Historical Summary S.O.S.J.J.
Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem
A Brief History of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem *World Confederation*
The S.O.S.J.J. 900 years history fills books, encyclopedia, manuscripts, and each way to transfer, describe, build, etc. Nine centuries of history. Sword and works of mercy.
The order was born in that way, from the first crusade of the 1099: with Hospitals in Jerusalem, in the Holy Land and across the routes of pilgrims. And warrior monks to protect of these oasis, from Saracens and raiders. It was a 7 centuries of history of the order (Cyprus, Rodi, Malta) until the expulsion of the Knights of Malta, on 1798, by Napoleon.
It’s appropriate to say “the deposition of weapons” was finally declared two centuries ago, mainly with the elimination of the word “military” in the original name of the order, maybe reviewing some positions which are not appropriate anymore because of the new systems of information and internet, winning the “spiritual sovereignty” with real unconditional and peaceful actions.
Whereby after the ending of the military actions, the order has to return to his ancient vocation of assistance to fight again against the diseases, misery, ignorance, the lack of values and the moral disorder. If we want to pretend to “make” the History of the Sovereign Order we can appear presumptuous, so we just limit to give some cognitive “flash” and particularly to offer real and incontestable information about our origins “after” 1798, the historic continuity to nowadays, according statutes and rules “before 1798”, etc.
On one thousand year, Jerusalem was occupied by Saracens. A group of philanthropists amalphitan navigators, around 1020-1025, got from the Caliph Dehara Ladimellah the grant to build in Jerusalem a district with an “hospital” for sick people and pilgrims, which always were victims of violence, robberies and persecutions. During the years, the community grows until become a real halfway house where “the hospital monks” of Jerusalem, cure and welcome all pilgrims, of each race and religion. In those years, in these places of prayer and pilgrimage, the raiders attack the wayfarers, that’s why the monks, to help the victims and themselves of the robberies, they learnt how to use the weapons, so they became themselves “warrior monks” to defend weak, poor, and afflicted people, orphans, and widows.
The amalphitans stayed near the “Hospital” of Jerusalem and, at the same time, was managed by Benedictines, mainly by Friar Gerardo Sasso ( about that fact the historic studies are not agree, like G.G. Napione who identifies in Friar Gerardo of Tonco (or Gerard Tum), feudatory from Asti who participated to the first crusade, others, like the amalphitan Giuseppe Gargano, exactly Gerardo de Sasso with paternal house in Scala, at the present village monastery, (Amalfi del Monte)). Constituted the Brotherhood of Saint John, Friar Gerardo became the first Grand Master of the “monks in arms” that support the crusaders and fight with them. On 1099, at the end of the first crusade (1095-1099), Goffredo di Buglione conquered again Jerusalem, next year after his death, the brother Baldovino became the first King of Jerusalem. The “Sacred domus” had its best moment and started to support the traders, pilgrims and that brotherhood of “friars” which started to grow up and have their own characteristics and institutions in all saint places and work to support the crusaders. According to the papal bull, “Pie postulation voluntatis”, on February the 15, 1113, and following acts, Pope Pasquale II determined the institution of the Saint john of Jerusalem hospital, Sovereign and independent from every civil and ecclesiastical authority. The little association crossed the Palestine borders and diffused in all the Christianity where, thanks to the papal authorization, could receive donations and found houses. After the death of Friar Gerardo, on 1120, Friar Raimondo du Puy, a noble from Provence got the leadership of the Sovereign Order. He completely changed the setting, the strategy and the purpose of the institution. The defense of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the birth of the Knight spirit are the reason of the changing of “friars” in “equites et servientes armigeri”. By will of Innocenzo III, at the beginning of the assistant work, it added military features. An original fusion between military force to defend the Christianity and the hospital charity to defend life. The Knights of Saint John honor the “red drape with the white Cross at the center and adopted as emblem the octagonal white cross”, fight to defend weak and helpless people, the pilgrims, the rights and justice. They are related by the votes of obedience, poverty and chastify. The chaplains ensure the alms, and the friars cure, comfort and bury the unfortunate.
They are present with weapons to the crusades where they show their values, courage and fidelity to the Christian values. The fall of Jerusalem and all Palestine by Turkish could not started a negative moment for the Order thank to the “Domus” which rest like occident islands in the far oriental world.
