Leader of the Order of Malta dies after suffering sudden illness

Jasjot Singh

The Order of Malta reported that its director, the Italian doctor Fra’ Marco Luzzago, died after suffering a “sudden illness”.

In the statement released this June 7, the Order of Malta noted that Luzzago, who led the institution for two years, died at the age of 71 in Villa Ciccolini, province of Macerata (Italy), after suffering a “sudden illness” .

On November 8, 2020, Luzzago was elected Lieutenant of the Grand Master, a position that is traditionally held for life, but that Luzzago was to assume for a year until the election of the new Grand Master.

However, Pope Francis extended Luzzago’s mandate, in the midst of a multi-year process of constitutional reform to the Order of Malta.

Pope Francis began the reform process in 2017, after accepting the resignation of then-Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing.

Festing’s successor, Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, died in April 2020 at the age of 75. Festing himself died in November 2021 at the age of 71.

The statement also announced that Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas-Boas, 83, will temporarily assume the functions of head of the Order of Malta.

“According to article 17 of the Constitution of the Sovereign Order of Malta, the Grand Commander, Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas-Boas assumed the functions of Acting Lieutenant and will remain head of the Sovereign Order until the election of the new head. of the Order,” the statement said.

Translated and adapted by Cynthia Pérez. Originally posted on CNA.

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