Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of MaltaSovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta Coat of arms Motto: "Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum" (Latin)
"Defence of the faith and assistance to the poor"
Anthem: "Ave Crux Alba" (Latin)
"Hail, thou White Cross"
Capital Magistral Palace, Rome Official language(s) Italian Government - Prince & Grand Master Fra' Matthew Festing - Grand Commander (Lieutenant ad Interim) Fra' Gherardo Hercolani Fava Simonetti - Grand Chancellor Jean-Pierre Mazery Establishment - Established c. 1099 - Loss of Malta 1798 - Headquarters in Rome 1834 Population - estimate 3 citizens
13,000 members and 80,000 volunteers
Currency scudo, Euro for postage stamps
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta (Italian: Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta), also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, is a Roman Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature. It is the world's oldest surviving order of chivalry. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is headquartered in Rome, Italy, and is widely considered a sovereign subject of international law.
SMOM is the modern continuation of the original medieval order of Saint John of Jerusalem, known as the Knights Hospitaller, a group founded in Jerusalem about 1050 as an Amalfitan hospital to provide care for poor and sick pilgrims to the Holy Land. After the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, it became a military order under its own charter. Following the loss of Christian held territories of the Holy Land to Muslims, the Order operated from Rhodes (1310–1523), and later from Malta (1530–1798), over which it was sovereign.
Although this state came to an end with the ejection of the Order from Malta by Napoleon, the Order as such survived. It retains its claims of sovereignty under international law and has been granted permanent observer status at the United Nations.
Today the order has about 13,000 members; 80,000 permanent volunteers; and 20,000 medical personnel including doctors, nurses, auxiliaries and paramedics in more than 120 countries. The goal is to assist the elderly, handicapped, refugeed, children, homeless, those with terminal illness and leprosy in five continents of the world, without distinction of race or religion. In several countries—including France, Germany and Ireland—the local associations of the Order are important providers of first aid training, first aid services and emergency medical services. Through its worldwide relief corps—Malteser International—the Order is also engaged to aid victims of natural disasters, epidemics and armed conflicts.
- 1 Name and insignia
- 2 International status of the Order
- 3 Governance of the Order
- 4 Membership
- 5 Military Corps of the Order
- 6 History
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Name and insignia
The Order has a large number of local priories and associations around the world but there also exist a number of organizations with similar-sounding names that are unrelated, including numerous fraudulent (self-styled) orders seeking to capitalize on the name.
In the ecclesiastical heraldry of the Roman Catholic Church, the Order of Malta is one of only two orders (along with the Order of the Holy Sepulchre) whose insignia may be displayed in a clerical coat of arms. (Laypersons have no such restriction.) The shield is surrounded with a silver rosary for professed knights, or for others the ribbon of their rank. Members may also display the Maltese Cross behind their shield instead of the ribbon.
International status of the Order
With its unique history and unusual present circumstances, the exact status of the Order in international law has been the subject of debate: it claims to be a traditional example of a sovereign entity other than a state. Its two headquarters in Rome — the Palazzo Malta in Via dei Condotti 68, where the Grand Master resides and Government Bodies meet, and the Villa Malta on the Aventine, which hosts the Grand Priory of Rome — Fort Saint Angelo on the island of Malta, the Embassy of the Order to Holy See and the Embassy of the Order to Italy have all been granted extraterritoriality.
However, unlike the Holy See, which is sovereign over Vatican City, SMOM has had no sovereign territory (other than Fort St Angelo in Malta and a few properties in Italy with extraterritoriality) since the loss of the island of Malta in 1798. The United Nations does not classify it as a "non-member state" but as one of the "entities and intergovernmental organizations having received a standing invitation to participate as observers." For instance, while the International Telecommunication Union has granted radio identification prefixes to such quasi-sovereign jurisdictions as the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority, SMOM has never received one. For awards purposes, amateur radio operators consider SMOM to be a separate "entity", but stations transmitting from there use an entirely unofficial callsign, starting with the prefix "1A". Likewise, for internet identification, the SMOM has neither sought nor been granted a top-level domain, while Vatican City uses its own domain (.va).
