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Fra John Critien - A Professed Member of the Order of Malta

Fra John Critien is a professed member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the only Maltese to have ever been elevated to the highest ranks of this International Order and also to the rank of Grand Prior of Rome. For several years he lived in the Order’s Headquarters at the historic Palazzo Malta in Rome where he was Conservator of the Magistral Palace Library and Archives and Curator of the art collections of the Order.

Fra John Critien is a professed member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the only Maltese to have ever been elevated to the highest ranks of this International Order and also to the rank of Grand Prior of Rome. For several years he lived in the Order’s Headquarters at the historic Palazzo Malta, in Rome, where he was Conservator of the Magistral Palace Library and Archives and Curator of the art collections of the Order.

In the year 2000, he moved to Malta to take up residence at Fort St Angelo, where, to this day, he is the only Knight Resident occupying and caring for this incredible site, laden with history, and overlooking the Grand Harbour of Malta. He has been received into various orders of chivalry and honoured with the award of several prestigious decorations from various States. He wears all this very lightly, and his warmth and charm, his welcoming nature and a charitable disposition shine through in this conversation.

There have been a number of Knights of Justice before him, but Fra John was the first to be elevated to the status of Bailiff, as a result of the religious vows he took. This is the highest title the Order can give and is the most honourory. The Order of today still follows the role it founded some 1000 years ago, that of being a hospital, religious, military and sovereign Order.

“I’m the only knight living in Fort Saint Angelo, but we have a national association of around 90 knights, dames, in other words lady members, and chaplains from the order. I’m very rarely on my own. People visit the lower parts of the castle, friends come and see me, fortunately. My family lives on the island, so I also see them.”

A private experience with Fra John is second to none. We are proud to share his experience and expertise with a good number of guests that visit our Islands.

Excerpts taken from Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti’s Treasures of Malta Collection.

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