Channel: Blog 2011-01-21T09-05-50-65
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Sacred and Profane Diplomacy (IA122) visits the Knights of Malta


Sovereign Order of  Malta

Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, Roma

Santa Maria in Aventino

Roberta Castellani 

On Tuesday 12, November, Prof. James Walston organized a visit for the “Diplomacy in Rome” class, to the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta. The organization has its primary location on the Aventine hill, close to Circo Massimo and the Ostiense station. Therefore, as most of the central areas of Rome the environment surrounding this institution is visibly filled with religious insitutions.


During the visit two of the Knights talked about a few of the main points of their history. The Order was born in Jerusalem in 1048, founded by “Beato Gerardo”, who founded the Monastic Community of the Hospitallers of St. John. They then moved to Rhodes in 1310 and to Malta in 1530, exiled by Napoleon in 1789 they found their latest headquarter in Rome. Consequently the meeting touched other topics such as their aims, and their work in establishing relations within the different international entities present in our country today. Moreover their purposes to provide support and care to the needed are always moving to a better position.


The evolution of this organization, which now operates in 120 countries around the world, led it to be recognized diplomatically by 104 countries. Moreover their strength in the Humanitarian Aid field mainly comes from the recruitment of volunteers, 80.000 around the world, 600 people present in the Italian Army and others in the hospitals. Predominantly, they showed us their success in integrating their personnel directly in the Italian HealthCare System.


On the whole, the visit illustrated the job done by diplomats in this particular institution and the current issues facing today such as Syria and Philippines as well as Egypt in the last 6 months.



Q: How do you finance yourself?

A: Part of the contributors are Knight and privates who make donations. Other major incomes come from fund raising and subsidies from the Government through the Region.


Q: What are the main tasks set to a Knight?

A: Well, The first step to enter the order is to become a volunteer, therefore, growing in grade it is possible to accede to the diplomatic events hosted by others diplomatic community. Consequently the mansions set to a prior become more demanding and challenging. Higher positions in the Order can consist in making treaties, establish relations, deal with Arm Forces and Humanitarian Help.


Q: What is the role of Women in your institution?

A: Women are circa the 15% of our entity, however, there are a few restrictions by which women cannot hold position such as the Grand Master, or be in the Grand Priorate; which is made up of 60 members who elect the Grand Master

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