Official Visit of the Grand Master of the Order of Malta to H.M. the King of Spain
It was the first time that an official visit was organized in the modern times. Its programme included a Royal Audience, visit to the organisms of the Order in Spain with some humanitarian projects, an official luncheon at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and two dinners organized by the Embassy
The King of Spain Felipe VI received the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta Fra’ Matthew Festing, during his official visit to Spain.
The ancient bonds of friendship between the Order of Malta and Spain were confirmed; their talks focussed on the international situation, the Order’s charitable work in Spain and shared projects in Central and South America.
Also present at the meeting were the Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager, the Secretary of State for European Affairs Fernando Eguidazu Palacios, the Ambassador of Spain to the Holy See and the Order of Malta Eduardo Gutiérrez Sáenz de Buruaga and the Order of Malta’s Ambassador to Spain Jean-Marie Musy.
During his official visit to Spain, Fra’ Matthew Festing inaugurated the new welfare initiative of the Order of Malta’s Spanish Association, the soup kitchen dedicated to St. John the Baptist. This new service brings the number of soup kitchens run by the Order of Malta in Spain to three – two in Madrid and the third in Seville. Overall they will deliver some 220,000 meals a year to people in difficulty. The Order also manages a warehouse in Madrid that distributes hundreds of items of clothing and shoes to people at risk of social exclusion, helping to satisfy their most elementary needs.