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The Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Hospitaller
Order of Saint John of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
of Rhodes
Rhodes
and of Malta
Malta
(Latin: Supremus Ordo Militaris Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani Rhodius et Melitensis), also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Malta
(SMOM) or Order of Malta, is a Roman Catholic
Catholic
lay religious order traditionally of military, chivalrous and noble nature.[5] It was founded as the Knights Hospitaller
Hospitaller
circa 1099 in Jerusalem, Kingdom of Jerusalem, by the Blessed Gerard, making it the world's oldest surviving chivalric order.[6] Headquartered in Palazzo Malta
Palazzo Malta
in Rome, its mission is summed up in its motto: Tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum, "Defence of the (Catholic) faith and assistance to the poor". The order is an elective monarchy and is ruled by a Prince and Grand Master. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, now based in Rome,[7] is the present-day continuation of the medieval Knights Hospitaller, with origins in the Fraternitas Hospitalaria hospital founded circa 1048 by merchants from the Duchy of Amalfi
Duchy of Amalfi
in the Muristan
Muristan
district of Jerusalem, Fatimid Caliphate, to provide medical care for pilgrims to the Holy Land. Following the conquest of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in 1099 during the First Crusade
First Crusade
and the subsequent loss of the Kingdom of Jerusalem
Kingdom of Jerusalem
to the Mamluk Sultanate, it became a military order to protect Christians against Islamic persecution and was recognised as sovereign in 1113 by Pope Paschal II. It operated from Cyprus
Cyprus
(1291–1310), Rhodes (1310–1523), Malta
Malta
(1530–1798), over which it was sovereign until the French occupation, and from Palazzo Malta
Palazzo Malta
in Rome
Rome
from 1834 until the present. The order venerates as its patroness the Virgin Mary, under the title "Our Lady of Mount Philermos". Widely considered a sovereign subject of international law,[8] the order maintains diplomatic relations with 107 states. It has United Nations permanent observer status,[9] enters into treaties, and issues its own passports, coins, and postage stamps. Its two headquarters buildings in Rome
Rome
enjoy extraterritoriality, similar to embassies, and it maintains embassies in other countries. The three principal officers are counted as citizens. Though its sovereignty is disputed by some legal scholars, it is often given as the only remaining example of a sovereign entity which entirely lacks territory. The Order has 13,500 Knights, Dames and auxiliary members. A few dozen of these are professed religious. Until the 1990s, the highest classes of membership, including officers, required proof of noble lineage. More recently, a path was created for Knights and Dames of the lowest class (of whom proof of aristocratic lineage is not required) to be specially elevated to the highest class, making them eligible for office in the order. The order employs about 42,000 doctors, nurses, auxiliaries and paramedics assisted by 80,000 volunteers in more than 120 countries,[3] assisting children, homeless, handicapped, refugees, elders, terminally ill and lepers around the world without distinction of ethnicity or religion.[3] Through its worldwide relief corps, Malteser International, the order aids victims of natural disasters, epidemics and war. In several countries, including France, Germany
Germany
and Ireland, local associations of the order are important providers of medical emergency services and training. Its annual budget is on the order of 1.5 billion Euros, largely funded by European governments, the U.N., and the European Union, foundations and public donors.

Contents

1 Name and insignia 2 History

2.1 Founding 2.2 Cyprus 2.3 Rhodes 2.4 Malta

2.4.1 Protestant
Protestant
Reformation 2.4.2 Colonies in the Caribbean 2.4.3 Great siege of Malta 2.4.4 Battle of Lepanto 2.4.5 French occupation of Malta

2.5 Exile 2.6 Rome 2.7 Relations with the Republic of Malta 2.8 Today

3 Organisation

3.1 Governance

3.1.1 Patrons of the order since 1961 3.1.2 Prelate of the order

3.2 Membership 3.3 Economy

4 International status

4.1 Currency and postage stamps

5 Military Corps

5.1 Air force 5.2 Logistics

6 Orders, decorations, and medals 7 See also 8 References 9 Bibliography 10 External links

Name and insignia[edit]

Coat of arms
Coat of arms
of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

The order has a large number of local priories and associations around the world, but there also exist a number of organizations with similar-sounding names that are unrelated, including numerous fraudulent (self-styled) orders seeking to capitalize on the name.[10] In the ecclesiastical heraldry of the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church, the Order of Malta
Malta
is one of only two orders (along with the Order of the Holy Sepulchre) whose insignia may be displayed in a clerical coat of arms. (Laypersons have no such restriction.) The shield is surrounded with a silver rosary for professed knights, or for others the ribbon of their rank. Members may also display the Maltese cross
Maltese cross
behind their shield instead of the ribbon.[11] In order to protect its heritage against frauds, the order has legally registered 16 versions of its names and emblems in some 100 countries.[12] History[edit] Main article: Knights Hospitaller Founding[edit]

Gerard Thom, founder of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. Copper engraving by Laurent Cars, c. 1725.

