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2011- His Most Highness

Frà Matthew Festing

Frà Matthew Festing is the 79th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.  He was elected on 11th March 2008 by the Council Complete of State of the Order of Malta.  Fra' Matthew was admitted to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in 1977.  He served in the Grenadier Guards and holds the rank of colonel in the Territorial Army.  In June 1988 he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II and served as one of her Deputy Lieutenants in the county of Northumberland.  He became a member of the Sovereign Order of Malta in 1977 and made a profession of solemn religious vows in 1991, becoming a Knight of Justice.  Between 1993 and 2008 he was the Grand Prior of England.  In this role, he led missions of humanitarian aid to Kosovo, Serbia and Croatia after the recent disturbances in those countries, and he participated in the Order’s international annual pilgrimage to Lourdes.

Frà Festing received the Collar of the Order of St. James of the Sword, the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Charles, the Grand Cross with Sash of the Order of the Star of Romania and is a Bailiff Grand Cross of Justice of the Venerable Order of Saint John.  In October 2009 he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters by Catholic University of America.

Following its historic mission to help the sick, the needy and the most disadvantaged in society, the Order of Malta operates in more than 120 countries.  Its programs 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.  The Order of Malta has been operating with this impartial perspective for over 900 years, caring for people of all beliefs – Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim

Frà Festing represents 13,000 Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta, whose efforts are augmented by approximately 80,000 trained volunteers and 20,000 employees, the majority of whom are medical personnel.