Order of Malta Ireland’s first Knight of Justice

Date Published : August 29th, 2014    Published By : admin

St Kevin’s Church on Dublin’s Harrington Street was the fitting venue for a solemn profession of Fra’ Paul Caffrey as a Knight of Justice in the Order of Malta. He is the first Irish man to be elevated to the rank of Knight of Justice in almost five centuries.


As a Knight of Justice, Fra’ Paul is a member of the professed religious of the Order of Malta and took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.


During the Mass – celebrated in the Extraordinary Form – Fra’ Paul was presented with a sword and reminded of his responsibility to defend and protect the poor and the vulnerable. While the ceremony was full of splendour, the constant references to the vital work of the Order of Malta assisting the vulnerable in every corner of the globe showed the ongoing relevance of the order and the professed knights.


51-year-old Fra’ Paul, an art historian and lecturer at the National College of Art and Design, has spent several years preparing for his solemn profession.


The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, was present and was joined by many members of the clergy and many members of the second and third orders of Knights and Dames of Malta from Ireland and overseas. It was to Fra’ Matthew Festing, as Grand Master of the Order, that Fra’ Paul made his solemn vows to. Members of the Order of Malta ambulance Corps, perhaps the most public face of the order, gave the guard of honour.


The Grand Master of the Order, Fra’ Matthew told The Irish Catholic that Saturday’s ceremony was “a bit of a milestone” for the Order in Ireland. “It’s the first time it’s taken place here since the 16th Century, so it’s a hugely significant moment, I hope there will be repeats of this.”


Fra’ Matthew is keen to emphasise the importance of the professed knights within the order. “I’d like to think that some young person here today might think ‘perhaps that’s for me’, or ‘perhaps that’s something I should be thinking of’. I keep praying these ideas will catch on.”


August 2014
Source: The Irish Catholic

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