna li dan il-qawl huwa minnu. Hekk ġralhom l-għarajjes ta’ Kana. It-temma tal-inbid kienet ser tkun xewka f’ġenbejhom għax setgħet sfrattatilhom il-festa; imma dik id-diżgrazzja nbidlet għalihom fi grazzja għax Ġesù wera l-glorja tiegħu billi għamel il-miraklu. Huwa każ fejn mix-xewk ħareġ il-ward.
Għalhekk, meta ħajjitna tkun kollha xewk, bħal meta nkunu fis-solitudni jew morda, ma għandniex naqtgħu qalbna, għax dik is-sitwazzjoni wiegħra, iebsa u kerha, taf tinbidel f’opportunità biex Alla juri li huwa qrib tagħna u juri l-ġmiel tal-imħabba u t-tjubija tiegħu.
Żgur li għal ħafna voluntiera, bħalma huma l-membri tal-Ordni tal-Kavallieri ta’ San Ġwann, “ix-xewka” tagħkom tfewwaħ u d-diżgrazzja tagħkom hija grazzja, għaliex meta jkunu qrib tagħkom biex jgħinukom, fil-persuna tagħkom huma jkunu jżiegħlu bil-laħam ta’ Ġesù preżenti fikom – fi kliem ieħor, intom tagħmlu lil Ġesù preżenti għalihom u Alla jinqeda bihom biex idewwaqkom il-benna tiegħu u jurikom il-glorja tiegħu.
The Maltese Association of the Order of Malta, through one of its very dedicated volunteers, distributed over 2000 tubs of Horlicks to various religious institutions, cloistered nunneries and to the irregular migrants detention centres in Hal-Far and Safi. The gesture was much appreciated by all.
The annual Votive Lamp Pilgrimage started at 5.15 p.m. with a cortege from the newly restored church of St Cathaldus to St Paul’s Church, where the President of the Maltese Association, HE Marchesino Daniel de Petri Testaferrata read, and Rev. Mgr John Azzopardi gave an explanation of, the Motu Proprio decree issued by Grand Master Fra Matthew Festing on the 21 October 2015. St Paul’s Grotto and the Wignacourt Museum were declared as forming part of the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, thus placing them under the patronage of the Prince and Grand Master.
After Mass, the votive lamp was carried in procession to St Paul’s Grotto where it was hung in front of the statue of St Paul.
Patients and Personnel met up once again, at the Radisson Blu Golden Sands Resort, L/o Mellieha. The stunning views of the beach served as an amazing backdrop for this event, where everyone once again caught up with each other’s latest news while being served with teas, coffees and a generous and scrumptious selection of mouthwatering savories and sweets. As always the staff were most courteous and extremely kind and made every effort to make our special guests feel special and cared for.
The Maltese Association of The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (MASMOM) embarked on its annual pilgrimage to Lourdes on Thursday, the 29th April offering the 68 Our Lords the Sick, the opportunity to go on a spiritual journey to the Marian Shrine of Lourdes. The mission of the Sorelle and Barrellieri is to devote their time to the Sick attending to both their spiritual and physical needs. As the Grandmaster so aptly put it in his address of welcome to all first time volunteers, “we have come to Lourdes to help our beloved Malades and to make our pilgrimage with them. The real reason for which we are here is the call of Our Lady and the hope of the Sick which is also our hope.” These are poignant words which are foremost in the minds of the Sorelle and Barrellieri when on duty.
Around 90 pilgrims, as well as accompanying relatives and 68 Our Lords the Sick formed part of the entourage which left Malta and witnessed, on this recent international pilgrimage, 7,000 members of the Order and volunteers in Lourdes, the town at the foot of the Pyrenees, tending to the 1500 ‘Malades’ with dedication and attention. All Knights and Dames, hailing from 44 countries spread from the five continents, were connected in kindred spirit during this momentous occasion in their defence of the faith, their fidelity to the truth and love of Christ and assistance of the Poor. It was a moving experience for those pilgrims from Albania, Kenya, Senegal, Palestine, Syria and Iraq who felt united with those who had come to Lourdes a number of times.
Members of the Order led by the President Marchesino Daniel de petri Testaferrata, attended the traditional Church Service at St John’s Co Cathedral.
The Pontifical High Mass was celebrated by the His Lordship Bishop Mgr Charles Scicluna, who assisted by other members of the Cathedral Chapter.
After Holy Mass, the Blessed Sacrament was carried with devotion around the streets of Valletta and the procession then returned to the Co Cathedral for Benediction.