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Knights of Malta prepare for 900th anniversary celebration

February 08, 2013

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta will celebrate its 900th anniversary on February 9 with a procession to the tomb of St. Peter and a Mass in the Vatican basilica.

Members of the Knights of Malta will meet with Pope Benedict XVI after the Mass. The military order, formally recognized by Pope Paschal II in 1113, is one of only two such orders officially recognized by the Holy See (the other is the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre).

An AP interview with Grand Master Matthew Festing, the head of the Order of Malta, explores the unique status of the order, which enjoys legal sovereignty although it owns no geographical territory, and is today dedicated to works of charity on a worldwide scale.


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