The generous hope to conquer again the saint places, the Order (1291) establishes to Cyprus where get from King Enrico Lusignano the city of Limisso. At the sea will perform the legendary epic of the Order. In their boats, beating red flag with the octagonal white cross, the knights will defend the convoys of pilgrims right to the saint places and will attack hardly the enemy fleets.
After these facts, the knights of Saint John of Jerusalem on 1308 controlled by their GrandMaster
FRIAR GIOVANNI DE VILLIER GrandMaster 1291—Siege of Saint John of Acri: a few hundred of Hospitallers, Templars and Teutonic helped by the militia Genoese cling to Acri, to allow the survivors to embark to Europe. Resist more than one month against 160.000 saracens came from Egypt and Syria. They can withhold the enemies until the last Christian woman is saved in the last ship, together to the survivors wounded and incapacitated to fight. Between them the GrandMaster Giovanni De Villier that has the insignia of the Order to save them in Cyprus. All defenders of Acri were captured by the enemies because they stay together in a only one tower which fell down. They preferred to die and become martyrs fighting.
Foul Ques de Villaret rescue the island of Rodi and stayed there for 214 years and left the island on January 2, 1523.
After Rodi: Malta:
After a pilgrimage in different cities in Italy finding a seat suited, on 1530 Giulio dei Medici, knight of the Order is already GrandPrior of Capua, became Pope with the name of Clemente VII,
FOLCO DE VILLARET Conqueror of Rodi – (1308/1309)
Got away from Candia the Hospital volunteer started the conquest of Rodi with the GrandMaster Guglielmo De Villaret, according to the strategic plans of the genoese Vignolo de Vignoli, on 1306; they finished on august 15, 1309 with the GrandMaster Folco De Villaret: the knights of Saint John of Jerusalem were become knights of Rodi. With the experience of the Genoeses navigators prepared a fleet of agile jails and conquered Lero, Coa, Nisiro, Calchi, Limonia, Castelrosso and numerous islands of the Aegean.
Intervenes to the Emperor Carlo I of Spain, whom on July 25, 1530 sign the diploma award (confirmed also by the papal bull in perpetuity) of the fief noble and free of the island of Malta (and Tripoli in the African coast). From this momente the knights of saint John of Jerusalem in the History are called commonly as knights of Malta of the cross of 8 drills. They stay in the island, became a new seat of right and fact of the universal sovereignty already practiced from 1113 until June 1798. In fact, that year the knights left the island without a fight against Napoleon Bonaparte, but with the honor of weapons because, according to the official history, the GrandMaster, the german Ferdinand Von Hompesch zu Bolheim, did not want pave weapons against others Christian catholics. Lost Malta, a lot of men following the Grandmaster stayed in Italy, and about 400, between knights and dignitaries, went to St. Petersburg, where the zar Paul I of Russia protected them. In that city, in the synod with the knights of the Great Priory of Russia, Germany and Poland, they voted the official declaration of decadence of the GrandMaster, Ferdinand Von Hompesch zu Bolheim. The same zar, with the blessing of the Pope who were worried about the excessive power of Napoleone, assumed first the status of “Great Protector” and later of the 70° GrandMaster of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, knights of Malta ( November 13, 1798). On November 21 the zar instituted the commanderies hereditary of the order of Russia, according to the right noble of the house Romanov, composed by the Catholic Great Priory and the Orthodox Great Priory which finally raised on July 1799. Paul I (Petrovic Romanov) died on March 23, 1801. It is possible to say that it was the last Grandmaster of the S.O.., in fact after him, it was not another Grandmaster of the Sovereign Order of Jerusalem
Recognized indisputably of all languages of the knights raised in a regular “Synod Equestrian”. Ironically, while the properties of the Order were opened and looted with impunity by everyone and its territories everywhere invaded, the six European great powers signed the treaty of Amiens, on march 25, 1802.
With this international treaty of peace, it was recognized and provided the restitution of the territories, the independence, the protection and perpetuation of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. That sovereignty, determined on 1113, defined of fact and right in Rodi on 1308, confirmed again in Malta on 1530 and recognized in the Treaty of Amiens on 1802, never ceased to exist with or without territory. It is a principle established by the international rights that says a right, after given, do not need to survive the existence of the power which came from. If a treaty or another law it was applied to recognize a right, the cancel of the treaty or the law do not cancel that right.