The birth of the order dates back to around 1048. Merchants from the ancient Marine Republic of Amalfi obtained from the Caliph of Egypt the authorisation to build a church, convent, and hospital in Jerusalem, to care for pilgrims of any religious faith or race. The Order of St. John of Jerusalem–the monastic community that ran the hospital for the pilgrims in the Holy Land–became independent under the guidance of its founder, the religious brother Gerard. With the Papal bull
Papal bull
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
dated 15 February 1113, Pope Paschal II
Pope Paschal II
approved the foundation of the Hospital and placed it under the aegis of the Holy See, granting it the right to freely elect its superiors without interference from other secular or religious authorities. By virtue of the Papal Bull, the hospital became an order exempt from the control of the local church. All the Knights were religious, bound by the three monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The constitution of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem
Kingdom of Jerusalem
during the Crusades
Crusades
obliged the order to take on the military defence of the sick, the pilgrims, and the captured territories. The order thus added the task of defending the faith to that of its hospitaller mission. As time went on, the order adopted the white eight-pointed Cross that is still its symbol today. The eight points represent the eight "beatitudes" that Jesus pronounced in his Sermon on the Mount. Cyprus[edit] When the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land
Holy Land
fell after the Siege of Acre in 1291, the order settled first in Cyprus. Rhodes[edit] In 1310, led by Grand Master Fra' Foulques de Villaret, the knights regrouped on the island of Rhodes. From there, the defense of the Christian world required the organization of a naval force; so the Order built a powerful fleet and sailed the eastern Mediterranean, fighting battles for the sake of Christendom, including Crusades
Crusades
in Syria and Egypt. In the early 14th century, the institutions of the Order and the knights who came to Rhodes
Rhodes
from every corner of Europe were grouped according to the languages they spoke. The first seven such groups, or Langues (Tongues) – from Provence, Auvergne, France, Italy, Aragon (Navarre), England (with Scotland and Ireland), and Germany
Germany
– became eight in 1492, when Castille and Portugal
Portugal
were separated from the Langue of Aragon. Each Langue included Priories
Priories
or Grand Priories, Bailiwicks, and Commanderies. The Order was governed by its Grand Master, the Prince of Rhodes, and its Council. From its beginning, independence from other nations granted by pontifical charter and the universally recognised right to maintain and deploy armed forces constituted grounds for the international sovereignty of the Order, which minted its own coins and maintained diplomatic relations with other States. The senior positions of the Order were given to representatives of different Langues. Malta[edit]

Bust portrait of a Knight of Malta

Main article: History of Malta
Malta
under the Order of Saint John In 1523, after six months of siege and fierce combat against the fleet and army of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the Knights were forced to surrender, and left Rhodes
Rhodes
with military honours. The order remained without a territory of its own until 1530, when Grand Master Fra' Philippe de Villiers de l'Isle Adam took possession of the island of Malta, granted to the order by Emperor Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and his mother Queen Joanna of Castile as monarchs of Sicily, with the approval of Pope Clement VII, for which the order had to honour the conditions of the Tribute of the Maltese Falcon. Protestant
Protestant
Reformation[edit] The Reformation which split Western Europe into Protestant
Protestant
and Roman Catholic
Catholic
states affected the knights as well. In several countries, including England, Scotland and Sweden, the order was dissolved. In others, including the Netherlands and Germany, entire bailiwicks or commanderies (administrative divisions of the order) experienced religious conversions; these "Johanniter orders" survive in Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden
Sweden
and many other countries, including the United States
United States
and South Africa. It was established that the order should remain neutral in any war between Christian nations.[citation needed] Colonies in the Caribbean[edit]

Map of the colonies of the order in the Caribbean
Caribbean
during the 17th century

Main article: Territorial possessions of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta From 1651 to 1665, the Order of Saint John ruled four islands in the Caribbean. On 21 May 1651, it acquired the islands of Saint Barthélemy, Saint Christopher, Saint Croix and Saint Martin. These were purchased from the French Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique which had just been dissolved. In 1665, the four islands were sold to the French West India Company. Great siege of Malta[edit] Main article: Great Siege of Malta In 1565, the Knights, led by Grand Master Fra' Jean de Vallette (after whom the capital of Malta, Valletta, was named), defended the island for more than three months during the Great Siege by the Turks. Battle of Lepanto[edit]

The Battle of Lepanto
Battle of Lepanto
(1571), unknown artist, late 16th century

Main article: Battle of Lepanto The fleet of the order contributed to the ultimate destruction of the Ottoman naval power in the Battle of Lepanto
Battle of Lepanto
in 1571, led by John of Austria, half brother of King Philip II of Spain. French occupation of Malta[edit] Main article: French occupation of Malta Two hundred years later, in 1798, the order surrendered the Maltese islands to the French First Republic
French First Republic
under Napoleon, following the French Revolution
French Revolution
and the subsequent French Revolutionary Wars. Exile[edit] The French forces occupying Malta
Malta
expelled the knights from their country.[13] The Treaty of Amiens
Treaty of Amiens
(1802) obliged the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
to evacuate Malta
Malta
which was to be restored to a recreated Order of St. John, whose sovereignty was to be guaranteed by all of the major European powers, to be determined at the final peace. However, this was not to be because objections to the treaty quickly grew in the UK. Bonaparte's rejection of a British offer involving a ten-year lease of Malta
Malta
prompted the reactivation of the British blockade of the French coast; Britain declared war on France
France
on 18 May.[14] The 1802 treaty was never implemented. The UK gave its official reasons for resuming hostilities as France's imperialist policies in the West Indies, Italy, and Switzerland.[15] Rome[edit]

Palazzo Malta, Rome, Italy

After having temporarily resided in Messina, Catania, and Ferrara, in 1834 the precursor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Malta
settled definitively in Rome, where it owns, with extraterritorial status, the Magistral Palace
Palace
in Via Condotti 68 and the Magistral Villa on the Aventine Hill. The original hospitaller mission became the main activity of the order, growing ever stronger during the last century, most especially because of the contribution of the activities carried out by the Grand Priories
Priories
and National Associations in so many countries around the world. Large-scale hospitaller and charitable activities were carried out during World Wars I and II under Grand Master Fra' Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere (1931–1951). Under the Grand Masters Fra' Angelo de Mojana di Cologna (1962–88) and Fra' Andrew Bertie
Andrew Bertie
(1988–2008), the projects expanded. Relations with the Republic of Malta[edit]

