OBSS:Ordo Byzantinus Sancti Sepulchri:The Grand Priory of Malta
The Grand Priory of Malta organised a Solemn International Investiture Ceremony of new Knights and Dames in Malta on Saturday 10th December 2011, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary (05-12-1986 ♦ 5-12-2011) of the appointment of His Imperial and Royal Highness Grand Duke Alfred Josef Baldacchino, Head of the Name and Arms of the Rjurik Dynasty, Prince of Gagry and Marquis of Casal Grimaldo as Hereditary Sovereign Prince Grand Master of OBSS.
The Ceremony was presided by the Prince Grand Master from the Magistral Seat in Malta, assisted by their Excellencies the Religious Authorities and Dignitaries of the Order.
This Ceremony was marked with three days of events and activities for all the international Postulants and Guests. They arrived in Malta on the 8th of December and were hosted to dinner by the Grand Prior of Malta.
Friday 9th December
Blessing of Plaque
At 6pm the Grand Priory of Malta organised the blessing of an OBSS Plaque at Hotel Phoenicia to mark the inauguration of the Knights’ Hall, the new seat of the Grand Priory. The Plaque was blessed by Rev. Joseph Bonnici O.P., after an address by the Prince Grand Master. All present were invited to visit the Knights’ Hall.
At 7.30pm the UNIVERSITAS SANCTI CYRILLI – A.D.1669, the cultural arm of OBSS, held an Academic Convocation in the Green Lounge of the Hotel Phoenicia. The Ceremony was presided by Grand Duke Prof. Alfred Josef Baldacchino, Rector Magnificus of the UNIVERSITAS, and was addressed by Prof. Gerardo Iovane, an academic of international repute. Prof. Iovane concentrated on environmental and energy problems and spoke of his ongoing scientific experiments and research. His lecture was very warmly welcomed and appreciated by all present.
After the lecture the UNIVERSITAS conferred an Academic Title on Prof. Gerardo Iovane.
The Ceremony was followed by Dinner at the Phoenix Restaurant in the same hotel.
Saturday 10th December
International Investiture Ceremony
At 2.30pm the Grand Ceremonist, H.E. Count Mario Stefanelli KGC, met with all the Postulants at the Knights’ Hall.
At 3pm Knights, Dames, Postulants and Guests proceeded to the Church of the Nativity of Our Lady (ta’ Ġieżu) in Rabat, where the Investiture Ceremony was celebrated.
The Programme of the Solemn Investiture Ceremony was as follows:
- Magistral Procession
- Religious Rite conducted by the Prelate Rev. Charles Fenech
Oath of Loyalty
Blessing of Decorations
Imposition of Hand
Presentation of Candle, Cordon, Sword and Spurs
- Equestrian Rite conducted by H.I. & R.H. the Prince Grand Master in English, Italian and Maltese.
Investiture with Sword
Presentation of Insigne and Mantle
Installation of new Knights / Dames
The Prince Grand Master addressed the Congregation at the end of the Ceremony.
The following Postulants were invested Knights and Dames during this Investiture Ceremony:
From the Grand Priory of Malta
- Chev. Joseph Cutajar
- Chev. Michael Angelo Doublet
- Chev. Simon Fsadni
- Chev. Julian Zarb
- Dame Grace Coleiro
- Dame Elizabeth Farrugia
- Dame Ruth Vella
From the Grand Priory of Italy
- Chev. Fabio Bellino
- Chev. Pietro Corrao
- Chev. Giovanni Giorgi
- Chev. Antonio Principito
- Chev. Simone Vanni
- Dame Mara Corfini
- Dame Vita Maria Disantarosa
From the Grand Priory of Belgium
- Chev. Yves Godin
After the Investiture Ceremony, all participants visited the historic living quarters of Grand Master L’Isle Adam (1521- 1534) at the Franciscan Friars’ Convent, and were later offered traditional Maltese coffee and cakes at the Baroque Palazzo Xara in Rabat.
At 8.30pm all participants gathered for a Gala Dinner at Bacchus Restaurant in Mdina. During the evening the Prince Grand Master addressed the gathering. He began by recalling the very valid contribution of departed Knights, particularly Marquis Gr.Cr. Remigio Farrugia, former Lieutenant Grand Master, Marquis Gr.Cr. Lucio Barone, former Grand Ceremonist, Duke Gr.Cr. Antonio Muolo, former Grand Prior of the Mediterranean and Baron Gr.Cr. Frank Fenech. All those present gave a spontaneous standing ovation to the memory of those departed Knights and observed a one minute silence.
On a personal note the Prince Grand Master recalled the loving support of His children and grandchildren who were all present for the occasion and who were welcomed enthusiastically by all the participants. Their support had been a source of encouragement throughout His Grand Magisterium.
The Prince Grand Master then expressed His deepest appreciation for the steadfast support He had received from His Magistral and Executive Councils all these years, particularly from the:
Lieutenant Grand Master H.E. Gr. Cr. Marquis Francesco Guardavaccaro
Grand Chancellor H.E. Gr. Cr. Marquis Mark J. Panzvecchia
Defensor Fidei H.E. Marquis Gr. Cr. Rugiano D’Antilio
Grand Herald H.E. Marquis Gr. Cr. Francesco Frezzato – Author of 2 books on the history of the Order and the Rjurik Dynasty
Grand Ceremonist H.E. Count Gr. Cr. Mario Stefanelli
Grand Dame Emerita H.E. Marchioness Gr. Cr. Maria Teresa Fedele
Grand Prior Emeritus – Grand Priory of Italy H.E. Marquis Gr. Cr. Michele D’Alessandro
Grand Prior of Malta H.E. Marquis Gr. Cr. Anthony Ventura
Grand Prior of Italy H.E. Marquis Gr. Cr. Onofrio Lattarulo
The Prince Grand Master announced that H.E. Marquis Gr. Cr. Onofrio Lattarulo was relinquishing his post at the end of the year to take up his new High Office of Lieutenant responsible for Scientific and Cultural Activities. The other two Lieutenants who will also be taking up their High Office as from 2nd January 2012 are H.E. Marquis Gr. Cr. Rugiano D’Antilio, responsible for Humanitarian and Philanthropic Activities, and H.E. Marquis Gr. Cr. Berto Monno, responsible for International and Diplomatic Relations.
The Prince Grand Master then dwelt briefly on the highlights of His 25 years as Grand Master of the Order and stressed that everything that had been achieved was the result of teamwork, loyalty, fraternity and dedication to the Order’s aims. He was presented with a commemorative plaque by H.E. Marquis Gr. Cr. Anthony Ventura on behalf of the Grand Priory of Malta, to mark the 25th Anniversary of His Grand Magisterium.
Departure of International Knights and Dames
Knights, Dames and Guests departed on Sunday 11th December 2011, following three days of highly successful celebrations.