Fra Matthew Festing to donate mobile clinic for examination of migrants
The announcement was made at the start of a state visit to Malta by Fra Matthew Festing, Grand Master of the Knights – officially known as the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.
In comments he made after calling on President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca in what was formerly the Grand Master’s Palace, the Grand Master said the Order was very conscious of the immigration issue, which was a serious problem for everyone.
The Order was committed to help out, he said, adding that the whole of Europe needed to concentrate its efforts on improving the situation.
The perception in Africa and the Middle East was that Europe was the land of milk and honey. He stressed the importance of locating unaccompanied migrant children, adding that he had come across a nine-year-old boy sent to make the crossing all by himself.
Asked whether the Order will be making the top floor of Fort St Angelo, which is leased to the Order, more accessible to the public, the Grand Master said that access was not great as the floor, which used to serve as a gun platform, could not host many people.
But in principle, he said, the answer was yes. The grand master attended Mass celebrated by the Archbishop and tour various places of interest including St Paul’s Grotto and Vittoriosa. He met Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.