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The Federation, III
 

On the 25th of July, 1955, H.R. & I.H. Prince Nicholas signed the Decree of the new Constitution.

On the 3rd of August, 1962, the Hereditary Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order of Cyprus, His Excellency Count Michael Paul Pierre De Valitch, pledged allegiance to the Grand Master of the Union of Autonomous United Priories, H.R. & I.H. Prince Nicholas.

On the 22nd of February 1966, the already aging Grand Master H.R. & I.H. Prince Nicholas signed the Magisterial Letters Patent regulating the succession process and instituting the Hereditary Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order of Cyprus, His Excellency Count Michael Paul Pierre De Valitch as Grand Master Lieutenant General of the Union of Autonomous United Priories with the right to succeed him.

On the year 1968, His Eminent Highness Count Michael Paul Pierre De Valitch, in religion Lorenzo, took Holy Orders and was consecrated Bishop of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, Jurisdiction of New York.

On the 3rd of July 1977, Prince La Chastre, the Hereditary Grand Prior of the Priory of the Most Holy Trinity of Villedieu, a prominent member of the Autonomous United Priories,  instituted His Eminent Highness Archbishop-Count Lorenzo De Valitch as Hereditary Prior Procurator General of the Grand Priory of the Villedieu.

On the 18th of August 1977, His Eminent Highness Archbishop Count Lorenzo De Valitch signed the transfer and the institution of the Magisterial See of the Autonomous United Priories in the City of New York. On the 23rd of August, 1977, the Attorney General of the State of New York, Louis J. Lefkowitz, granted Judicial Approval to the Union of Autonomous United Priories under the English translated title of “Federation of Autonomous Priories of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta.”

On the same date, His Honor Alfred M. Ascione, Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Juridical District, approved this act.

On the 7th of April, 1992, His Eminent Highness Archbishop Lorenzo De Valitch, Titular Archbishop of Ephesus, Prince Grand Master of the “Federation of Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta”, Hereditary Grand Chancellor of the “Sovereign Order of Cyprus”, and Hereditary Prior Procurator General of the “Priory of the Most Holy Trinity of Villedieu of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta”, victim of an illness of mental dysfunction was declared mentally incompetent by the Supreme Court of New York, and placed under the care of the Primate Metropolitan See of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, Jurisdiction of New York.

In accordance with the norms established on the Motu Proprio of the 7th of April, 1968, of His Eminent Highness Archbishop Prince Lorenzo De Valitch, which regulates that the succession of the Hereditary Grand Chancellorship of the Sovereign Order of Cyprus pass on to the Primate Metropolitan See of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, Jurisdiction of New York, His Eminent Highness Archbishop Prince Lorenzo De Valitch was discharged on the 1st of October, 1992, from His Office of Hereditary Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order of Cyprus by his rightfully successor, His Beatitude Dom Lorenzo, O.S.B., Patriarch and Primate Metropolitan of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, Jurisdiction of New York.

On the 21st of January, 1994, de Motu Proprio and in accordance with the Constitution of the 3rd of July, 1977, of Prince La Chastre, who established that at the death or mental impairment of the Hereditary Prior Procurator General of the Priory of the Most Holy Trinity of Villedieu of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, the succession should rest on the Primate Metropolitan See of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, Jurisdiction of New York, His Eminent Highness Archbishop  Prince Lorenzo De Valitch was relieved from His Office of Hereditary Prior Procurator General of the Priory of Villedieu by his rightful successor, His Beatitude Dom Lorenzo, O.S.B., Patriarch and Primate Metropolitan of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, Jurisdiction of New York.

On the 22nd of January, 1994, in the City of Naxxar, Malta, in front  of a large assembly of Knights of the Federation, His Eminent Highness Archbishop Prince Lorenzo De Valitch was liberated from His Office of Prince Grand Master of the Federation of Autonomous Priories of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, by his rightful successor, His Beatitude Dom Lorenzo, O.S.B., Patriarch and Primate Metropolitan of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, Jurisdiction of New York.

For respect and affection to His predecessor, His Eminent Highness and Beatitude Dom Lorenzo, O.S.B. expressed the desire  to use “pro tempore” the title of Regent of the Federation, without renouncing, hindering, diminishing or affecting any and all of his own hereditary rights, obligations, privileges and prerogatives.