Flags of Malta
Malta
and the SMOM on Fort Saint Angelo

Two bilateral treaties have been concluded with the Republic of Malta. The first treaty is dated 21 June 1991 and is now no longer in force.[16] The second treaty was signed on 5 December 1998 and ratified on 1 November 2001.[17] This agreement grants the Order the use with limited extraterritoriality of the upper portion of Fort St Angelo
Fort St Angelo
in the city of Birgu. Its stated purpose is "to give the Order the opportunity to be better enabled to carry out its humanitarian activities as Knights Hospitallers from Saint Angelo, as well as to better define the legal status of Saint Angelo subject to the sovereignty of Malta
Malta
over it".[citation needed] The agreement has a duration of 99 years, but the document allows the Maltese Government to terminate it at any time after 50 years.[18] Under the terms of the agreement, the flag of Malta
Malta
is to be flown together with the flag of the Order in a prominent position over Saint Angelo. No asylum may be granted by the Order and generally the Maltese courts have full jurisdiction and Maltese law shall apply. The second bilateral treaty mentions a number of immunities and privileges, none of which appeared in the earlier treaty.[16][17] Today[edit] In February 2013, the order celebrated the 900th anniversary of its papal recognition with a general audience with Pope Benedict XVI[19] and a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Tarcisio Bertone
in Saint Peter's Basilica. The current leader of the order is Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto,[20] who is serving as Lieutenant of the Grand Master, a temporary capacity, after a leadership crisis and a dispute between the previous leader, Grand Master Matthew Festing, and Pope Francis led to Festing's resignation in January 2017.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27] In May 2017, the Order launched a constitutional reform process led by Mauro Bertero Gutiérrez, a Bolivian member of the Government Council.[28][29] In a departure from tradition, the leadership of the Order wore business attire rather than military uniforms to their annual papal audience in June 2017.[30] Organisation[edit] Governance[edit]

Fra' Matthew Festing, 79th Prince and Grand Master, now Bailiff Grand Prior of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

The proceedings of the Order are governed by its Constitutional Charter
Charter
and the Order's Code. It is divided internationally into six territorial Grand Priories, six Sub- Priories
Priories
and 47 national associations. The six Grand Priories
Priories
are:

Grand Priory
Priory
of Rome Grand Priory
Priory
Lombardy and Venice Grand Priory
Priory
of Naples and Sicily Grand Priory
Priory
of Bohemia Grand Priory
Priory
of Austria Grand Priory
Priory
of England[31]

The supreme head of the Order is the Prince and Grand Master, who is elected for life by the Council Complete of State, holds the precedence of a cardinal of the Church since 1630 and received the rank of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in 1607.[32][33] Matthew Festing was elected by the Council as 79th Grand Master on 11 March 2008, succeeding Andrew Bertie, who was Grand Master until his death on 7 February 2008. Giacomo dalla Torre became the interim head of the order in April 2017. Electors in the Council include the members of the Sovereign Council, other office-holders and representatives of the members of the Order. The Grand Master is aided by the Sovereign Council (the government of the Order), which is elected by the Chapter General, the legislative body of the Order. The Chapter General meets every five years; at each meeting, all seats of the Sovereign Council are up for election. The Sovereign Council includes six members and four High Officers: the Grand Commander, the Grand Chancellor, the Grand Hospitaller[34] and the Receiver of the Common Treasure.[35] The Grand Commander is the chief religious officer of the Order and serves as "Interim Lieutenant" during a vacancy in the office of Grand Master. The Grand Chancellor, whose office includes those of the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is the head of the executive branch; he is responsible for the Diplomatic Missions of the Order and relations with the national Associations. The Grand Hospitaller's responsibilities include the offices of Minister for Humanitarian Action and Minister for International Cooperation; he coordinates the Order's humanitarian and charitable activities. Finally, the Receiver of the Common Treasure is the Minister of Finance and Budget; he directs the administration of the finances and property of the Order. Patrons of the order since 1961[edit]

Cardinal Raymond Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Malta
since 2014

The patron, who is either a cardinal when appointed by the pope or soon raised to that rank,[36] promotes the spiritual interests of the Order and its members, and its relations with the Holy See.

Paolo Giobbe
Paolo Giobbe
(8 August 1961 – 3 July 1969) Giacomo Violardo (3 July 1969 – 17 March 1978) Paul-Pierre Philippe, O.P. (10 November 1978 – 9 April 1984) Sebastiano Baggio (26 May 1984 – 21 March 1993) Pio Laghi
Pio Laghi
(8 May 1993 – 11 January 2009) Paolo Sardi
Paolo Sardi
(6 June 2009 – 8 November 2014) Raymond Burke (8 November 2014 – present)[37]

Prelate of the order[edit] The pope appoints the prelate of the order to supervise the clergy of the order, choosing from among three candidates proposed by the Grand Master. On 4 July 2015 Pope Francis
Pope Francis
named as prelate Bishop Jean Laffitte, who had held various offices in the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
for more than a decade. Laffitte succeeded Archbishop Angelo Acerbi, who had held the office since 2001. Laffitte's appointment followed the traditional meeting between the pope and the Grand Master, and an audience with the Grand Chancellor
Chancellor
and others as well, held on 24 June, the feast of St. John the Baptist.[38] Membership[edit]

A Knight of Grace and Devotion in contemporary church robes

Membership in the order is divided into three classes each of which is subdivided into several categories:[39]

First Class, containing only one category: Knights of Justice or Professed Knights, and the Professed Conventual Chaplains, who take religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and form what amounts to a religious order. Until the 1990s membership in this class was restricted to members of families with noble lineages.[citation needed] There are also three surviving enclosed monasteries of nuns of the Order, two in Spain
Spain
that date from the 11/12th centuries and one in Malta, whose members hold the same rank in the Order as chaplains.[40] Second Class: Knight and Dames in Obedience, similarly restricted until recently, these knights and dames make a promise, rather than a vow, of obedience. This class is subdivided into three categories, namely that of Knight and Dames of Honour and Devotion in Obedience, Knight and Dames of Grace and Devotion in Obedience, and Knight and Dames of Magistral Grace in Obedience. Third Class, which is subdivided into six categories: Knights and Dames of Honour and Devotion, Conventual Chaplains ad honorem, Knights and Dames of Grace and Devotion, Magistral Chaplains, Knights and Dames of Magistral Grace, and Donats (male and female) of Devotion. All categories of this class are made up of members who take no vows and who had to show a decreasingly extensive history of nobility. Knights of magistral grace need not prove any noble lineage and are the most common class of knights in the United States.

