Message of the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta (KMFAP) in Times of War

“It’s the tragedy of our times that lunatics must lead the blind.” 
(William Shakespeare, in King Lear Act 4 Scene 1)

In times of War we must defend Peace more vigorously. 

Our federation – the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, Federation of the Autonomous Priories (KMFAP) – both as an Order and as a Sovereign State is by definition and by its Constitutional law: Neutral, Supranational and Multi-Confessional, never fights against anybody or anything, but always fights for the principles we defend - in this case fighting for Peace -, however neutrality does not mean disinterest or detachment from reality, therefore, in accordance with our principles, this message will consist of a brief meditation about War and Peace, so each one of our Knights and Dames can draw their own conclusions. 


The truth is that states historically start wars against other states with two main objectives: the first aim is to steal (to steal territorial possessions, valuable goods or precious commodities of the attacked states), the second is to gain power or influence over the others or over a region, but of course, the attackers always create or invent a good cause or an excuse for the wars they started, causes such as Religion, Freedom of the populations they attack and defence of their own territory or culture and civilization. For this effect, the attackers always create a nice story, which is most often a script based on lies, on false excuses or on distorted “historical” facts. 

Mainly a state only starts a war against another state when it is sure of winning that war, so we frequently see the strong attacking the weak and the result of these attacks are the tragedies that history clearly tells, from the ancient to the recent times. 

Most wars are provoked or started by dictators or tyrants, and they all share a few traits in common: they all have huge egos, and they all create a cult of their own personalities around them.
Dictators and tyrants usually have a tragic end, as history shows us, from Julius Caesar to Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, or Mussolini among so many others who convince themselves that they have a place in history in the Gallery of Great Men, but history has place reserved for them in its Gallery of Great Villains... 
These dictators are generally ridiculous men, theatrically pathetic, most of them with funny hairstyles, other with laughable moustaches or pathetic faces where the Botox replaces the wrinkles brought by age, but they all have other characteristics in common, such as their poor relationship with truth and no empathy for the suffering, pain and distress of people, so to serve their personal interests – or their big egos – they do not care about causing millions of deaths and incredible sufferance and misery, someone once said that “the wolf doesn’t concern himself with opinions of the sheep...”. 

Those who make war spend millions each minute making armament or weaponry – usually to kill poor and vulnerable people – millions that should be spent in favour of the well-being and progress of their people, and we know that there are no wars without weapons, neither weapons without wars... Mia Couto, the Mozambican writer, once wrote that “… in War the poor are the first to be killed and in Peace the poor are the first to die”. 


“Peace is not the absence of War, Peace is the absence of Violence” so, as misery, starvation, disrespect for human rights, corruption, poor education and health care, environmental destruction, abuse of power and intolerance of all kinds are forms of violence, we cannot say that we live in peace, but the armed conflicts only contribute to make everything worse. 

It is quite strange that the environmental groups and respective activists, who cry out loud in peacetime that everything is harmful and disruptive to the environment, never show their face nor make their voice heard in wartime, being a fact that the military conflicts have tragic results of all kinds for the environment... 

Only Peace can bring true Freedom; 
Only Peace can bring Progress; 
Only Peace can bring better Education and Health Care; 
Only Peace can bring respect for the Human Dignity and Human Rights; 
Only Peace can bring Happiness; 
Only in Peace we can protect the Environment! 

For all the above said it is the obligation of each and every one of the KMFAP Knights and Dames to fight for attaining and preserving Peace and in times of War to help and support the victims, whoever they are, wherever they are. As Miguel Cervantes said in his book through the words of Don Quixote: “it is not the responsibility of Knights (…) to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road, are reduced to these circumstances and suffer this distress for their vices, or for their virtues: the Knight’s sole responsibility is to succour them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds”. 

Magisterial House, 28th February 2022 

His Most Eminent Highness Prince José 
Grand Master and Head of the State