A book in Romanian about the history and actuality of the Sovereign Order of Malta has long been needed. Among the many reasons, I would mention, first of all, the diplomatic relations with Romania, started at Legation level in 1932-1933, the first representative of the Order being Count Marie Henry Thierry Michel de Pierredon, and of Romania, Prince Dimitrie Ghika, personality from the gallery our great diplomats. Relations were suspended after the communist regime was installed, without being denounced by either side, and resumed at the Embassy level on May 24, 1991. Beyond the historical prestige of the figures who initially participated in the creation of these bridges, which fully legitimizes The approach of this book is the very substance of the Order's activity in the field of humanitarian diplomacy and, in particular, through the Maltese Aid Service, founded in Romania in 1991, a real volunteer school to help those in need. Also, such a book is welcome because it can dispel for an honest reader the rumors and confusions that did not delay to appear in our country, bringing undue image damage to the Sovereign Order of Malta or completely diverting attention from its social activity to phantasmagoric matters concerning knights and secrets.
Mr. Marius Catalin Mitrea and proposed to offer Romanian readers a historical synthesis, starting from world-famous books, such as that of Bertrand Galimard Flavigny, and especially a detailed presentation of the topicality of the Order as a subject of international law and Maltese Aid Service. The evolution of the Order for almost a millennium is closely followed in its essential articulations, from the hospitable knights of "St. John", so named in honor of St. John the Baptist, to today's members of the Sovereign Order of Malta, going through the stages that have as symbolic places Rhodes, Malta, Rome. The unifying thread of such a history that overlaps with Western Christian civilization, bordering on other cultures and civilizations, remains the spirit of chivalrous nobility and sacrifice in favor of the defenseless and the means of subsistence. This spirit traverses, during successive settlements, the constitutional charter, the internal codes and the contemporary activity of the Order, recognized at the level of international organizations.
Mr. Marius Catalin Mitrea's book, by including in translation some fundamental documents, little known to the general public, but which accurately outline the current profile of the Sovereign Order of Malta, provides the necessary elements for a better knowledge and a fair appreciation of the Order's scope. Answering a wide range of legitimate questions and curiosities, from the criteria and the way of choosing the members to the significance of the clothes and the hierarchy of the decorations, this volume written with passion and meticulousness is a good introduction to a world that is defined, in rhythm. of solemnities that seem from other epochs, by reference to the tradition and to the Christian values. The author's profile, both legal and theological, resonated with the historical twinning of these two aspects in the life and work of the Knights of Malta.
Mr. Marius Catalin Mitrea pays well-deserved attention to bilateral relations with Romania and to the effective presence of the Maltese Aid Service through its programs for young people and the elderly, for people with disabilities and for social inclusion. The dynamic of almost three decades since the resumption of diplomatic relations between Romania and the Sovereign Order of Malta, the main moments of which are evoked in this book, was recently confirmed by the signing of the Cooperation Agreement. A publication that reflects the results of an excellent collaboration against the background of a prestigious history and the secular professing of the virtues of the virtues of faith, hope and love is all the more welcome now.
Bogdan TATARU ‑ CAZABAN
The Ambassador of Romania
in addition to the Sovereign Order of Malta in the period 2011-2016