“The only worthwhile striving is after the highest ideals: If you aim for an easy target, your standard will inevitably decline, and no progress is ever made, except through real effort and real suffering.” - Servant of God Fra' Andrew Bertie                                                                                                                                                 "Work as if everything depends on you, pray as if everything depends on God" - Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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OCTOBER 13th. FEAST OF BLESSED GERARD, FOUNDER OF THE ORDER. VISIT BY THE GRAND MASTER AND SOLEMN VOWS OF FRA' DUNCAN GALLIE



Tuesday 13th October is celebrated in the Order of Malta as the Feast of the Founder, Blessed Gerard, and this year the celebrations in the Conventual Church were of particular joy and solemnity, before a crowded church.


The Grand Master, with the Grand Prior, the Chaplain of the Grand Priory and professed knights

We were greatly honoured by the visit of the Prince and Grand Master, Fra' Matthew Festing, who received the solemn (perpetual) vows of Fra' Duncan Gallie, Chancellor of the Grand Priory of England, and Member of Sovereign Council.


The vows take place during Mass, and are in two parts.  Firstly, following the Epistle, the creating as a Knight – the giving of the sword and spurs; and secondly, after Communion, the religious vows, sworn upon an open Missal, by which the candidate comes into full membership of the Order.

The insignia prepared for the sword to be blessed

The giving of the sword
The spurs

The lighted candle

The first part of the vows is followed by the Gospel of the Mass, during which the Postulant stands holding his candle.
The homily was preached by Monsignor Antony Conlon, Principal Chaplain to the Grand Priory.  Click here for an extract from the text.
After the Communion, the postulant returns to the Grand Master for the clothing in the habit as a religious.

I, N. VOW TO ALMIGHTY GOD, IMPLORING THE ASSISTANCE OF MARY IMMACULATE, OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST AND OF BLESSED GERARD, TO OBSERVE POVERTY, CHASTITY, AND OBEDIENCE IN PERPETUITY TO WHICHEVER SUPERIOR I WILL BE ASSIGNED BY THE HOLY ORDER AND I INTEND TO MAKE THESE VOWS IN THE SPIRIT OF THE STATUTES AND LAWS OF THE ORDER OF MALTA.


The Grand Master embraces the Postulant: 
M.  I now acknowledge you and truly count you as one of our brothers.
P.  I, too, so consider myself, by the grace of the Lord our God and by your favour, my Most Eminent Lord. 


He is then clothed in the religious habit of the order and receives the Stola, decorated with the symbols of Our Lord's Passion, the yoke of the Knight, to remind him constantly of his life of service and charity, following the pattern of our Saviour.


The Mass, presided over by the Grand Master who has the rank of Cardinal, was celebrated by our chaplain, Fr Ronald Creighton-Jobe of the London Oratory.  It was followed by a reception in Brampton House.


We all wish Fra' Duncan many congratulations, and join in replying to his request for our prayers.


PRAYER OF THE ORDER OF MALTA
Lord Jesus, Thou has seen fit to enlist me for Thy service among the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. I humbly entreat Thee through the intercession of the most holy Virgin of Philerme, of St John the Baptist, Blessed Gerard and all the Saints, to keep me faithful to the traditions of our Order. Be it mine to practise and defend the Catholic, the Apostolic, the Roman faith against the enemies of religion: be it mine to practise charity towards my neighbours, especially Poor and sick  Give me the strength I need to carry out this my resolve, forgetful of myself, learning ever from Thy holy Gospel a spirit of deep and generous Christian devotion, striving ever to promote God’s glory, the world’s peace, and all that may benefit the Order of St John of Jerusalem.  AMEN

The Grand Master with Fra' Duncan Gallie after the Mass