On June 24th, 1994, during the celebration of the festivity of Saint John, His Eminent Highness and Beatitude the Prince Regent, promulgated and signed the decree of the commencement of an interregnum, during which the political and hospitaller structure of the Order should be reassessed to be properly updated according to the needs of the times and to expedite the return of the Order to the standards of its glorious pass. On the same date and act, H.E.H. The Prince Regent signed and proclaimed the actual Constitutional Charter of the Federation which will be in force for the full period of the Interregnum.

By a public act that took place on the 07th of December of 2002, during a Ceremony in the city of Bologna, Italy, His Eminent Highness and Beatitude Dom Lorenzo made the Lieutenant General of The Federation Count Sir J. Cosmelli, a Knight of Grand Collar and declared him as His Cousin and the Hereditary Successor of The Sovereign Order of Cyprus and of the Grand Priory of The Holy Trinity of Villedieu.

On the 22nd of October 2005, a few years after the decease of H.E.H. Archbishop Prince De Valich, during a ceremony that took place at the Royal Palace of Gödölö, in Hungary, His Eminent Highness and Beatitude Dom Lorenzo O.S.B.  was proclaimed Prince Grand Master of The Federation.  In the same day  and during the said ceremony H.E.H. declared by Magisterial Decree the period of Interregnum as concluded.

On the 14th of November 2005, after a sudden stroke, His Eminent Highness and Beatitude Dom Lorenzo O.S.B. passed away in the Hospital of Saint Vincent in the city of New York.

In accordance to the Constitucional Letter of The Federation on the 12th of February of 2006, in a meeting of Grand Council with electoral purposes, that took place in Lisbon, Portugal, being present all of its  members. His Excellency Count Sir J. M. Cosmelli GCC, then Lieutenant General of The Federation was voted by unanimity to succeed H.E.H. Dom Lorenzo OSB as Prince Regent of the Federation.

The new Regent, His Eminent Highness Prince Jose Cosmelli GCM, by His Magisterial Decree 01/06 of the 20th of February 2006 appointed Count Sir George Popper KGCM as Lieutenant General of The Federation, conceding him The Grand Collar of the Order of Cyprus, and they both started the vast work of reorganizing and renewing the Government of The Federation, as a State, and also of the structure of the Sovereign Order. On the same day and by His Magisterial Decree 01A/06, His Eminent Highness The Regent reactivated the Sovereign Order of Cyprus, also said of the Sward and Silence, one of the federated priories of The Federation, giving back to this Order its Historical duty and function of contributing to more Security in the World, fulfilling in this way the Historical Military vocation of the Knights of Saint John, also said of Malta. The rank of Executive Grand Chancellor of the Order of Cyprus was then given to His Grace Count Sir George Popper GCC Lieutenant General of The Federation.

On the 16th of September of 2006, in Hungary, His Eminent Highness the Prince Regent, appointed the first members of the New Ecumenical Council, being represented in this council several churches and religions such as the Roman Catholic, the Christian Protestant, the Jewish Faith and the Church of Eternal Life. Later a representative of the Moslem Faith was appointed.

On the 15th of November of 2007 in the city of Budapest, Hungary, a new meeting of the Grand Council, took place. All the members of The Grand Council were dully convoked in accordance with the existing legislation and 93% of it's members were present. The Grand Council decided to merge the Grand Council and the Magisterial Council in only one body under the name of Grand Magisterial Council and with the same broad composition as the actual Grand Council.

By proposal of His Grace the Lieutenant General, the members of the Grand Council have also analyzed the results of the last two years of Regency and, by unanimity and applause, have proclaimed His Most Eminent Highness Prince Jose, the Regent, as Grand Master, ratifying by this act the decisions taken during the Meeting for electoral purposes of the 12th February 2006.

The Constitutional Letter of the Federation given on the 24th of June 1994 to replace the existing old one, was reviewed, updated and modified by Magisterial Constitutional Decrees in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The growing prestige and credibility, both as a Sovereign Order and as a State, as well as its active Humanitarian Work, support to Development and to Culture, the valuable Health and Rescue activities in different parts of the World, lead several prestigious Orders and institutions to establish friendly relations, - this is the case of Pro Concordia Populorum Order -, to sign agreements of friendship and co-operation - as with the Ecumenical Knights of St. John, Spain, to join the Federation as Affiliated members - as the Ordo Hungariae, the Historical Hungarian Order -, or to work under its patronage as the Horus of Malta Spiritual Order.