Within each class and category of knights are ranks ranging from bailiff grand cross (the highest) through knight grand cross, and knight — thus one could be a "knight of grace and devotion," or a "bailiff grand cross of justice." The final rank of donat is offered to some who join the order in the class of "justice" but who are not knights. Bishops and priests are generally honorary members, or knights, of the Order of Malta. However, there are some priests who are full members of the Order, and this is usually because they were conferred knighthood prior to ordination. The priests of the Order of Malta
Malta
are ranked as Honorary Canons, as in the Order of the Holy Sepulchre; and they are entitled to wear the black mozetta with purple piping and purple fascia. Prior to the 1990s, all officers of the Order had to be of noble birth (i.e., armigerous for at least a hundred years), as they were all knights of justice or of obedience. However, Knights of Magistral Grace (i.e., those without noble proofs) now may make the Promise of Obedience and, at the discretion of the Grand Master and Sovereign Council, may enter the novitiate to become professed Knights of Justice.[citation needed] Worldwide, there are over 13,000 knights and dames, of whom approximately 55 are professed religious.[41] Membership in the Order is by invitation only and solicitations are not entertained. The Order's finances are audited by a Board of Auditors, which includes a President and four Councillors, all elected by the Chapter General. The Order's judicial powers are exercised by a group of Magistral Courts, whose judges are appointed by the Grand Master and Sovereign Council. Economy[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2017)

Its annual budget is on the order of 1.5 billion Euros, largely funded by European governments, the U.N., and the European Union, fundations and public donors.[citation needed] International status[edit]

Foreign relations of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.   Diplomatic relations   Other relations

Coat of arms
Coat of arms
of the Knights of Malta
Malta
from the façade of the church of San Giovannino dei Cavalieri, Florence, Italy

Vehicle registration plate
Vehicle registration plate
of the Order, as seen in Rome, Italy

Flags of Knights Hospitaller
Hospitaller
in Saint Peter's Castle, Bodrum, Turkey. Left to right: Fabrizio Carretto (1513–1514); Amaury d'Amboise (1503–1512); Pierre d'Aubusson (1476–1503); Jacques de Milly (1454–1451).

See also: Foreign relations of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, List of Permanent Observers of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to the United Nations, List of diplomatic missions of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and List of diplomatic missions to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta SMOM has formal diplomatic relations with 107 states and has official relations with another six states and with the European Union.[42] Additionally it has relations with the International Committee of the Red Cross and a number of international organizations, including observer status at the UN and some of the specialized agencies.[43] Its international nature is useful in enabling it to pursue its humanitarian activities without being seen as an operative of any particular nation. Its sovereignty is also expressed in the issuance of passports, licence plates,[44] stamps,[45] and coins.[46] With its unique history and unusual present circumstances, the exact status of the Order in international law has been the subject of debate. It describes itself as a "sovereign subject of international law." Its two headquarters in Rome
Rome
– the Palazzo Malta
Palazzo Malta
in Via dei Condotti 68, where the Grand Master resides and Government Bodies meet, and the Villa del Priorato di Malta
Villa del Priorato di Malta
on the Aventine, which hosts the Grand Priory
Priory
of Rome
Rome
Fort St. Angelo
Fort St. Angelo
on the island of Malta, the Embassy of the Order to Holy See
Holy See
and the Embassy of the Order to Italy
Italy
have all been granted extraterritoriality by Italy
Italy
and Malta.[47] Unlike the Holy See, however, which is sovereign over Vatican City
Vatican City
and thus has clear territorial separation of its sovereign area and that of Italy, SMOM has had no territory since the loss of the island of Malta
Malta
in 1798, other than only those current properties with extraterritoriality listed above. Italy
Italy
recognizes, in addition to extraterritoriality, the exercise by SMOM of all the prerogatives of sovereignty in its headquarters. Therefore, Italian sovereignty and SMOM sovereignty uniquely coexist without overlapping.[48] The United Nations does not classify it as a "non-member state" or "intergovernmental organization" but as one of the "other entities having received a standing invitation to participate as observers."[49] For instance, while the International Telecommunication Union has granted radio identification prefixes to such quasi-sovereign jurisdictions as the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority, SMOM has never received one. For awards purposes, amateur radio operators consider SMOM to be a separate "entity", but stations transmitting from there use an entirely unofficial callsign, starting with the prefix "1A".[50] Likewise, for internet and telecommunications identification, the SMOM has neither sought nor been granted a top-level domain or international dialling code, whereas the Vatican City
Vatican City
uses its own domain (.va),[51] and has been allocated the country code +379.[52] There are differing opinions as to whether a claim to sovereign status has been recognized. Ian Brownlie, Helmut Steinberger, and Wilhelm Wengler are among experts who say that the claim has not been recognized. Even taking into account the Order's ambassadorial diplomatic status among many nations, a claim to sovereign status is sometimes rejected.[53] The Order maintains diplomatic missions around the world and many of the states reciprocate by accrediting ambassadors to the Order (usually their ambassador to the Holy See). Wengler—a German professor of international law—addresses this point in his book Völkerrecht (1964), and rejects the notion that recognition of the Order by some states can make it a subject of international law. Conversely, professor Rebecca Wallace—writing more recently in her book International Law (1986)—explains that a sovereign entity does not have to be a country, and that SMOM is an example of this.[54] This position appears to be supported by the number of nations extending diplomatic relations to the Order, which more than doubled from 49 to 100 in the 20-year period to 2008.[55] In 1953, the Holy See
Holy See
decreed that the Order of Malta's quality as a sovereign institution is functional, to ensure the achievement of its purposes in the world, and that as a subject of international law, it enjoys certain powers, but not the entire set of powers of sovereignty "in the full sense of the word."[56] On 24 June 1961, Pope John XXIII approved the Constitutional Charter, which contains the most solemn reaffirmations of the sovereignty of the Order. Article 1 affirms that "the Order is a legal entity formally approved by the Holy See. It has the quality of a subject of international law." Article 3 states that "the intimate connection existing between the two qualities of a religious order and a sovereign order do not oppose the autonomy of the order in the exercise of its sovereignty and prerogatives inherent to it as a subject of international law in relation to States."[48] Currency and postage stamps[edit] See also: Postage stamps and postal history of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta The SMOM coins are appreciated more for their subject matter than for their use as currency; SMOM postage stamps, however, have been gaining acceptance among Universal Postal Union
Universal Postal Union
member nations. The SMOM began issuing euro-denominated postage stamps in 2005, although the scudo remains the official currency of the SMOM. Also in 2005, the Italian post agreed with the SMOM to deliver internationally most classes of mail other than registered, insured, and special-delivery mail; additionally 56 countries recognize SMOM stamps for franking purposes, including those such as Canada
Canada
and Mongolia that lack diplomatic relations with the Order.[57] Military Corps[edit]

