Saint John-Paul II wrote: "The fact that one can die for the faith shows that other demands of the faith can also be met."                                                 Cardinal Müller says, “For the real danger to today’s humanity is the greenhouse gases of sin and the global warming of unbelief and the decay of morality when no one knows and teaches the difference between good and evil.”                                                  St Catherine of Siena said, “We've had enough exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues - I see the world is rotten because of silence.”                                                  Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”


The 7th Military Orders Conference, founded by our late confrere Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith, took place last weekend at St John's Gate, Clerkenwell, site of the former English Priory.

We give below part of the text of the opening address by Fra' Ian Scott, 57th Grand Prior of England.
Model of the Grand Prior's regiment (see below)
Thank you Michael for inviting me this evening. Every time I come here I’m struck by the irony of being a guest in my own house.

The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem is generally thought to have been established around 1080 and the Grand Priory of England was established about 80 years later in 1140. Unfortunately, as Jonathan Riley-Smith pointed out to me, we were pipped to the post by the Venetians who established their Grand Priory a couple of years earlier – so we are the second oldest Grand Priory in the world.

After the reformation there were several gaps but Grand Priors were appointed right up to the beginning of the 19th century – sometimes with such old English names as Feretti, Geraldin, and Laparelli – no doubt the Scottish Laparellis! As you know, the Grand Priory was then re-established in 1993 with Fra’ Matthew Festing as the 55th Grand Prior and I am the 57th Grand Prior. 
A little known fact is that Henry Fitzjames, natural son of King James II was created Grand Prior of England by the bull of Grand Master Gregorio Caraffa in 1687 and was given the title Duke of Albemarle and Baron Romney by his father. He raised what was called the Grand Prior’s regiment, which saw service in the battles at Dublin in 1689, the Boyne in 1690, then at Limerick, Athlone and finally at Auchrin in 1691 which saw the defeat of the Jacobite army in Ireland. The regimental banner was a white flag with in the centre a picture of a burning city and beneath it the motto ‘The Fruits of Rebellion’. I sometime think that maybe this banner should be carried before me on ceremonial occasions.

On a different subject, I should like to mention that my confrere and friend Michael Hodges, Chancellor of the British Association, is currently working on a book listing all the Commanderies of the Order of Malta in Great Britain and I am looking forward to seeing this important work when it is published next year.

Finally, I should like to say how pleased the Grand Priory and the British Association are to support the 7th International Conference and to wish you all an enjoyable and instructive time over the next few days.

Fra’ Ian Scott
Grand Prior