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Pope Francis receives the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ Marco Luzzago, in audience


The Lieutenant of Grand Master Fra’ Marco Luzzago was received in audience this morning by Pope Francis in the Private Library of the Apostolic Palace. The meeting was an opportunity to illustrate to Pope Francis the main initiatives the Order of Malta has put in place in recent months, and in particular for tackling the pandemic.

The Lieutenant of the Grand Master recalled the commitment of the 80,000 volunteers present in the 120 countries in which the Order of Malta is present to bring assistance and support to people in difficulty. A commitment also demonstrated during the Covid-19 crisis by countless medical, social and humanitarian initiatives for the most vulnerable on the five continents.

“When soup kitchens for the poor had to be closed for health reasons, the Order of Malta organised the delivery of food parcels; when hospitals reached their full capacity, the Order of Malta built new ones,” explained Fra’ Marco Luzzago. The Lieutenant of the Grand Master described in particular to the Pontiff the Order of Malta’s commitment in Argentina with the distribution of food to the less well-off, severely tried by the pandemic.

Pope Francis expressed his support for the Order of Malta by saying: “I love you, I am with you, go forth”. During the conversation, the Holy Father stressed the importance of religious life, of being able to keep abreast of the times by attracting new vocations. “You speak with the diplomacy of the heart,” Pope Francis told Fra’ Marco Luzzago.

At the end of the audience, Pope Francis received the Order of Malta’s Sovereign Council and the Ambassador to the Holy See, Antonio Zanardi Landi.

Before the audience with the Pope, the Lieutenant of the Grand Master had a meeting with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Photograph: © Vatican media

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