From Malta to now-a-days:
On February 9, 1803 Pope Pio VII (succeeded to Pope Pio VI died “in exile”) “found again” the Order with the name S.M.O.M. (Sovereign Military Order of Malta) and elect Grandmaster the knight Giovan Battista Tommasi of Cortona, did not want accept that dignity Friar Bartolomeo Ruspoli.
The re-foundation e contextual nomination of the Tommasi ( which was not accepted by all the knights living in Europe) seemed necessary for the restitution of the island of malta, detained by English, that must be occurred by “the Grandmaster” as the Treaty of Amiens expected (1802). Because of these historical and political vicissitudes, the order was divided in: Great Priory of the United States (constituted on 1794), Great Priory of Russia (with the knights came from Malta after Napoleon conquered the island.), Bailiwick of Brandenburg (known as “Johanniterorder”), Priory of England, Ireland and Dacia, with others Priories, bailiwicks, commanderies, which were protected by the European crowns existing or incorporated to other Kingdom (Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, etc.)
The history of the last 200 years strarted on January 1797. In fact the order was recognized in Russia by a convention signed in St. Petersburg between the Zar Paul I and the Grandmaster of Rohan. The terms of the convention were ratified on August 1797, with the Grandmaster
Successor of de Rohan, FriarFerdinand von Hompesch who gave the Zar the title of Protector of the Order. On December 1797, during a solemn ceremony, the Zar accepted this new dignity. These, after, accepted also to become the 70° Grandmaster of the Sovereign Order, surrendering to the request of around 400 Knights which from Malta came to his court in St. Petersburg and the Knights of the other languages of Europe recognize him the only one able to hinder the power of Napoleon, (with the blessing of the Pope who was hostage by the French emperor). After the death of the zar Paul I, Alexander I, the only one heir, did no accept the Grand Magisterium of the Order, but stayed regent of the Orthodox Russian Priory (as a regent) and “Great Protector” of the Order (title confirmed perpetually by the Romanov family), giving back to the Pope the insignia of the father to allow the refoundation of the Order on 1803, by the catholic Knights ( but the English that protect the island of Malta, did not recognize the Vatican Commissioner which in the name of Knights asked them the return of the island after the Treaty of Amiens and the Grandmaster Tommasi, because he did not represented all languages, but only the language of Italy and the pope, and it was essential the placet of the zar). From that date, the fortunes of the Order of the Orthodox Knights coincided with the Real family of the Zar of Romanov house.
ZAR PAUL I OF RUSSIA - GrandMaster 1798-1801 -
With the conquest of Malta by Napoleone on June 12, 1798 of the Grandmaster Friar Ferdinando Von Hampesch started the exile of the knights of Saint john of Jerusalem all around the world, in existing priories and regents and noble friends. It is possible locate these migrations: in Italy by the protection of Pope Pio VII, in Spain by Charles IV of Bourbon, in England by George III Hannover, in the United States with the treaty of Monroe, The most part of the knights of each rank and lieutenant relocated in Russia. Where the Grandmaster Emanuele De Rohan Polduc on 1797 had erected in St. Petersburg the Great Priory of Russia, with the protection of the Zar Paul I. The Zar with the blessing of the Pope takes first the status of “Great Protector” and later of the Grandmaster of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem on 13 November 1798.
Declaration of the Zar Paul I ( September 10, 1798) for the protection of the
Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem
“We confirm all we explained with force and as witness of
our betrayal (sic) for the zeal of the memberships of the Illustrious Order of Saint
John we wait with our protection all the body well-
meaning. We promise to keep it in their institutions,
privileges and honors, and to do all necessary for their
restoration in their main and respectable state to contribute to the utility
of all the Christianity in general, particularly of each State well regulated.