Logotype
Logotype
of the Military Corps of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

Military Corps of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, ACISMOM, in parade during Festa della Repubblica
Festa della Repubblica
in Rome
Rome
(2007)

The Order states that it was the hospitaller role that enabled the Order to survive the end of the crusading era; nonetheless, it retains its military title and traditions. On 26 March 1876, the Association of the Italian Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Malta
(Associazione dei cavalieri italiani del sovrano militare ordine di Malta, ACISMOM) reformed the Order's military to a modern military unit of the era. This unit provided medical support to the Italian Army and on 9 April 1909 the military corps officially became a special auxiliary volunteer corps of the Italian Army under the name Corpo Militare dell'Esercito dell'ACISMOM (Army Military Corps of the ACISMOM), wearing Italian uniforms.[58] Since then the Military Corps have operated with the Italian Army both in wartime and peacetime in medical or paramedical military functions, and in ceremonial functions for the Order, such as standing guard around the coffins of high officers of the Order before and during funeral rites.[59]

I believe that it is a unique case in the world that a unit of the army of one country is supervised by a body of another sovereign country. Just think that whenever our staff (medical officers mainly) is engaged in a military mission abroad, there is the flag of the Order flying below the Italian flag. — Fausto Solaro del Borgo, President of the Italian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, stated in a speech given in London in November 2007.[58]

Air force[edit]

Roundel
Roundel
of the air force of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

SMOM Savoia-Marchetti SM.82
Savoia-Marchetti SM.82
at the Italian Air Force Museum

In 1947, after the post-World War II peace treaty forbade Italy
Italy
to own or operate bomber aircraft and only operate a limited number of transport aircraft, the Italian Air Force opted to transfer some of its Savoia-Marchetti SM.82
Savoia-Marchetti SM.82
aircraft to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, pending the definition of their exact status (the SM.82 were properly long range transport aircraft that could be adapted for bombing missions). These aircraft were operated by Italian Air Force personnel temporarily flying for the Order, carried the Order's roundels on the fuselage and Italian ones on the wings, and were used mainly for standard Italian Air Force training and transport missions but also for some humanitarian tasks proper of the Order of Malta (like the transport of sick pilgrims to the Lourdes sanctuary). In the early '50s, when the strictures of the peace treaty had been much relaxed by the Allied authorities, the aircraft returned under full control of the Italian Air Force. One of the aircraft transferred to the Order of Malta, still with the Order's fuselage roundels, is preserved in the Italian Air Force Museum.[60] Logistics[edit] The Military Corps has become known in mainland Europe for its operation of hospital trains,[61] a service which was carried out intensively during both World Wars. The Military Corps still operate a modern 28-car hospital train with 192 hospital beds, serviced by a medical staff of 38 medics and paramedics provided by the Order and a technical staff provided by the Italian Army Railway Engineers Regiment.[62] Orders, decorations, and medals[edit]

Orders, decorations, and medals of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

Order pro merito Melitensi

See also[edit]

Catholicism portal Pope portal Malta
Malta
portal Crusades
Crusades
portal

Knights Hospitaller Territorial possessions of the Knights Hospitaller List of Princes and Grand Masters of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Order of Malta
Malta
Ambulance Corps (Ireland)

References[edit]

