Pope Francis met with the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra' Matthew Festing at the Vatican.
In a short briefing, they talked about the conflict in Syria and the Order's humanitarian activities in the Middle East and Africa.
Fra' Matthew Festing also introduced several members of the Order's newly elected Government to the Pope.
"He coordinates of all our works around the world”.
Pope Francis gave them a copy of his apostolic exhortation 'Evangelii Gaudium' and rosaries. They finished their gathering praying together a Hail Mary in Latin.
Then the Pope blessed the group and made them his traditional petition.
"Pray for me!”
The Order of Malta was founded in 1048 and has 13,500 members, as well as 80,000 volunteers and 25,000 employees. It works in 120 countries, giving medical and social assistance in countries struggling with armed conflicts and natural catastrophes. It also runs thousands of hospitals in the world.
Every year its Grand Master meets with the Pope marking the feast St. John the Baptist, the Order's patron.