Belgrade, June 22, 2019
This year as well, the Festivity of St. John the Baptist, Patron of the Order of Malta (organized two days prior to Festivity date, June 24) was celebrated in a context of humanitarian diplomacy and culture.
The ideals of the mission of the Order of Malta have been fused with the values of music in the stupendous representation of the famous Opera “La Boheme” by Giacomo Puccini, at the National Theater in the Serbian capital, whose protagonists were the Canadian soprano Claire Coolen , the American tenor Joshua Kohl and the italian bass-baritone Jacopo Buora.
Ambassador Alberto di Luca addressed the 550 guests from the Diplomatic corps and State Institutions, guests from the religious, academic and economic world in Serbia. In his speech, he pointed out that also in Serbia, all the activities promoted by the Embassy are always inspired by the millennial Polar star of the Order of Malta:
“Tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum“ (Defense of the faith and assistance to the poor).
“ … also on behalf of our Grand Master, His Most Eminent Highness Fra’ Giacomo della Torre Sanguinetto, I would like to welcome everyone and thank you for your presence that honors and please us, on the occasion of our National Day and the Day of our Patron Saint, St. John the Baptist.
We live in a difficult age, where conflicts are asymmetric, unreported, and in which the warring parties reject humanitarian conventions.
It is an age where traditional battlefields are replaced by attacks in schools, hospitals, or churches and the victims are not soldiers but innocent civilians, sometimes forced to leave their homes and embark on long and dangerous escape routes.
In such reality, I believe that everyone is already familiar with the humanitarian and social commitment of the Sovereign Order of Malta, in 120 countries around the world, which represents the mission of the Order for almost 1000 years.
I warmly thank the Serbian institutions for their friendly and fruitful collaboration, which characterizes our excellent bilateral relations, always inspired by the common values that unite us.
With particular satisfaction I recall that our project “Make a WISH to the Sovereign Order of Malta” is in its fifth edition.
Within this project, we just helped a surgical operation of the gentleman who sent us a letter describing a serious health problem that has bothered him for years.
We are still supporting the project “A hot meal in a cold Winter” aimed at helping children hosted at the “Shelter for Children”.
Still within the “Make a WISH” project, we continue to follow and support the Center Izvor which hosts up to 92 girls with psycho-physical disability problems. A Center is masterfully managed by Orthodox nuns led by Mother Glikerija.
Long live the friendship between the Republic of Serbia and the Sovereign Order of Malta!
Thank you all and enjoy La Boheme! “
In the interval between the first and the second act, distinguished guests from the state and religious institutions, numerous Ambassadors and diplomats, were invited to the foyer of the historic Theater, where the Ambassador di Luca, together with his collaborators, proposed a toast to fruitful relations and cooperation between Serbia and the Order of Malta, and the success of the humanitarian activities organized by the Embassy in Belgrade.