With a storied history of being fierce defenders against the Church’s enemies, the members of the Order of Malta are professed “monk-warriors.” They act as the noble, chivalrous, and battle-scarred knight while also the servant of the poor and sick.
For hundreds of years, the Church has been indebted to them for their military prowess. But the Order of Malta was, and is, much more than what legend and history celebrate. From its twelfth-century foundation, it has been a religious order. At its core are the three evangelical vows that lay religious men and women (for much of the order’s history) have taken.
This book brings to the fore the religious nature of the order, so long overshadowed by its glorious military tradition and, more recently, its global charitable activities. It focuses not on the monk-warrior but on the twenty plus members of the order who have been canonized and beatified for their extraordinary lives of love, prayer, and dedication.
The book offers the reader a series of brief biographies on some of the most diverse groups of saints to come from one religious order, from peasants to popes and everything in between. In applying historical analysis to the lives of these holy men and women, the author demonstrates that one need not hide behind hagiographic generalities or far-fetched stories to find examples of true virtue in the lives of these Hospitallers.
- Richard Wolff
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Holy Men and Women of the Order of Malta
Fra; Richard Wolff - a professed Knight of Justice of the illustrious Order of Malta and distinguished historian has done us all a great service by compiling this gem of a book. It is more than simply a collection of interesting stories about figures - ancient and modern - connected with and members of the Order. This enjoyable and inspirational read, is not only intellectually informative and stimulating; it is [as the Author states] an aid to devotion and deepening of our spirituality in Christ. Fra; Richard and all who assisted him in this initiative are to be highly commended for their work, for by giving us fresh insight in to these great figures, they have illustrated that beautiful observation of His Holiness pope Benedict XVI concerning the living witness of the Order;s members over the centuries in his address on the occasion of the 900th anniversary of the Order of Malta in 2013: "their lives have added radiant pages to the annals of Christian charity and protection of Christianityù - the pages of this book radiate something unique and celebratory of that long history that continues today throughout the world. Edmund P Adamus. Head of Formation Center. Order of Malta.