^ Article 7 of the Constitutional Charter
Charter
and Code. ^ "Report from Practically Nowhere" by John Sack, 1959, published by Harper, page 140: "as part of the bargain only three men – the grand master, the lieutenant grand master, and the chancellor – could be citizens there. The other S.M.O.M.ians were to be citizens of the country they lived in." ^ a b c As the order's website says, "its programmes include medical and social assistance, disaster relief in the case of armed conflicts and natural catastrophes, emergency services and first aid corps, help for the elderly, the handicapped and children in need and the provision of first aid training, and support for refugees and internally displaced persons regardless of race, origin or religion." ^ "Italy: Knights of Malta
Malta
rejects alleged link to military action – Adnkronos Religion". Adnkronos.com. 7 April 2003. Retrieved 17 March 2010.  ^ "Sovereign Order of Malta". Orderofmalta.int. Retrieved 12 April 2016.  ^ Sainty, Guy Stair, ed. World Orders of Knighthood and Merit, Burke's, August 2006. ^ Joint Declaration of SMOM and the Alliance of the Orders of St John of Jerusalem, Rome, 22 October 2004. ^ The Holy See, the Order of Malta
Malta
and International Law, Bo J. Theutenberg, ISBN 91-974235-6-4 ^ " Malta
Malta
Permanent Mission to the United Nations". Un.int. Retrieved 12 April 2016.  ^ "Pseudo Orden und ihr Auftreten in Österreich 1996–2008". Malteserorden.at. Archived from the original on 14 March 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2014.  ^ Noonan 1996 ^ "Names of the Order". Sovereign Order of Malta. Retrieved 25 January 2017.  ^ Pièces diverses relatives aux operations militaires et pol. du gén. Bonaparte (in French). Paris: De l'imprimerie de P. Didot l'aîné. 1800. p. 32.  ^ Pocock, Tom (2005). The Terror Before Trafalgar: Nelson, Napoleon, And The Secret War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-681-0. OCLC 56419314.p. 78 ^ Illustrated History of Europe: A Unique Guide to Europe's Common Heritage (1992) p. 282 ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.  ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.  ^ "After Two Centuries, the Order of Malta
Malta
Flag Flies over Fort St. Angelo beside the Maltese Flag". Order of Malta. 13 March 2001. Retrieved 13 November 2014.  ^ "Knights of Malta
Malta
Catholic
Catholic
order celebrates 900 years". BBC News. 9 February 2013. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2013.  ^ McKenna, Josephine (29 April 2017). "Knights of Malta
Malta
elect new leader as Vatican seeks to bury feud". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 August 2017.  ^ Tornielli, Andrea (26 January 2017). "The Order of Malta's crisis". La Stampa. Retrieved 26 January 2017.  ^ "Vatican condom row: pope prevails as Knights of Malta
Malta
chief resigns". The Guardian. Reuters in Vatican City. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.  ^ Lamb, Christopher (30 January 2017). "Cardinal Burke 'in Office but out of Power' as Job Handed to Papal Delegate". The Tablet. Retrieved 30 January 2017.  ^ Pullella, Philip (29 January 2017). "The Knights of Malta-Vatican feud: a tale of chivalry and sovereignty". Reuters. Retrieved 28 January 2017.  ^ "Pope intervenes in Knights of Malta
Malta
after head resigns under pressure". Reuters. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.  ^ O'Connell, Gerard (3 February 2017). "Dust up with Order of Malta ends not with a bang but a reinstatement". America Magazine. New York. Retrieved 17 April 2017. Since the latter decision raised questions regarding the order’s sovereign status, Francis clarified the situation (...) that the 'special delegate' is to (...) serve as his only interlocutor with it. He made clear that the delegate would not have any role in the order’s governance, out of respect for the order’s sovereignty.  ^ Pentin, Edward (26 January 2017). " Pope Francis
Pope Francis
Declares All of Festing's Recent Acts 'Null and Void'". National Catholic
Catholic
Register. Retrieved 26 January 2017.  ^ Arocho Esteves, Junno (3 August 2017). "Ancient order, modern times: Order of Malta
Malta
focuses on renewal". National Catholic
Catholic
Reporter. Catholic
Catholic
News Service. Retrieved 21 August 2017.  ^ "The Constitutional Reform of the Sovereign Order of Malta". Order of Malta. 28 June 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2017. The Sovereign Order of Malta’s recent institutional crisis has provided us with a great opportunity to update our Constitutional Charter
Charter
and Code. Promulgated in 1961, it was partially revised in 1997.  ^ McElwee, Joshua J. (23 June 2017). "New Knights of Malta
Malta
leader genuflects before Francis in Vatican meeting". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 21 August 2017.  ^ "National Institutions". www.orderofmalta.int. Order of Malta. Retrieved 2 September 2016.  ^ Sire, H.J.A. (1994). The Knights of Malta. Yale University Press p.221. ^ Noonan, Jr., James-Charles (1996). The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church. Viking. p. 135. ISBN 0-670-86745-4 ^ "Grand Hospitaller". Orderofmalta.int. Retrieved 13 November 2017.  ^ "Receiver of the Common Treasure". Orderofmalta.int. Retrieved 13 November 2017.  ^ "The Order of Malta's patron Paolo Sardi
Paolo Sardi
has been created cardinal". Sovereign Military Order of Malta. 25 November 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2017.  ^ Rocco, Francis X. (10 November 2014). "Pope removes Cardinal Burke from Vatican post". National Catholic
Catholic
Reporter. Catholic
Catholic
News Service. Retrieved 6 February 2017.  ^ "Mgr Jean Laffitte, prélat de l'Ordre souverain militaire de Malte". Zenit (in French). 4 July 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2016.  ^ "Knights of Malta". Retrieved 2 January 2017.  ^ "The Nuns of the Order of Malta". Retrieved 22 November 2017.  ^ Sire, H.J.A. (2016). The Knights of Malta: A Modern Resurrection. London: Third Millennium. p. 278.  ^ "Sovereign Order of Malta". Orderofmalta.int. Retrieved 12 April 2016.  ^ "Sovereign Order of Malta
Malta
– Official site". Orderofmalta.int. Retrieved 21 August 2011.  ^ "SMOM Plates". Targheitaliane.it. 24 August 1994. Retrieved 17 March 2010.  ^ "Sovereign Order of Malta
Malta
– Official site". Orderofmalta.int. Retrieved 17 January 2018.  ^ "The Coins of the Sovereign Order of Malta". Orderofmalta.int. Retrieved 17 January 2018.  ^ Paul, Chevalier (pseudonym of a French knight of the SMOM). "An Essay on the Order of St. John (S.M.O.M.)". Archived from the original on 2 July 2003. Retrieved 8 October 2012. Minuscule as it is, the Order does also possess sovereign territory. This consists of the land in Rome
Rome
on which stands the Grand Magistracy in the Via Condotti and the Villa Malta.  ^ a b Arocha, Magaly (May 1999). "La Orden de Malta
Malta
y su Naturaleza Jurídica (The Order of Malta
Malta
and Its Legal Nature)". Caracas, Distrito Capital, Venezuela: Analítica.com. Archived from the original on 1 August 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2012.  ^ "UN Permanent Observers". Un.org. Retrieved 13 November 2014.  ^ "ARRLWeb: DXCC Entities List (Current, 1A0-9Z)". Arrl.org. 6 May 2008. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2010.  ^ "Internet Assigned Numbers Authority database of top level domains". Iana.org. Retrieved 17 March 2010.  ^ "LIST OF ITU-T RECOMMENDATION E.164 ASSIGNED COUNTRY CODES" (PDF). ITU-T. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2015.  ^ "The French Republic does not recognise the SMOM as a subject of international law; see a statement by the spokesman of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Feb 7, 1997". Heralda.org. Retrieved 13 November 2014.  ^ Wallace, Rebecca (1986). International law: a student introduction (2nd ed.). Sweet & Maxwell Ltd. ISBN 0-421-33500-9.  ^ "Mass commemorates knights leader". BBC News. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2009.  ^ "TRIBUNAL E CARDINALIZI O COSTITUITO CON PONTIFICIO CHIROGRAFO DEL 10 DICEMBRE 1951 (judgment dated 24 January 1953)" (PDF). Acta Apostolicae Sedis (in Italian). The Holy See. XLV (15): 765–767. 30 November 1953. Retrieved 13 February 2015.  ^ "Associate Countries". Retrieved 22 January 2018.  ^ a b Solaro del Borgo, Fausto (17 November 2007). "Address to British Association SMOM by Fausto Solaro del Borgo, President of the Italian Association London, 17 November" (PDF). Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 June 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2013.  ^ "This photograph shows four members of the Corps standing guard at the coffin of a deceased Grand Master of the Order". Orderofmalta.int. Retrieved 12 April 2016.  ^ Military Aircraft Insignia of the World by John Cochrane and Stuart Elliott, published 1998 by Airlife Publishing Limited of Shrewsbury, England (illustrated). ISBN 1-85310-873-1 ^ [1] ^ Ordine di Malta. "TRENO OSPEDALE ATTREZZATO PER L'EMERGENZA". Orderofmalta.int. Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

