33rd Ceremony of Investiture of the Knights of Malta (KMFAP) on the 10th February 2018 in Florida, USA
A serious preparation preceded the 33rd Ceremony of Investiture of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, Federation of the Autonomous Priories (KMFAP) with the significant assistance of the Bailiwick of Florida, which was held on the 10th of February 2018 in Miami, Florida, USA.

In the 1960s, 70s and 80s the HQ of the Knights of Malta (KMFAP) was seated in the United States, New York, and this period was a real golden age in the modern history of the Order. The extraordinary state of grace was due to the 26 years of great work of H.M.E.H. Patriarch Lorenzo De Valitch, Grand Master, whom had an extremely active and at the highest level recognized (also in official form several times) activities, when many prestigious personalities of the American society became respected members of our Knightly Order. Numerous documents prove that they were always very proud of their knighthood in their lives, and by their personality and actions further strengthened the rank and reputation of the Order. Most of them, unfortunately, have since passed away. These special people are among our great predecessors, who serve as examples for today’s generations. It is their and our Grand Master’s merit that the US Congress commemorated three occasions in the agenda of the sessions about the Sovereign Order of Cyprus (1967, 1973) and the Knights of Malta (1984), which we consider to be a great honour. The official releases (Congressional Records) can be viewed here as well as on our website – which are stored in our precious documents. In their closing parts, there are respectable lists of members of the Order at that time. Thanks to the community media, some of our former knights, or their descendants have found our Order, so we could establish a relationship with many people today too.

(This time it is important to recall that our late Grand Master, H.M.E.H. Lorenzo De Valitch - patriarch, who achieved huge prestige and was making an excellent and productive work in the European countries and in the USA – was the hero of the French resistance movement and was honoured by the Légion d'honneur. After his death, the main scene of the Order’s activity came to Europe, where the life of the Order continued with the active operation of the Italian Grand Priory. Then, from the year 2000 onwards, the location of the KMFAP activity was re-transferred, this time to Central Europe, where – thanks to the committed knights’ approach, devoted and effective work of the Hungarian and Slovak dames and knights, and not least to the long-standing concept of H.M.E.H. Prince José - Grand Master and of his deputy, H.G. George Popper as well as thanks to the opening to the region and beyond the new overseas countries the Order’s recognition has continued to grow. This historical scale of development and change has undoubtedly greatly contributed to the dynamic operation of KMFAP to this day.)

In this spirit, the candidates and organizers were preparing for the inaugural ceremony, this time in one of the most exclusive locations in Miami, in the Presidential Suite of the Hotel InterContinental, nicely decorated with the symbols of the Order.

H.G. George Popper, Lieutenant General of the Grand Master in his welcoming speech emphasized the main activity of the Knights of Malta – the humanitarian work. Then he gave a short report about the history of KMFAP, which was listened to with great attention by the candidates. Then the nominees to Knighthood received their postulant diploma and the “Code of Chivalry”. The introduction of Postulants was this time also the task of their godparents, who proposed them. The inauguration was held in accordance with the regular protocol, taking into account the knightly traditions, and with the effective collaboration of our American and Hungarian knights.

After the marching in of all postulants, followed by the knights and dames, and then the officers of the Order, the American and the KMFAP anthem were listened. The attendees represented the following countries: USA, Venezuela, Panama, Cuba, Italy, Hungary and Japan.

Right before the investiture, Sir James Angleton – Bailiff of Florida read H.M.E.H. Prince José, the Grand Master’ message to the postulants, wherein he provided spiritual support to the new knights, who a few minutes later wore the knightly symbols: the eight-pointed neck cross and the knight’s mantle.

The ceremony was carried out by H.G. George Popper, according to the powers and responsibilities assigned to him by the Grand Master. During the ceremony five new knights joined the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, Federation of the Autonomous Priories (KMFAP).

New Knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem:
• Sir Alfredo MOLEDO JULIÁ (Cuba)
• Sir Roberto MUÑOZ (Venezuela)
• Sir Ignacio Enrique OBERTO ANSELMI (Venezuela)
• Sir Luis Alfonso OBERTO ANSELMI (Venezuela)
• Sir Juan Jose RENDON DELGADO (Venezuela)

Congratulations and we are proud of our new knights, who – without exception – are great and extremely successful people with their lives and achievements, so far to be worthy of this honourable acknowledgment. Dear new knights, be welcome among your Brethren!

Subsequently, it was announced that the Florida Bailiwick was promoted to Priory, in view of the excellent work done so far, and the increasing number of knights in the region. H.G. George Popper handed over the appointment documents to Sir James Angleton, Prior of Florida.

After thanks were rendered to all contributing members – Sir James Angleton, Sir Massimiliano Turi, Sir Manuel Gonzales, Lady Anna Popper, Sir Péter Polyák, Mrs. Fanni Sárközy – for organizing this successful and memorable, a wonderful reception took place in the hotel’s separate room for all guests and participants.

12th March 2018