Lourdes holds a special place in the spiritual landscape of members of the Order of Malta. At first glance, Lourdes and Ash Wednesday might not appear to be likely companions. This year, however, Mary’s feast falls the day after Ash Wednesday, so the liturgical commemoration of Mary’s apparition is a good time to reflect on Mary’s urging Bernadette to call her peers to “Repent!”
On February 15, 2013, the Order will celebrate the 900th anniversary of the issuance of Pie postulatio voluntatis, the papal bull (or bulla sacra) through which Pope Paschal II officially granted to the Hospital of Saint John certain protections, rights, and privileges in perpetuity. Pie postulatio voluntatis is Pope Paschal II’s response to a petition submitted by Blessed Gerard, the Order’s founder and Master of the Hospital. Gerard’s request demonstrates how much he had accomplished in the first decades of the Hospital.
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