Patrick Levaye, Géopolitique du Catholicisme (Éditions Ellipses, 2007) ISBN 2-7298-3523-7. Riley-Smith, Jonathan, The Atlas of the Crusades. Facts on File, Oxford (1991). Cohen, R. (15 April 2004) [1920]. Julie Barkley, Bill Hershey and PG Distributed Proofreaders, ed. Knights of Malta, 1523–1798. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 29 May 2006.  Noonan, Jr., James-Charles (1996). The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church. Viking. p. 196. ISBN 0-670-86745-4.  von Güttner-Sporzyński, Darius (15 January 2013) [2013]. Evolution and Adaptation: The Order of Saint John in War and Peace. Ordines Militares. Colloquia Torunensia Historica. Retrieved 9 September 2014.  Read, Piers Paul (1999). The Templars. Imago. p. 118. ISBN 85-312-0735-5.  Santolaria de Puey y Cruells, José-Apeles (1997). Escuela Diplomática Española, ed. Relaciones jurídicas internacionales de la Soberana Orden de San Juan de Malta. Google Docs.  Tyerman, Christopher (2006). God's War: A New History of the Crusades. Allen Lane. p. 253. ISBN 0-7139-9220-4.  Wallace, R.M.M (1992). International Law. Sweet and Maxwell. p. 76.  Burlamacchi, Maurizio (2013). Nobility, Honour and Glory. A brief military History of the Order of Malta. Olschki. ISBN 978 88 222 6247 9. 

External links[edit]

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Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Malta
official website (English) Constitution of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Permanent Observer Mission of the Order of Malta
Malta
to the United Nations, IAEA and CTBTO in Vienna Permanent Observer Mission of the Order of Malta
Malta
to the United Nations in New York List of Italian knights of the Order of Malta
Malta
from 1136 to 1713: Elenco dei cavaleri del S.M.Ordine di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme by Francesco Bonazzi (Napoli 1897) List of Italian knights of the Order of Malta
Malta
from 1714 to 1907: Elenco dei cavaleri del S.M.Ordine di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme by Francesco Bonazzi (Napoli 1907).

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 Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Malta
topics

Catholic
Catholic
order of chivalry and sovereign subject of international law, founded in 1099 in Jerusalem,  Kingdom of Jerusalem

Organisation

Grand Master Governance Grand Priories, Bailiwicks, Commanderies, Associations Foreign relations (Diplomacy)

Auxiliaries

Malteser International Order of Malta
Malta
Ambulance Corps Military Corps: Air Force (Historically: Navy)

Culture

Maltese cross Flag and coat of arms Anthem Orders, decorations, and medals

Society

Religion Language (Langues) Passports Currency Postal system

History, including major territories, premises, and battles of the Knights Hospitaller

Rome

Palazzo Malta
Palazzo Malta
(capital) (1869) Villa del Priorato di Malta
Villa del Priorato di Malta
(1869)

Malta

Fortifications

Birgu
Birgu
( Fort St. Angelo
Fort St. Angelo
(2001)) Senglea (Fort St. Michael)^ Mdina Valletta
Valletta
(Fort St. Elmo) Cittadella Floriana Lines Santa Margherita Lines Cottonera Lines Fort Ricasoli Fort Manoel Fort Chambray Fort Tigné others

Palaces

Grand Master's Palace Palazzo Vilhena Verdala Palace San Anton Palace

Churches

Church of Saint Barbara Church of Our Lady of Liesse Church of Saint Catherine Church of Our Lady of Pilar Church of Saint Lawrence Conventual Church of Saint John Church of Our Lady of Victories

Auberges in Birgu

Auberge d'Allemagne^ Auberge d'Angleterre Auberge d'Aragon Auberge d'Auvergne
Auberge d'Auvergne
et Provence Auberge de Castille
Auberge de Castille
et Portugal Auberge de France Auberge d'Italie^