There are differing opinions as to whether a claim to sovereign status has been recognized. Ian Brownlie, Helmut Steinberger, and Wilhelm Wengler are among the experts who say that the claim has not been recognized. Even taking into account the Order's ambassadorial status among many nations, a claim to sovereign status is sometimes rejected. The Order maintains diplomatic missions around the world and many of the states reciprocate by accrediting ambassadors to the Order.
Wengler—a German professor of international law—addresses this point in his book Völkerrecht, and rejects the notion that recognition of the Order by some states can make it a subject of international law. Conversely, professor Rebecca Wallace —writing more recently in her book International Law—explains that a sovereign entity does not have to be a country, and that SMOM is an example of this. This position appears to be supported by the number of nations extending diplomatic relations to the Order, which more than doubled from 49 to 100 in the 20-year period to 2008. In 1953, the Holy See proclaimed that the Order of Malta was only a "functional sovereignty"—due to the fact that it did not have all that pertained to true sovereignty, such as territory.
SMOM has formal diplomatic relations with 104 states and has official relations with another six countries and the European Union. Additionally it has relations with the International Committee of the Red Cross and a number of international organizations, including observer status at the UN and some of the specialized agencies. Its international nature is useful in enabling it to pursue its humanitarian activities without being seen as an operative of any particular nation. Its claimed sovereignty is also expressed in the issuance of passports, licence plates, stamps, and coins. That Rome is the capital of the Italian Republic, the Holy See is located there as enclave and the extraterritorial Order of Malta headquarters are located there as well, leads to a high density of diplomatic instances in the city.
The SMOM coins are appreciated more for their subject matter than for their use as currency; SMOM postage stamps, however, have been gaining acceptance among Universal Postal Union member nations.
The SMOM began issuing euro-denominated postage stamps in 2005, although the scudo remains the official currency of the SMOM. Also in 2005, the Italian post agreed with the SMOM to deliver internationally most classes of mail other than registered, insured, and special-delivery mail; additionally 56 countries recognize SMOM stamps for franking purposes, including those such as Canada and Mongolia that lack diplomatic relations with the Order.
Overview of international bilateral relations
Currently the Order has no established relations with:
- Andorra, Denmark, United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Cyprus, Estonia, Turkey, Azerbaijan
- Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Israel
- Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
- Djibouti, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho
- Mongolia (accepts its stamps), Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan
- China, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives
- Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu, Palau, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa
- United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Barbados, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago
- any of the states with limited recognition listed here.
Governance of the Order
The proceedings of the Order are governed by its Constitutional Charter and the Order's Code. It is divided internationally into six territorial Grand Priories, six Sub-Priories, and 47 national associations.
The supreme head of the Order is the Grand Master, who is elected for life by the Council Complete of State, holds the precedence of a cardinal of the Church since 1630, and received the rank of Reichsfürst (Prince of the Holy Roman Empire) in 1607. Fra' Matthew Festing was elected by the Council as 79th Grand Master on 11 March 2008, succeeding Fra' Andrew Bertie, who was Grand Master until his death on 7 February 2008. Electors in the Council include the members of the Sovereign Council, other office-holders and representatives of the members of the Order. The Grand Master is aided by the Sovereign Council (the government of the Order), which is elected by the Chapter General, the legislative body of the Order. The Chapter General meets every five years; at each meeting, all seats of the Sovereign Council are up for election. The Sovereign Council includes six members and four High Officers: the Grand Commander, the Grand Chancellor, the  and the . The Grand Commander is the chief religious officer of the Order and serves as "Interim Lieutenant" during a vacancy in the office of Grand Master. The Grand Chancellor, whose office includes those of the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is the head of the executive branch; he is responsible for the Diplomatic Missions of the Order and relations with the national Associations. The Grand Hospitaller's responsibilities include the offices of Minister for Humanitarian Action and Minister for International Cooperation; he coordinates the Order's humanitarian and charitable activities. Finally, the Receiver of the Common Treasure is the Minister of Finance and Budget; he directs the administration of the finances and property of the Order.