we gave orders to all our ministers in the foreign courts to
give, in our name, the formal insurance that, we protect
the illustrious Order of Saint John, without
prejudice their rights”
On October 1798 the Knights of the Great Priory of Russia,
Proclaimed GrandMaster Paul I:
“We, Knights, Great Crosses, Commanders, Knights of the Order of Saint
John of Jerusalem, after knew the sad
situation of the Order, the absolute lack of resources, the
lost of its sovereignty, the dispersion of the memberships without
boss and a point of union, the dangers that threat the Order and the
usurper projects to occupy their properties and
(sic) the total ruin, wanting and having, for that reason, to use all the
possibilities that God gave us to prevent the destruction of an (sic) Order
old and famous that gather the best nobles and gave so many
services to the Christianity, of an order with an institution with good
principles which are the best support for the legitimate authority to
ensure its existence, and the recognition to the good intentions and facts of His Majesty
the Emperor of all Russia to our Order, with respect of
his virtues and confidence to his sacred word we decree
to keep our privileges and honors and still use
all the resources he has to restore our Order in a
respectable state where the Christianity and well governed states were helped.
Finally, the dispersion of our Order do not allow the possibility to act the old laws and uses
prescribed by the Constitution and statutes.
For that reason we want, meanwhile, with the election of
a successor of Lisle Adame La Vallette, to ensure the dignity and the
power of the Sovereignty of the Order. For that reason, we Knights, Great
Crosses, Commanders, Knights of the Great Priory of Russia and others
Memberships of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, met in Petersburg,
Our residence, in our name and in the name of the others Languages, which
meet us in a strong accession of our principles, We proclaim, His
Majesty the Emperor of all Russia, Paul I, Grandmaster of the Order
of Saint John of Jerusalem. By virtue to the present proclamation we
promise, according to our statutes and laws, for a (sic) solemn
responsibility and sacred obedience, submission and fidelity to His Majesty
The Emperor as our Eminent GrandMaster”
Legal Issues, Dynastic Rights and Court Decisions:
A judgment of December 17, 1899, of the Civil Court of St. Pietroburgo recognized the hereditary right of the Commandery of Svernik-Starolessve of the Sovereign Order of Sain John of Jerusalem, called of Malta, on descending people of the Ligny-Luxembourg House. At the beginning of the year ‘900, in the United States of America, there was a meeting of different descending of the Knights of the Great Priory USA and the Knights from all Europe, and mainly Polish, Bulgarian and Russian nobles, emigrants of the new world that, through different meetings and synods (1908-1911), determined the historic continuity of the own origins as Knights of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem through the World Union of the Autonomous Priories, USA. With the Bolshevik revolution in the Zar period of Russia (1917), many nobles emigrated in the United States and became part of the World Union of the Autonomous Priories, having the title of the Russian Great Priory. On February 6, 1954, the Great Council of the Union of the Autonomous Priories chose as their GrandMaster the Commander Hereditary of the Commandery of Svernik-Starolessve and the Commandery of Beon-Toulouse, H.R.H. and I. Prince Nicola of Ligny-Luxembourg of Lascaris Ventimille. On June 25, 1955, the Italian Judiciary with a final judgment, recognizes H.R.H. and I. Prince Nicola de Ligny-Luxembourg of Lascaris Ventimille, Prince Imperial and Royal of Cyprus and Jerusalem, Head of the dynasty of the Ardennes-Loraine, dynasty founder of the Kingdom of Jerusalem; heir of all Sovereign rights of that Dynasty and Protector Grandmaster, “Jus Sanguinis, Magestatis et Honorum”, of the Priories Gathered Autonomous and the Commanderies Hereditary of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, called of Malta, with all the rights of the Dynasty, including the right of confer or delegate the conferment of knightly titles of this Order without limit of use of these titles for them who received them. The judgment of the Italian Judiciary, on June 25, 1955, making a clear distinction between the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, called SMOM, and the World union of the Automous Priories says: “Apparently the Court of Cardinals accepted deal only about the new Papal institution and not about the old Sovereign Order represented by all Priories, which after that, decided to proceed to the nomination of their new Grandmaster, elected on February 6, 1954: the Prince Nicola of Ligny-Luxembourg of Lascaris Ventimiglia of the old Dynasty Ardennes-Loraine.”
