About the Order The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilization. The 13,500 Knights and Dames remain true to its inspiring principles – nurturing, witnessing and protecting the faith and serving the poor and the sick.
The American Association Founded in 1927 as the first association of the Order of Malta in the Americas, the association is headquartered in New York City with over 2,000 knights, dames and volunteers in 16 states working with the poor, sick and incarcerated and giving witness to the Catholic faith.
Spirituality Knights and Dames join the Order of Malta to pursue their spiritual growth over a path laid out by Blessed Gerard more than nine hundred years ago, seeking to nurture and witness the Faith and assist the sick and the poor.
Spirituality in Action Members are involved in hands-on work involving over one hundred organizations and ministries. Food banks, hospitals, pregnancy support centers, homeless shelters and mentoring at risk children are just some of the activities in which members engage.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you.”
The Pilgrimage for Life is a peaceful, joyful celebration of life. It began immediately following the Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade, legalizing abortion, and occurs annually on January 22, or on a weekday close to the anniversary. It provides the opportunity for hundreds of thousands of persons of all ages, all faiths and all walks of life to make a statement in support of life. By giving witness to the importance of life, we give witness to our faith. All members of the American Association are invited to join the multitude of pro-life proponents marching along Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court, praying for the end of abortion.
Schedule of Events
Each year’s pilgrimage begins with a reflection, lunch, and Vigil Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. On the following day, pilgrims join together for Mass at St. Patrick’s Church and breakfast before departing for the Rally on the Mall. Pilgrims gather under the icon of Our Lady of Philermo and join the peaceful and joyful pro-life throng. They move along Constitution Avenue to the Supreme court, where they stop to pray the rosary and join in song praising Our Lord and his Blessed Mother. The day concludes with lunch and the Annual Rose Dinner.
An Approved Pilgrimage
H.E. Reverend Monsignor Jean Laffitte, Prelate of the Order of Malta, has commented on participation in the Pilgrimage for Life. He wrote, “I have reviewed the plans for the Pilgrimage for Life and approve the Pilgrimage as a worthy activity of the Order, the American Association and its members: Culture of Life is truly an important focus area for our Order.”