July 16, 2018
Pope Francis Discusses Holy Family Hospital with Order of Malta Grand Master
On June 22, 2018, Pope Francis welcomed to the Vatican Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, the recently-elected Grand Master of the Order of Malta. Their meeting began with a discussion of the Order’s major works caring for the sick and the poor throughout the world, including its programs serving refugees and other displaced persons.
The Pope then specifically inquired about the Order’s efforts to assist children and families in the Middle East. The Grand Master responded with details of the Order’s lifesaving ministry taking place at Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem, located just 1,500 steps from the birthplace of Christ. He reminded His Holiness that the Hospital is the only maternity unit region able to deliver and care for babies born before 32 weeks. Moreover, the Hospital delivers over 4,300 infants each year — roughly 70% of all deliveries in the Bethlehem region. No one is ever turned away.
Heartened by the Grand Master’s report, His Holiness encouraged the Order to “go with courage” in its life-affirming work, continuing to advance the lives of vulnerable and at-risk populations throughout the world.