The clarification of the Italian Judiciary about the Court of Cardinals, report (*) to the judgment on January 24, 1953, published at the Official Journal of the Vatican, Acta Apostolicae Sedis n° 15 on November 30, 1953, which establishes: (*)
- That the power and prerogatives granted to the order as Subject of International Law, are not however inherent as a proper Sovereign State.
- That the Order is specifically a Religious Order accepted by the Holy See.
- That the Order of Jerusalem is subject by the Holy See and in particular by the Sacred Religious Congregation, and that the carriers of decoration of the Order are employees of the Order and consequently of the Holy See.
- On July 25, 1955, H.R.H. and I. Prince Nicola signed the Decree of the new Constitution.
- On August 3, 1962, the Hereditary Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order of Cyprus, His Excellency Count Michael Paul Peter De Valitch, he swore allegiance to the GrandMaster of the Union of Autonomous Priories, H.R.H. and I. Prince Nicola.
- On February 22, 1966, the aged Grandmaster H.R.H. and I, Prince Nicola, signed the Open Letters Masterful to control the process of succession and to establish the Hereditary Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign order of Cyprus, His Excellency Count Michael Paul Peter De Valitch as Lieutenant General of the Grandmaster of the Union of the autonomous Priories with the right of his succession.
- On 1968, His Excellency Count Michael Paul Peter De Valitch, Lorenzo in religion, he took priestly ordination.
- On July 3, 1977, Heir Grand Prior of the Priory of the Holy Trinity of Villedieu, Prince La Chastre, important membership of the Union of Autonomous Priory, chose His Excellency Count Lorenzo De Valitch as Prior Attorney General Hereditary of the Priory of Villedieu.
- On August 18, 1977, His Excellency, became already Archbishop, Count Lorenzo De Valitch, signed the transfer and the institution of the masterful seat of the autonomous Priory of New York City.
- On August 23, 1977, General attorney of New York, Luis j. Lefkowitz, allowed the legal approval of the Union of the Autonomous Priories with the title: “Federation of the Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, *Knights of Malta*. On the same date, the honourable Alfred M. Asione, Judge of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Judicial District, approved this act.
- On April 7, 1992 His Eminence Archbishop Count Lorenzo De Valitch, Archbishop of Efeso. Grandmaster of the “Federation of the Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta”, Grand Chancellor of the “Sovereign Order of Cyprus”, and Prior Attorney General Hereditary of the “Priory of the Holy Trinity of Villedieu”, physically weak, was hospitalized in a nursing home for the elderly.
In Europe, everyone submitted and invested after the judgment of 1955, were administered by Lieutenant and Priories living in Italy, Switzerland, France, Greece, Poland and Malta.
The most of them, with the dignitaries and Knights later, did not want to join to the forced succession and they did not recognize His Bliss Don Lorenzo, O.S.B. (photo). On January 22, 1994, in the city of Naxxar, Malta, he decided to become the successor of His Excellency, the Archbishop Count De Valitch. The determinant probles were: 1) when the Count De Valitch signed with the Grandmaster H.R.H. and I. Prince Nicola, the Open Letters Masterful and the transfer on 1966, the fact were completed in the context of the “Synod” of the Knights of the Sovereign Order and according to the old laws, it was in fact the regular constituted and convened Synod, determining Organ, to take note and validate the activity in that occasion; 2) His Excellency the Count De Valitch, on that date , he still had not taken “vows” and he was already submitted in
The S.O. to all effects, so he had the right according to the old laws; 3) There were not the convocations to the European Knights (more numerous), and the others brothers were not called to be part to others Priory, bailiwicks, Commanderies, etc., of the S.O. of Saint John of Jerusalem. Because of this “lack of recognition”, the European Knights kept the own insignia, the same structure and the same organization chart with the Lieutenant on the head.
