ORDER OF MALTA – Sovereign Military Hospitalier Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta-Celebration of the 900th anniversary


Current Grand Master His Highness Frà Matthew Festing

Saint Gerard 1113   H.E. Antonio Benedetto Spada   H.E. Sandro Azais

Meeting for a solemn mass     Magistral Palace in Rome


Historical notes:

1048 – The knights provide help to the pilgrims visiting the Holy Land and are based in Jerusalem.

1310 – The Order extends its territory to Rhodes and Cyprus and the fleet defend the Mediterranean sea from the Ottoman attacks.

1530 – The Emperor Charles V grants the island of Malta to the Order and the Maltese Capital is named after the Grand Master Frà Jean de la Vallette.

1798 – Exile. Napoleon Bonaparte occupies Malta and the Order is forced to leave the island but there is actually the Castle of St. Angelo that belongs to the Order.

1834 – The Order settles in Rome with extraterritoriality status. The properties of the Order are the Palazzo Magistrale and the Villa Malta on the Aventine Hill.

Actual status:
The Order is recognised as a sovereign subject, has 104 diplomatic missions around the world, a permanent observer to the United Nations and to the European Union, as well as other organisations.  
The Government of the Order is called Sovereign Council with Ministries of Health and Justice and a praised postal service and also coins for collectors.

The Grand Master is elected by the Sovereign Council for life. The members and cooperators of the Order are all volunteers and are about 28,000 around the world.


State Visit by President James Michel to the Order of Malta

President Michel decorated with the Grand Cross of the Knightly Order, Special Class, pro Merito Melitensi, after it was conferred on him by His Highness Frà Matthew Festing

On October 25, 2010 President James Alix Michel undertook a State Visit to the Order of Malta and was received by the Grand Master Frà Matthew Festing in a sumptuous ceremony followed by reception in the Aventine Hill and received the most important decoration for Chief of State.

The Embassy in Seychelles

H.E. Ambassador Antonio Benedetto Spada presented his letters on June 7, 1994 as non-resident Ambassador based in Italy.

On June 16, 2001 H.E. Lieut. Gen. Sandro Azais became Chargé d’Affaires a.i. and the Embassy in Seychelles based in Glacis became operational.

On August 1, 2005  H.E. Mrs Alexandra Azais took over and is actually chief of Mission of the resident Embassy.
There are also a first secretary, Mrs Franca Berardi working for the Embassy in Seychelles and a second secretary Dott. Paola Benaglia in charge of the office of Ambassador Spada in Italy.

Bilateral diplomatic relations started in 2005 with the accreditation of Ambassador Alain Butler-Payette to the Order. The current Ambassador for Seychelles to the Order is H.E. Vivianne Fock Tave.

Our work in Seychelles

As of 2000 the Embassy has been working in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, Social Services, orphanages and the Diocese with about 10 donations every year.
The most important are:

• The Dialysis Ward at the Seychelles Hospital
• Donation of several ambulances and minibus
• Equipment for the Ministry of Health
• Toys and educational items for children
• Stamps depicting the Seychelles Hospital and commemorating the postal agreement in 2001







The Government of the Order of Malta provides hospitals, medical assistance, food and support only to countries in war or affected by natural disasters. Any Diplomatic Mission of the Order has to rely on the generosity of people to provide donations. Therefore, the Embassy would like to renew its thanks to all and sundry -- many of whom wish to remain anonymous -- who have helped in one way or another to make these donations possible.

First of all a sincere thank to the Government of Seychelles, the President’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health as well as the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Finance, the staff of the Customs of the airport and the port, the media (which have always always been present to provide coverage) and all those in Seychelles that give their support with love and dedication.

Finally heartfelt thanks to our faithful supporters in Seychelles and abroad namely:

Former Ambassador Graziano Triboldi and Mrs Daniela Triboldi, Commandant Christophe Levivier and the French Marine, Giochipreziosi, Duniam Linke, H.E. Ambassador Antonio Benedetto Spada, Federica Micciantuono, H.E. Paolo Tronca, Uwe Diegel and Pierre André Reymond, Comm. Tony Rolfini, Prof. Giorgio dalla Volta, Prof. Fabio Fonda, Luigi and Franca Berardi, the French Embassy, l’Alliance Française, Dott. Alessandro Azais, Mr. Longobardi, Dino Rattu, “La Grimana”, Mr. Onofri from Scuba and Sail Adventures, Dott. Mori of “CAT”, Barbara Zucchetto and Alessandra Tamai.