The Vatican announced this morning, that His Most Eminent Highness Fra' Andrew Bertie, prince and grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta will be this year’s recipient of the Path to Peace Foundation’s annual award for service and leadership in the international community.
Fra’ Bertie will receive the award in New York on November 9th.
A communique released today explains that the grand master is being awarded the prize "in recognition of his exemplary charitable works."
Fra' Andrew Bertie was elected in 1988 as the 78th prince and grand master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.
The Order of Malta or the Knights of Malta, as it is more commonly known, is a Catholic lay religious order, which was formally recognized by Pope Paschal II in 1113.
It is also the fourth oldest religious order in the Church.
"The motto of the order”, today’s statement continues, “is 'Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum,' that is, to defend the faith and to serve the poor. Gradually the order took on a military function, and became one of the most advanced fighting and naval forces in the world.”
“As the need for military force was diminished,” the communique notes, “the order focused its attention to better serving the poor and the sick throughout the world. Currently, there are over 10,000 knights and dames worldwide engaged in charitable works.”
It adds: “The Order of Malta sends millions of dollars worth of food, medicine, and relief supplies around the world each year."
As Grand Master of the order, it is Prince Bertie’s role to oversee their numerous international charitable activities.
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, apostolic nuncio and Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations is president of the Path to Peace Foundation, who will confer the award. Recently, the Order of Malta was granted observer status at the United Nations.