About the documentation studies, we said it was established and recognizes to H.R.H. Prince Nicola of Ligny-Luxembourg of Lascaris Ventimille ( on June 25, 1955, judgment of the Italian Judiciary), the hereditary right of all Sovereign rights of his Dinasty and, as Grandmaster Protector, “Jus Sanguinis, Magestatis et Honorum”, of the Priories Gathered Autonomous and the Commanderies Hereditary of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, the consequent dynastic rights, included the right to give or delegate others, the Knightly titles of this Sovereign Order ( with no limits of using the correspondents titles). Practically on that date the judgement has a distinction between the “Sovereign Military Order of Malta”, called SMOM of collation Vatican, and the World Union of the Autonomous Priories saying: “….. the old Order, represented by all Priories, … decided to proceed to the nomination of their new Grandmaster, and on February 6, 1954, elected that Dignity, the mentioned Prince Nicola of Ligny-Luxembourg of Lascaris Ventimiglia of the old Dynasty Ardennes-Loraine. “Because of the judgment (June 25, 1955) the Sovereign Military Hospital Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, that was called in the past also of Saint John of Acri, Cyprus, Rodi and Malta, had the right to be part of the Autonomous Federation of the Autonomous Priories and on July 25, 1955, H.R.H. and I. Prince Nicola signed the Decree of the new Constitution.
The documentation ascertain that on August 1977, was signed the Act of Transfer and Institution of the Masterly Seat of the Autonomous Federation of the Autonomous Priories, of the City of New York. With that act, in the first Judicial District of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, (approved by the honourable Alfred M, ascione, Judge of the Court) and with the following act on August 23, 1977, was finally approved juridically the Automous Federation of the Autonomous Priories, with the name of : The Federation of the Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta ( act signed by Luis J. Lefkowitz, Attorney General of New York, granted in favor of H.E. the Archbishop Patriarch Lorenzo Michel Pierre count of Valitch). Later we find Official recognition of the Federation registered in some USA States, like Michigan, (June 12, 1978) and Washington, ( January 1, 1979). The recognition in Italy (after th R.D. of His Majesty, King Vittorio Emanuele of Savoia on January 27, 1943), as legal personality, is done to the Federation according to the art. 11 n. 2 of the friendship treaty between Italy and the United States of America, signed on February 2, 1948 and ratified in Italy with the law n. 385 of June 18, 1949. The Federation of the Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, supported by H.E. Archbishop Patriarch Lorenzo Michel Pierre count of Valitch, ( which on 1966 became Governor of the Federation), were converged some independent Priories of Knights and Ladies; and is particularly documented that from December 22, 1988 to April 7, 1992, H.E. the Archbishop granted and conferred with all his functions (Seals signed in New York, Austria, Italy, France and Malta), Ranks and Knightly Dignities of that Federation to numerous notables, politics, economists, writers, scientists, etc. also of Europe and ex. URSS. The activity, for more than 15 years, in Europe and the Russian States, it was guided of the General Lieutenants and Spiritual assistants, last of them Don Renato Valente, of Malta.
On January 28, 2009, in Rome, determined by the serious sickness of the Lieutenant General in charge, he could not for the last 3 years manage properly the Knights and dignitaries under his guide. For that reason was organized a panel discussion of the Dignitaries, (Knights, Priories, etc,), awarded directly by the Grandmaster Governor, H. E..H. *, the Archbishop Patriarch Lorenzo Michel Pierre Count of Valitch on the years 1985-1991. In this panel discussion was elected H.S.H., Cesare S. Fussone, General Lieutenant of another St. John and Knight of the Federation as coordinator to guide the Dignitaries and Knights until the “Synod of Peace”, organized in Malta from 30/05 to 02/06/2009), to establish the continuation of The Federation of the Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, of the European and Russian Priories, and raise to the higher Rank of the S.O. which has the right. To the Synod of Peace in Malta, Castle of Baroni, (30/05-02/06/2009) present the H.R.H. Gran Master Prince don A. Busietta, S.A. the regent Prince G. Caropaso Gottlieb, Dignitaries of the Federation of others Sovereign Orders, Diplomats and delegates of the Grand Council of Damascus, S.O. of Ice Knights and the Confederation of the Crusaders Knights, the Autonomous Federation of the Autonomous Priories, exarchate of Europe and Russia, confirmed to the guide of the order the Lieutenants General Knight Dr. Cesare S. Fussone, with the raise of rank of Grandmaster and Don. R. Valente, of Malta, (Spiritual guide from decades of the S.O.) to the Dignity of Patriarch H.C. (that title is not religious).