Auberges in Valletta

Auberge d'Allemagne^ Auberge d'Aragon Auberge d'Auvergne^ Auberge de Bavière Auberge de Castille Auberge de France^ Auberge d'Italie Auberge de Provence

Caribbean

Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts
(1651-1665) Saint Martin
Saint Martin
(1651-1665) Saint Barthélemy
Saint Barthélemy
(1651-1665) Saint Croix (1660-1665)

Rhodes

Fortifications Palace
Palace
of the Grand Master Anatolia: Bodrum
Bodrum
Castle

Holy Land

Saint John d'Acre Arqa Abu Ghosh Belvoir Fortress Chastel Rouge Church of Saint John the Baptist Church of Saint Mary of the Germans Coliath^ Gibelacar Krak des Chevaliers Margat Mount Tabor^

Military history

Crusades

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th

Battles

Siege of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(1187) Battle of Arsuf
Battle of Arsuf
(1191) Siege of Acre (1291) Hospitaller
Hospitaller
conquest of Rhodes Siege of Rhodes
Rhodes
(1480) Siege of Rhodes
Rhodes
(1522) Invasion of Gozo (1551) Siege of Tripoli (1551) Great Siege of Malta
Malta
(1565) Battle of Lepanto
Battle of Lepanto
(1571) French invasion of Malta
Malta
(1798)

Extant extraterritoriality (with year of proclamation) World Heritage Site, UNESCO ^ Demolished or sparse remains Pope portal Catholicism portal

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Orders, decorations, and medals of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

Sovereign Military Order of Malta

First Class (Religious profession)

Knights of Justice and Conventual Chaplains

Second Class (Promise of obedience)

Knights and Dames in Obedience

Third Class

First Category: Knights and Dames of Honour and Devotion Second Category: Conventual Chaplains ad honorem Third Category: Knights and Dames of Grace and Devotion Fourth Category: Magistral Chaplains Fifth Category: Knights and Dames of Magistral Grace Sixth Category: Donates of Devotion

Order pro merito Melitensi

Collar Cross Medal

Malteser International

Malteser International
Malteser International
Service Medal

Other

[...]

Pope portal Catholicism portal

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Orders, decorations, and medals of the Holy See

Orders of the Holy See

Supreme Order of Christ Order of the Golden Spur Order of Pope Pius IX Order of St. Gregory the Great Order of Saint Sylvester

Orders under protection of the Holy See (with distinctions)

Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Malta
( Order pro merito Melitensi, Medal of the Order pro Merito Melitensi) Order of the Holy Sepulchre
Order of the Holy Sepulchre
( Palm of Jerusalem, Pilgrim Shell, Cross of Merit) Teutonic Order
Teutonic Order
( Honorary Knights)

Other distinctions

Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Benemerenti medal Golden Rose Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Pilgrim's Cross

Defunct/dormant distinctions (1870, 1954, 1977)

Order of Saint John of the Lateran Order of Saint Cecilia (1870) Order of the Moor (1870) Order of Saint Sylvester
Order of Saint Sylvester
and the Militia Aurata (1905) Advocates of Saint Peter (1909) Blessed sword and hat
Blessed sword and hat
(1823) Medal of Military Merit Fidei et Virtuti Pro Petri Sede Lauretan Cross (middle part of the 20th Century) Papal Lateran Cross
Papal Lateran Cross
(1977)

See also

Papal Household Swiss Guard Other Catholic
Catholic
orders of chivaly Catholic
Catholic
ecclesiastical decorations

Pope portal Vatican City
Vatican City
portal Catholicism portal

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Malta articles

History

Timeline Heads of State Megalithic Temples Phoenicians (800–480 BC) Carthaginian Empire (480–218 BC) Roman Republic
Roman Republic
(218–27 BC) Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(27 BC–395 AD) Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
(395–870) Arab Period (870–1091) Sicily (1091–1530) Battle of Malta Order of Saint John (1530–1798) The Great Siege (1565) Maltese Rebellion of 1775 French Occupation and the Insurrection (1798–1800) Independent Gozo (1798–1801) British Protectorate (1800–13) British Colony (1813–1964) Exiles (1919–20) World War II (1940–43) Award of the George Cross (1942) State of Malta
Malta
(1964–74)

Geography

Caves Climate Geology Fortifications Islands Maps Areas

Politics

Armed Forces Constitution Elections Foreign relations LGBT history LGBT rights Local councils Parliament Political parties President Prime Minister

Economy

Central Bank Currency

Lira

Energy Stock exchange Taxation Telecommunications Trade unions Transport

Society

Demographics Emigration Immigration Education Healthcare Languages Maltese Religion

Culture

Architecture Maltese Carnival Coat of arms Maltese cross Cuisine Film Flag Folklore Literature Music Philosophy Public holidays Sport Symbols

Outline Index

Category Portal

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Council of Europe

Institutions

Secretary General Committee of Ministers Parliamentary Assembly Congress Court of Human Rights Commissioner for Human Rights Commission for the Efficiency of Justice Commission against Racism and Intolerance

Members

Albania Andorra Armenia Austria Azerbaijan Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia1 Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia San Marino Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom

Observers

Canada Holy See Israel Japan Mexico United States Sovereign Military Order of Malta

Former members

Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
(1991–1992) Saar (assoc. 1950–1956)

1 Provisionally referred to by the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
as "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"; see Macedonia naming dispute.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 26145857019322921207 LCCN: n79114238 ISNI: 0000 0001 2216 3036 GND: 43583-1 SELIBR: 324691 SUDOC: 084016213 BNF: cb118777640 (data) NLA: 35276777 BNE: XX144828

Coordinates: 41°54′18.69″N 12°28′50.06″E / 41.9051917°N 12.4805722°E / 41.9

.

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