30th Jubilee Ceremony of Investiture of the Knights of Malta (KMFAP) between 5-6 May 2017 in Ch√Ęteau Bela, Slovakia
 

The Hungarian and Slovakian Grand Priories organised jointly the 30th Jubilee Ceremony of Investiture of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, Federation of the Autonomous Priories (KMFAP), for the 11th time in the halls of Chateau Bela in Slovakia between 5-6 May 2017. Knights, Dames, participants and guests arrived from 30 countries of 4 continents to this significant event. According to the international nature of the ceremony the 20 Maltese Postulants and 1 Cyprus Postulant represented 16 countries.

The Knighthood Ceremony of the Knights of Malta (KMFAP) and the Sovereign Order of Cyprus (Knights of Sword and Silence) took place again in the beautiful spot of Chateau Bela, where gorgeous circumstances, intimate atmosphere, great cuisine and courteous service contributed to the high standard of the investiture.

Day of Honour: 5th May 2017


A sunny spring time welcomed guests arriving to the castle, where – after checking in and having lunch – the official program started under strict scenario.

“General Chapter of Knights Meeting”

During this event, the candidates of Knights of Malta and of the Sovereign Order of Cyprus met the Grand Master – HMEH Prince José, the highest leaders as well as the knights and dames of KMFAP. After the welcoming speeches, the participants and the Postulants had the opportunity to learn about the structure, the leaders and the previous year's major international activities – with special regard to the humanitarian work – of the Knights of Malta through the usual mediated presentation.

  


The next event was the introduction and appreciation of all the candidates – emphasizing their qualities and merits to the present guests and to the Grand Master, from whom they received the official Postulant diplomas, and the Ten Commandments of Chivalry. These candidates became worthy to be members of the prestigious family of the Knights of Malta, or the Sovereign Order of Cyprus in order to carry on the heritage of our venerable predecessors in the modern era, and to enhance our glorious past. Those knights and dames were also present during the introduction, who recommended the Postulant for knighthood, because they undertake the role of the godfather, or godmother over the prospective knight / dame.

During the “Day of Honour” took place the handing over of appointments, promotions and decorations – as recognitions of the work done.


Part of the baroque chateau is the small chapel, where this time an intimate family event was held with the participation of the knights and dames: the christening of Gustavo Goncalo, son of Sir Nuno Cosmelli and Lady Claudia – celebrated by Sir Mons. Ladislaus Szakál, papal chaplain, Magisterial chaplain, Sir Mgr. Pavol Zemko, Magisterial chaplain, and PaedDr. ThLlc. Marcel Puvák (from the Czech Republic).

 



"Watch of the Arms” - knightly meditation

For Postulants, the time of common meditation is always soul-lifting – held in the beautifully decorated Hunting Hall – when preparing for the next day’s knighthood ceremony, after getting to know the knightly symbols and requisites – according to the old habit – they might be a little bit engaged with the knightly being, and recall past traditions and customs.

The Knighthood Ceremony is such an honour, which must be understood as an award received for a lifetime work and activity. On the other hand the highest leaders of KMFAP repeatedly stressed this time as well, what is the duty of the knights and what is expected from them.

   

Gala Banquet


 

In the Orangerie hall of Chateau Bela – richly decorated with knightly symbols – this time also a very good gala dinner closed the night before the next day’s investiture. The great atmosphere with friendly conversations and the delicious dinner were made even more enjoyable by the live music and dance.

     


 

Day of Investiture: 6th May 2017

The 30th Jubilee International Ceremony of Investiture

At 11.00 o'clock everything was ready to begin the solemn knighthood ceremony: the beautifully furnished and decorated Orangerie hall, the postulants being lined up, their families and guests taking their seats in the hall. The highly experienced international team – directing and being involved in the organisation, and conduction of the event – was waiting for the trombone sounds and thus began the ceremony and the solemn marching in: first the candidates – as the most important participants of the day, then the knights and dames of KMFAP and of the Sovereign Order of Cyprus, as well as leaders and members of our Associated Orders (International Order of Saint George, The Martyr, Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, Ordine di Aquila Romana), followed by the officers of KMFAP in ascending order of their ranks, then entered the inauguration swords of Knights of Malta (KMFAP) and of the Sovereign Order of Cyprus.