The Grandmaster, on October 23, 2009, approved in the State of New York, standing his governorship, everything established in the “Synod of Peace” of Malta with the approval and the legal recognition (signed by the Department of the State of New York, City of Albany, by Daniel E. Shapiro, First Secretary of State): “Exarchate of Europe and Russia, FEDAP-SOSJJ Knights. Of Malta (U.S. Priorate, NY) Inc.” which converge and they are part: “The Federation
of the Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, *Knights of Malta*; The Autonomous federation of the Autonomous Priories of the Exarchate of Europe and Russia and the Priories independent of the Dignitaries, Knights and Ladies.
During the following years (2009-2012), the S.O. organized again their structure with new democratic organs inside the Government meetings of the Order and basic facilities (voluntary association. ONG, ONLUS, foundations, etc.) to operate in the socity and health assistance. Moreover, different diplomatic and cultural activities were implemented to stimulate the knowledge of the values and History.
On August 8, 2012 the Grandmaster of the S.O. communicated to the Secretary General of the United Nations the intention to promote a revisiting of the Treaty of Amiens (1802) and informed the others Orders, Priories, Knights, and the third parties (by mail and publications by internet) in relationship to the “Synod of Incorporation” (Rodi October 6-7 2012). In that occasion the Synod of Knights, confirming each activity performed before, determined the variation of the name of the S.O. from the registered “Exarchate of Europe and russia FEDAP-SOSJJ Knights of Malta (U.S. Prirate, NY)”, to the current substitute “Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem *World Confederation* (Knights of Cyprus, Rhodes, Malta, Saint Petersburg, (reg. N.Y.S. Dep. Of State , Albany, New York, n.: 12231-0001, November 29 2012)returning again to the real own nomination and returned of its essence with a Knightly Synod, notified to the world that the Knights of Saint John are always present mainly to defend poor people, helpless, orphans, widows, suffering people, justice, in short words the human and social rights and peace.
The process of revaluation of rights of the S.O. and their memberships after the Treaty of Amiens, taken by the Grandmaster and the Grand Council, continue the year of the 900 anniversary of the sovereignty and independence of the Order (2013). That was the year of a winning changing because on February 11, 2013, H.S.H. received the donation of the ex Burke Island, immediatly renamed New Malta Island and raised, politically, to Principality, in honor of the Knights.
On February 15, 2013, 900 years exactly after the Seal of Pope Pascal II, The Grandmaster, H.S.H. Cesare S. Fussone, signed the Declaration of the Independence of the Principality of New Malta. The judgement n. 03/2013 R.G. pronounced, on June 10, 2013, by the International Civil Court – Permanent Organization of the European Court of Justice Arbitral of Ragusa, enforced, in the territory of the Italian Republic, by the President of the XII Civil Section of the Ordinary Court of Naples, with presidential decree on March 10, 2014, n. 1317/2014 V.G.,
Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem
Declaration of Independence of the Principality of New Malta
Rome February 15, 2013
“The Principle of self-determination of people establishes the right of a population subject to foreign domination to get the independence, associate to other state or anyway the possibility to choose autonomously the own political regime. This principle constitute a law of general international right that is a law that produces legal effects (rights and obligations) for all the States Community. Moreover this principle represents also a law of ius cogens, that is derogable right.”
Following from this statement,
- Seen as established by “the International Covenant on civil and political rights”, agreed under UN on 1966 and by the “Declaration on friendly relations and the cooperation between states” on 1970;
- Valued the Final Act which expressed the “Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe” (CSCE) in Helsinki on (1975);
- View the petition of H.S.H. Cesare S. Fussone, Grandmaster of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem *World Confederation* (Knights of Cyprus, Rhodes, Malta, St. Petersburg), tending to get for this Order a Sovereign territory, with total political, administrative, military, etc independence of that place and the relatives relevances.;
- View the art. VIII, paragraphs, 1-4, of the legislative Decree of the Constitutional Legislation of the State of Antarcticland on February 11, 2013, with which it has been determines: a) the donation of the “Burke Island” (coord.: 73° 7’ 48’’ S, 105° 6’ 0’’ W), to the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem *World Confederation* (Knights of Cyprus, Rhodes, Malta, St. Petersburg); b) the modification of the geographical name of that territory in “New Malta Island” ; c) the concession of the total independence of the territory of the Order , if these were to operate within the State of Antarcticland; d) The perpetual ownership of the Principality of New Malta with capital Knights in favour of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem *World Confederation* that with the unanimity of their memberships deliberate, accept and confirm the Sovereign Independence of the “Principality of New Malta” and it makes it “FREE” from any and all previous claim of the territory and on what may be relevant, after signing the present declaration of independence.