Patrons of the Order of Malta since 1961
The patron, who is always a cardinal, has the task of promoting the spiritual interests of the Order and its members, and its relations with the Holy See.
- Paolo Cardinal Giobbe (8 August 1961 – 3 July 1969)
- Giacomo Cardinal Violardo (3 July 1969 – 17 March 1978)
- Paul-Pierre Cardinal Philippe, O.P. (10 November 1978 – 9 April 1984)
- Sebastiano Cardinal Baggio (26 May 1984 – 21 March 1993)
- Pio Cardinal Laghi (8 May 1993 – 11 January 2009)
- Paolo Cardinal Sardi (6 June 2009 – present)
Membership in the order is divided into several classes: knights of justice, or profess knights, who take religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and form what amounts to a religious order (until the 1990s membership in this class was restricted to members of families with noble titles); knights of obedience (similarly restricted, these knights make a promise, rather than a vow, of obedience); knights of honour and devotion, knights of grace and devotion, and knights of magistral grace, all classes made up of members who take no vows and who had to show a decreasingly extensive history of nobility (knights of magistral grace need not prove any noble lineage and are the commonest class of knights in the United States). Within each class of knights are ranks ranging from bailiff grand cross (the highest) through knight grand cross, knight commander, knight officers, and knight — thus one could be a "knight commander of grace and devotion," or a "bailiff grand cross of justice." A final rank of donat is offered to some who join the order in the class of "justice" but who are not knights.
Prior to the 1990s, all officers of the Order had to be of noble birth (i.e., armigerous for at least a hundred years), as they were all knights of justice or of obedience. However, Knights of Magistral Grace (i.e., those without noble proofs) now may make the Promise of Obedience and, at the discretion of the Grand Master and Sovereign Council, may enter the novitiate to become professed Knights of Justice.
Worldwide, there are over 13,000 knights and dames, a small minority of whom are professed religious. Membership of the Order is by invitation only and solicitations are not entertained.
The Order's finances are audited by a Board of Auditors, which includes a President and four Councillors, all elected by the Chapter General. The Order's judicial powers are exercised by a group of Magistral Courts, whose judges are appointed by the Grand Master and Sovereign Council.
Military Corps of the Order
The Order states that it was the hospitaller role that enabled the Order to survive the end of the crusading era; nonetheless, it retains its military title and function. As a sovereign body, it has the right to maintain a military force and does so at its Rome headquarters.
Commonly referred to as The Military Corps of the Order, its members have medical or paramedical military functions. Its present form was raised in 1877 and has enjoyed a continuous existence since that date. Armed and uniformed members of the Corps attend grand ceremonials of the Order and stand guard around the coffins of high officers of the Order before and during funeral rites. By agreement with the Italian Government in 1877, the Military Corps came into being under the official title of 'Auxiliary Military Corps of the Italian Army — Sovereign Military Order of Malta' to assist the Italian army's injured or sick (in peace or war). In 1908, the agreement was modified so that the Corps, whilst remaining the official military unit of the Order and under the command of the Order, also became a fully integral part of the Italian army. Fausto Solaro del Borgo, President of the Italian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, stated in a speech given in London in November 2007:
I believe that it is a unique case in the world that a unit of the army of one country is supervised by a body of another sovereign country. Just think that whenever our staff (medical officers mainly) is engaged in a military mission abroad, there is the flag of the Order flying below the Italian flag.
The Corps has become known in mainland Europe for its operation of hospital trains, a service which was carried out intensively during both World Wars. These hospital trains may have functions from the purely practical (providing shelter to refugees in carriages) to the relatively technical (with minor surgical procedures carried out on board).
