SMOM Grand Master Fraí Andrew Bertie's Funeral takes place in Rome Saturday February 16 in the Basilica of Santa Sabina
2008-02-16 0:00


Funeral to take place Saturday 16 February

The Lying in State of His Most Eminent Highness the Grand Master, Fraí Andrew Bertie is being held in the chapel of Santa Maria del Priorato, Magistral Villa of the Order of Malta on the Aventine Hill.

The chapel will remain open every day from 10.00 am until 6.00 pm until Friday 15 February, so that all who wish to pay their respects to the man and the Head of State may do so. Between 10.30 and 12.30 on 11th and 12th February the chapel will be reserved for members of the diplomatic corps to pay their respects.

Yesterday afternoon the Grand Master was received with great emotion at Santa Maria del Priorato by his brother, Peregrine Bertie, the members of the Sovereign Council and the Grand Masterís closest collegues. A guard of honour formed by the Military Corps of the Italian Association piped His Highness into the church. The Orderís flag stood at half mast. In the church, funeral prayers in Latin were said over the coffin.

The funeral takes place in Rome next Saturday 16 February at 11.30 in the Basilica of Santa Sabina. It will be attended by His Highnessí family members, the members of the Sovereign Council, his collegues, and members and volunteers of the Order of Malta from around the world. Following the funeral ceremony the Grand Master will be buried in the church of Santa Maria del Priorato.

The State Funeral takes place on 8 March, thirty days after the decease.

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More on: Andrew Bertie (Wikipedia)

Santa Sabina (Wikipedia)

Vatican: Pope expresses sympathy for Knights of Malta chief

Andrew Bertie & Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolences praising the lifetime achievements of the Order of the Knights of Malta's late Grand Master, Fra Andrew Bertie, who died last week at the age of 79.

In the telegram, addressed to Fra Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, acting head of the Knights of Malta until the election of a new Grand Master, the Pope expressed his condolences to all members of the order.

The telegram highlights "the achievements of this respected man of culture, and the generous commitment he showed in carrying out his exalted role, especially in support of the most needy, as well as his love for the Church and his shining witness to evangelical principles".

British-born Bertie, who was the 78th grand master of the 900-year-old charitable order, died in a Rome clinic last Thursday, the Knights of Malta said in a statement.

No cause of death was given.

Bertie is currently lying in the chapel of Santa Maria del Priorato in the Order of Malta's villa on the Aventine Hill in Rome. His funeral will take place on Saturday.

The Rome-based Roman Catholic Order of Malta nowadays largely runs hospitals. It takes its origins from the Knights Hospitaller, an organisation founded in Jerusalem in 1080, to care for poor and sick pilgrims to the Holy Land.

After the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, the order became a Catholic military one under its own charter and gained sovereignty over the Greek island of Rhodes. It later operated from Malta until it was removed by Napoleon.

The Order of Malta retains its claim of sovereignty under international law and has been granted permanent observer status at the United Nations.

It issues its own passports, stamps and coins and has formal diplomatic relations with 100 states.

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