By virtue and for effect of this act
It is now proclaimed the full and absolute independence of the
“Principality of New Malta”,
Located in the same island at the latitude of 73° 7’ 48’’ S and at the longitude of 105° 6’ 0’’ W
With full sovereignty of the lands, waters, seas, with the extension of the international waters
navigation , and the airspace.
The principality of New Malta, so determined in relation to this act and through the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem *World Confederation* (Knights of Cyprus, Rhodes, Malta, St. Petersburg), can govern itself autonomously according to the policy will chose democratically, even through the unity of the countries or formulas to it congenial
The present declaration of independence is irrevocable and final.
Seal of the Sovereign Order
of Saint John of Jerusalem
Signature of the Grandmaster of the S.O.S.J.J.
H.S.H. C. S. F.
Established and declared “ that the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem “World Confederation”, according to the VIII Final Disposal of the Constitution of the State of Antarcticland, It is subject of independent International right, like a foreign state, and owner full and exclusive of the Principality of New Malta (ex Burke Island, 73° 07’S, 105° 06’ W). Original copy of the judgement was registered, on July 4, 2013, by the Grandmaster, at the office of the notary A. Agius of Malta, provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta and as established by the Convention of La Haye on octobre 5, 1961, of “Apostille Certificate” and of “Legalisation Certificate”. From September 2013, the Principality is part of the organization of States called “Union of Southern lands”. On November 26, 2013, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, received the Affidavit relative to the Principality of New Malta.That communication was made, in a “Personal and Confidential way”, through the notifier Damaris de los Santos of the State of New York, as certified by the Public Notary Melissa Cruz.
Finally, we can say on the last two years the project started on August 2012 brought forward in the best way with the communication to the UN to review the “Treaty of Amiens”, formalized at the island of Rodi on October 6-7, 2012 with the official return, through a Synod Equestrian, of Knights to the primordial their name. It is a pride of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, on the 900° anniversary of the Bull of pope Pascal II°, that the Order became a State in all effects with a own population, territory, government. On 15.2.2014 the SOSJJ determined “the Acceptance” of the Treaty of Amiens on 1802, as an interested part, with the substitution of the Island of Malta with the New Malta (ex Burke Island) communicating to the U.N., by the Secretary General, as well as any others Orders of Saint John of Jerusalem, through the publication on the web site: http://www.sosjj.info/images/ONU%20Amiens.pdf ; http://www.sosjj.info/images/ONU%20Amiens%20ITA.pdf With judgement registered to the n. 3/2014 R.S of the 5.5.2014, - International Civil Court – permanent organization of the European Justice Arbitration of Ragusa, “judged” on December 20, 2014, executive in the States which are part of the Convention of New York on June 10, 1958. notified with patent notary n. 2397 and Apostille n. 2902 on 14.1.2015 of the State Chancellery of the Republic and Canton Ticino, they were ascertained the legitimate treatments of H.H. Don Cesare Sebastiano F. G., which also has the titles of H.E.H. as Prince Grandmaster of the S.O.S.J.J. and H.S.H. as Prince Sovereign of the Principality of New Malta. Now the work of Everyone will be harder, but the Knights of Saint John are always accompanied and helped by the Divine Grace and the Blessed Virgin Filerimos to face the hard tests in the past centuries and at the present time because they are part of , for better or adverse fortune, an unknown Divine Plan for the Good of Humanity and Peace between peoples. For posterity will judge……
*) From 1607, to the Grandmaster of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, it was recognized the status of Reichsfurst ( Prince of the Sacred Roman Empire) and on 1630 he was also awarded with a grade ecclesiastical as a cardinal, with the only one and hybrid title of His Highness Eminent, both titles qualify him as a real prince of the church. Then, after 1571, with the participation in the great battle of Lepanto of the Order, to the Grandmaster compete the title of Prince with the suffix H. E. H. (His Eminent Highness), for the high value expressed on the battlefields in defense of Christianity.