As part of the post-World War II peace treaty, 36 military aircraft of the Italian Air Force were transferred to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and flew under the Order's flag to allow the Military Corps to continue its medical function within the (then limited) Italian armed forces. One of these aircraft, still in Order colours, is preserved in the Italian Museum of Aeronautics, whilst the other 35 have been withdrawn from service. Today, the Order continues to operate aircraft through its Military Corps, and these carry the military roundel of the Order on their fuselage (a red circle with a white Maltese cross in the centre, its points reaching to, or almost to, the edge of the circle); however, these aircraft are usually loaned by or hired from the Italian Air Force.
The birth of the Order dates back to around 1048. Merchants from the ancient Marine Republic of Amalfi obtained from the Caliph of Egypt the authorisation to build a church, convent and hospital in Jerusalem, to care for pilgrims of any religious faith or race. The Order of St.John of Jerusalem – the monastic community that ran the hospital for the pilgrims in the Holy Land – became independent under the guidance of its founder, Blessed Gérard. With the Bull of 15 February 1113, Pope Paschal II approved the foundation of the Hospital and placed it under the aegis of the Holy See, granting it the right to freely elect its superiors without interference from other secular or religious authorities. By virtue of the Papal Bull, the Hospital became an Order exempt from the Church. All the Knights were religious, bound by the three monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
The constitution of the Kingdom of Jerusalem regarding the crusades obliged the Order to take on the military defence of the sick, the pilgrims and the territories that the crusaders had conquered from the Muslims. The Order thus added the task of defending the faith to that of its hospitaller mission.
As time went on, the Order adopted the white eight-pointed Cross that is still its symbol today.
When the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land fell in 1291, the Order settled first in Cyprus and then, in 1310, led by Grand Master Fra’ Foulques de Villaret, on the island of Rhodes. From then, the defense of the Christian world required the organization of a naval force. Thus the Order built a powerful fleet and sailed the Eastern Mediterranean, fighting many famous battles for the sake of Christendom – for example, the Crusades in Syria and Egypt.
From its beginning, the independence from other nations granted by Pontifical deed, and the universally recognised right to maintain and deploy armed forces, constitute the grounds for the international sovereignty of the Order. In the early 14th century the institutions of the Order and the knights who came to Rhodes from every corner of Europe were grouped according to the languages they spoke. There were initially seven groups of Langues (Tongues): Provence, Auvergne, France, Italy, Aragon (Navarre), England (with Scotland and Ireland) and Germany. In 1492 Castille and Portugal split off from the Langue of Aragon and constituted the eighth Langue. Each Langue included Priories or Grand Priories, Bailiwicks and Commanderies.
The Order was governed by its Grand Master (the Prince of Rhodes) and Council, minted its own money and maintained diplomatic relations with other States. The senior positions of the Order were given to representatives of different Langues.
After six months of siege and fierce combat against the fleet and army of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the Knights were forced to surrender in 1523 and left Rhodes with military honours. The Order remained without a territory of its own until 1530, when Grand Master Fra’ Philippe de Villiers de l’Isle Adam took possession of the island of Malta, granted to the Order by Emperor Charles V with the approval of Pope Clement VII.
The Reformation which split Western Europe into Protestant and Roman Catholic states affected the Knights as well. In several countries, including England and Scotland, the Order was disestablished. In others, including the Netherlands and the Germanies, entire bailiwicks or commanderies (administrative divisions of the Order) experienced religious conversions. The "Johanniter orders" are the continuations of these converted divisions in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and other countries.
