Schwyz, 22.6.13 (Kipa) Over 100 knights and ladies of the Maltese Order in Switzerland as well as 50 members of the Maltese Emergency Service are meeting on Saturday and Sunday in Schwyz for their anniversary meeting. According to media reports it is entirely in recognition of the 900th Jubilee of this religious lay order, which operates numerous hospitals and elder hostels.
The Maltese Order was recognizes in 1113 by Pope Paschalis II.. He also simultaneously granted them their independence from secular and ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Ever since the order abei verlieh er ihm gleichzeitig die Unabhängigkeit von weltlicher und kirchlicher Gerichtsbarkeit. Seither ist der Orden with the charismata tuitio fidei (»Defense of the Faith») und obsequium pauperum (»Service to the Poor») is sovereign and ha sthe rank of a subject of international law.
Worldwide There are Over 13,500 Knights and Ladies
Today the Maltese Order is among the most important organizations active worldwide. It operates hospitals and elder hostels in over 120 different countries and employs around 25,000 employees. Worldwide there oder has about 13,500 Knights and ladies.
The Maltese Order of Switzerland is called in its full name «Helvetische Assoziation des Souveränen Ritter- und Hospitalordens vom Hl. Johannes zu Jerusalem, genannt von Rhodos und von Malta». Today's Swiss Order was reestablished in 1961 and has its headquarters in Luzern. It has about 200 knights and ladies as well as over 1,000 volunteers in all of Switzerland.
Reception of New Members
The Jubilee Celebration began on Saturday with an address about the first rule of the Maltese Order, which had been written by Grandmaster Raymond de Puy in 1120. From this start the first written rule from 1153, which is held in the national archive of the Canton of Aargau in the National Document Museum in Schwyz. On Sunday, the Solemn High Mass will be celebrated in the parish church of St. Martin, in Schwyz, celebrated by the Chur Auxiliary Bishop Marian Eleganti.
New members will be received at the Mass. Future knights and ladies will also be presented to the delegation. The Grand Master of the Order will eventually decide in consultation with the sovereign council.
The president of the «Helvetischen Assoziation des Souveränen Malteser Ritter- und Hospitalordens» is Gilles de Weck.