   

Last, but not least the flags of Slovakia, Hungary, the Sovereign Order of Cyprus and the Knights of Malta marched in and accordingly, the Slovak and Hungarian national anthems were sounded, followed by the orchestrated KMFAP anthem.

     


After his welcome speech to the guests, the Grand Master commemorated about our deceased knights and dames – including Sir Mario Soares, former President of Portugal, Knight of Malta, and also about those, who struggle with serious disease therefore could not be present. We wish fast recovery for our sick members, and the possibility for them to return to the active work of Knights of Malta. This time again, Michal Lorenc – “Ave Maria” was performed for all of them by Lady Lívia Ágh – world-famous soprano of the Prague State Opera.

      

The ceremony continued with the “Several Acts” event, where the following awards were handed over by the Grand Master of KMFAP:

- PaedDr. ThLlc. Marcel Puvák (Czech Republic), priest received the Knight of Malta decoration and the appointment as Magisterial chaplain, member of the Magisterial Religious Council

- Sensei Ronald Stewart Watt (Scotland) received the Order of Security Award – Gold Star with Diamonds

The members of KMFAP belong to different religious denominations, and this religious pluralism is also faithfully reflected in the composition of the members of the Magisterial Board of Religious Council. Blessing the knightly requisites and symbols of KMFAP and of the Sovereign Order of Cyprus – which were given to the Postulants during their inauguration, and afterwards they can wear – was made in the name of all religions by Sir Mgr. Pavol Zemko, Magisterial chaplain.

After signing the Oath, and saluting in front of the flag by kissing it at the angle, the Postulants – accompanied by their godfather(s) / godmother(s) – kneed down on the prie-dieu in front of the Grand Master, and the traditional 3 sword-touches formally declared them to be knighted.

The Order of Knights of Malta and the Sovereign Order of Cyprus knighted 21 new candidates from 16 countries. The Knights of Malta (KMFAP) invested 19 new knights and 1 dame, while the Sovereign Order of Cyprus, the military wing of KMFAP – knighted 1 gentleman, who became member of the privileged group of the Knights of Sword and Silence.

          

For everyone the nicest and refreshing moment of the ceremony was the investiture of squires. These children and young people represent the future and maybe one of them will be the next grand master – said Prince José, Grand Master of KMFAP, while all the present squires and damsels gathered in front of the throne in order to help and assist during this inauguration. 2 new squires joined the Knights of Malta.

The event – that left an unforgettable memory in everyone – ended with the “Song to the Moon” aria (Dvorák: Rusalka) by Lady Lívia.

 

We convey our congratulations to the new Knights and Dame. We count on their dedication and selfless work to strengthen the rank and reputation of the great Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, later called the Knights of Malta, all over the world, worthy of our glorious predecessors, with special regard to the principal activities of the knights in the 21st Century, and to the main task of the Order: the humanitarian work for the needy, without racial, religious, political or gender discrimination.

On behalf of the leaders of KMFAP, we would like to express our gratitude to all those knights and dames, who selflessly and effectively assisted and so contributed with their devoted work to the success of this worthy event.

21st Ball of Knights and Bodyguards

The Day of Investiture ended with the 21st Ball of Knights and Bodyguard in Budapest, at the Ballroom of Hotel Marriott, where about 160 guests dined, cocktailed, danced to the excellent music, posed for the Old-fashioned costume memory photos, smoked cigars on the terrace and enjoyed the fantastic atmosphere of the ball – lasting till dawn.

14th June 2017