It was established that the Order should remain neutral in any war between Christian nations. In 1565 the Knights, led by Grand Master Fra’ Jean de la Vallette (after whom the capital of Malta, Valletta, was named), defended the island for more than three months during the Great Siege by the Turks. The fleet of the Order, then one of the most powerful in the Mediterranean, contributed to the ultimate destruction of the Ottoman naval power in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
Two hundred years later, in 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte occupied the island for its strategic value during his Egyptian campaign. Because of the Order’s Rule prohibiting them to raise weapons against other Christians, the knights were forced to leave Malta. Although the sovereign rights of the Order in the island of Malta had been reaffirmed by the Treaty of Amiens (1802), the Order was unable to return to Malta.
After having temporarily resided in Messina, Catania and Ferrara, in 1834 the Order settled definitively in Rome, where it owns, with extraterritoriality status, the Magistral Palace in Via Condotti 68 and the Magistral Villa on the Aventine Hill.
The original hospitaller mission became once again the main activity of the Order, growing ever stronger during the last century, most especially because of the contribution of the activities carried out by the Grand Priories and National Associations in so many countries around the world. Large-scale hospitaller and charitable activities were carried out during World Wars I and II under Grand Master Fra’ Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere (1931–1951). Under the Grand Masters Fra’ Angelo de Mojana di Cologna (1962–1988) and Fra’ Andrew Bertie (1988–2008), the projects expanded until they reached the furthermost regions of the planet.
Return to Malta
In recent years, due to an agreement made with the Maltese Government, the Order has returned to Malta. It once again has property in Malta, but its headquarters are still in Rome. This agreement grants the Order the exclusive use of Fort St Angelo in the town of Birgu, Malta. This agreement has a duration of 99 years.
- List of Grand Masters of the Knights Hospitaller
- List of the priors of St John of Jerusalem in England
- Order pro merito Melitensi
- Order of Malta Ambulance Corps
- Knights Templar
- Knights Hospitaller
- Postage stamps and postal history of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
- Teutonic Knights
- Siege of Rhodes (1480)
- Siege of Malta (1565)
- Order of Saint John (Bailiwick of Brandenburg)
- The Alliance of the Orders of St. John of Jerusalem
- ^ "Report from Practically Nowhere" by John Sack, 1959, published by Harper, page 140: "as part of the bargain only three men - the grand master, the lieutenant grand master, and the chancellor - could be citizens there. The other S.M.O.M.ians were to be citizens of the country they lived in."
- ^ Sovereign Military Order of Malta, 2008-12-26 by rob raeside: "by agreement with the Italian government, citizens of the S.M.O.M. are limited to three: the Grand Master, the Deputy Grand Master, and the Chancellor. These carry S.M.O.M. passports. The numerous other members of the order remain citizens of their own respective countries."
- ^ a b c As the Order's website states here, "Its programmes include medical and social assistance, disaster relief in the case of armed conflicts and natural catastrophes, emergency services and first aid corps, help for the elderly, the handicapped and children in need and the provision of first aid training, and support for refugees and internally displaced persons regardless of race, origin or religion."
- ^ "Italy: Knights of Malta rejects alleged link to military action – Adnkronos Religion". Adnkronos.com. 2003-04-07. http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Religion/?id=1.0.1670211157. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
- ^ Mission of the Order - website Sovereign Order of Malta
- ^ Sainty, Guy Stair, ed. World Orders of Knighthood and Merit", Burke's, August 2006.
- ^ Riley-Smith, 170[Need quotation to verify]
- ^ Joint Declaration of SMOM and the Alliance of the Orders of St John of Jerusalem, Rome, 22 October 2004.
- ^ Permanent Observer Mission of the Order of Malta to the United Nations in New York official website. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- ^ Pseudo Orden und ihr Auftreten in Österreich 1996–2008[dead link]
- ^ Noonan 1996
- ^ "ARRLWeb: DXCC Entities List (Current, 1A0-9Z)". Arrl.org. 2008-05-06. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071011034457/http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/list_1a0.html. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
- ^ "Internet Assigned Numbers Authority database of top level domains". Iana.org. http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
- ^ Wallace, Rebecca (1986). International law: a student introduction (2nd ed.). Sweet & Maxwell Ltd. ISBN 0421335009.
