The Cause for the Beatification of Fra’ Andrew Bertie will open on 20 February in Rome
For the first time in the modern era canonization has been proposed for a Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta
The opening session of the diocesan inquiry into the Cause of the Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God Fra’ Andrew Bertie, 78th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, will take place on 20 February at 11.30 in the Rome Vicariate at St. John Lateran. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of his Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, will preside over the solemn act. The hearing will be preceded by a Holy Mass celebrated in the Basilica of St. John Lateran by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Cardinalis Patronus of the Sovereign Order of Malta. This historic event will be attended by the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing, accompanied by the Sovereign Council, the relatives of the late Grand Master and the heads of the Order of Malta’s Grand Priories and National Associations from the five continents. Some three hundred faithful are expected from Germany alone.
A man with an intense spiritual life and profoundly convinced of the need to continuously strengthen the international solidarity network, Andrew Bertie was admitted to the Order when he was only 27 and devoted his life to prayer and charitable works, honouring the task entrusted to him until his death after illness in February 2008. Fra’ Andre Bertie oversaw great changes within the Order of Malta such as the expansion of the humanitarian activities and the reform of the constitutional charter. His legacy also includes a renewed emphasis on the spiritual life of the members of the Order. Furthermore, during his magistery, the Order’s bilateral diplomatic relations rose from 49 to 100.
In office from 1988 to 2008, Grand Master Andrew Bertie’s life was always inspired by principles of faith. His profound spiritual and human virtues, and not least his commitment to practise the Order of Malta’s founding motto “witnessing the faith and assistance to the poor” (Tuitio Fidei, Obsequium Pauperum), meant that in February 2013, only five years after his death (the minimum term envisaged by canon law) the request to initiate the procedure for his Beatification and Canonization was presented. This was a significant anniversary, because in that year the Order of Malta celebrated the 900th anniversary of its official recognition by Pope Paschal II.
The work Fra’ Andrew Bertie performed during his lifetime was for many an example of moral integrity and spiritual inspiration, hence his many faithful followers both in Italy and abroad, and in particular in those countries where the Order of Malta is present with its humanitarian activities.