- ^ "Mass commemorates knights leader". BBC News (BBC Online). 8 March 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7284655.stm?lsm. Retrieved 2 May 2009.
- ^ a b The Order's official website lists them in this table. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- ^ "Sovereign Order of Malta – Official site". Orderofmalta.int. http://www.orderofmalta.int/diplomatic-relations/755/multilateral-relations/?lang=en. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- ^ "SMOM Plates". Targheitaliane.it. 1994-08-24. http://www.targheitaliane.it/smom/smom.html. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
- ^ "Sovereign Order of Malta – Official site". Orderofmalta.int. http://www.orderofmalta.int/catalogue/stamps/?lang=en. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
- ^ "The Coins of the Sovereign Order of Malta". Orderofmalta.int. http://www.orderofmalta.int/catalogue/coins/?lang=en. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- ^ a b  Sovereign Order of Malta — Associate Countries (Postal Agreements)
- ^ The Order of Malta has diplomatic relations with the following countries: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Holy See, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Armenia, Cambodia, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Philippines, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, DR Congo, Congo Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Kiribati. Monaco and Russia relations are maintained through "diplomatic special mission".
- ^ SMOM Bilateral relations with countries
- ^ Council of the European Union - Schengen Visa Working Party - Table of travel documents
- ^ Sire, HJA (1994). The Knights of Malta. Yale University Press p.221.
- ^ Noonan, Jr., James-Charles (1996). The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church. Viking. p. 135. ISBN 0-670-86745-4
- ^ &titolo= This photograph shows four members of the Corps standing guard at the coffin of a deceased Grand Master of the Order.
- ^ a b [dead link]
- ^ Ordine di Malta – Sito Ufficiale – Archivio Fotografico (Italian)
- ^ "Military Aircraft Insignia of the World" by John Cochrane and Stuart Elliott, published 1998 by Airlife Publishing Limited of Shrewsbury, England (illustrated). ISBN 1-85310-873-1
- ^ "Sovereign Order of Malta - Official Site-The Order and its Institutions-Mission". http://www.orderofmalta.int/en/the-order-and-its-institutions/225/mission/. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
- Patrick Levaye, Géopolitique du Catholicisme (Éditions Ellipses, 2007) ISBN 2729835237 ;
- Riley-Smith, Jonathan, The Atlas of the Crusades. Facts On File, Oxford (1991) ;
- Cohen, R. (2004-04-15) . Julie Barkley, Bill Hershey and PG Distributed Proofreaders. ed. Knights of Malta, 1523–1798. Project Gutenberg. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/12034. Retrieved 2006-05-29.
- Noonan, Jr., James-Charles (1996). The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church. Viking. p. 196. ISBN 0-670-86745-4.
- Read, Piers Paul (1999). The Templars. Imago. p. 118. ISBN 85-312-0735-5.
- Tyerman, Christopher (2006). God's War: A New History of the Crusades. Allen Lane. p. 253. ISBN 0-7139-9220-4.
- Wallace, R.M.M (1992). International Law. p. 76.
- Sovereign Military Order of Malta official website
- Order of Malta Ambulance Corps Ireland official website
- Permanent Observer Mission of the Order of Malta to the United Nations in New York official website
- Order of Malta Studies
- The Order of Malta, Sovereignty, and International Law by François Velde
Member nationsAndorra · Angola · Bolivia · Brazil · Cape Verde · Chile · Colombia · Costa Rica · Côte d'Ivoire · Cuba · Dominican Republic · East Timor · Ecuador · El Salvador · France · Guatemala · Guinea-Bissau · Haiti · Honduras · Italy · Mexico · Moldova · Monaco · Mozambique · Nicaragua · Panama · Paraguay · Peru · Philippines · Portugal · Romania · San Marino · São Tomé and Príncipe · Senegal · Spain · Uruguay · Venezuela Permanent observers Official languages
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