Source: Melita Historica : A Scientific Review of Maltese History. 5(1968)1(70-71)

Annales de l’Ordre Souverain de Malte, V. XXVI (1968), n. 4 pp. 89-126.

The Annales de l’Ordre Souverain Militaire de Malte is a quarterly publication edited by the Chancery of the Order of Malta in Rome. The contents of this last issue ought to be given for convenience of information: They are: Luis Alberto ACUÑA: “Un caballero de Malta en la antigua historia de Colombia”; Alessandro BONNICI, O.F.M.Conv.: “Evoluzione storico-giuridica dei poteri dell’Inquisitore nei processi in materia di Fede contro i Cavalieri del Sovrano Ordine di Malta ― Parte Prima (1561-1614)”; “What a Pilgrim saw at Rhodes” (texts selected and translated by Prince CHARLES OF SCHWARZENBERG); EDMOND CANTER: “L’Icône de Notre-Dame [p.71] Dame de Philerme dans l’iconographie orientale”; and G.E. CALAPAJ: “La Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista, detta di Malta, in Messina.”

L.A. Acuña (pp. 89-91) deals with that knightly figure “don Pedro Brado de Acuña” who served the Order of St. John between 1560 and 1606 not only in his country Spain, but also in the Mediterranean where he took part in several skirmishes but especially in the naval battle of Lepanto where he fought side by side with his intimate friend Cervantes Saavedra. Don Pedro Brado distinguished himself against Sir Francis Drake’s incursions on Cadiz and Columbia (Venezuela) which latter country as Governor he strongly fortified and projected a sea passage joining the Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean, a dream which preceded centuries the opening of the Panama istmus.

A. Bonnici (pp. 92-102) contributes an article on the historical-legal development of the Inquisitor’s powers in the proceedings on matters of faith against the Knights of St. John in Malta. Obviously this work is the fruit of careful research. It is clear that it was prepared when the author was away from Malta, and then completed by consulting the rich Archives extant in Malta on the subject. For the first fifty years of the Malta Inquisition, local Archives are far from satisfactory. As a result of this, the Author had to make an abundant use of many Archives scattered across the city of Rome. The argument dealt is really important. In fact the official historians of the Order are not always objective when they write about the relations of the Knights with the Inquisitors of Malta.

Ch. of Schwarzenberg (pp. 103-106) translated into English a description of the voyage made by Lord John of Lobkowicz in 1505 to the Holy Land. He remained very edified with the works which the Knights of St. John were carrying out in the island of Rhodes and remained impressed with the figure of Grand Master d’Aubusson.

E. Ganter's notes (pp. 107-111) on the icon of our Lady of Philermos complement the article of Joseph Camilleri in the present issue.

G. Calapai (pp. 112-121) gives a historical account, accompanied with prints of original ilustrations, of the Knights of St. John Church in Messina which was dedicated to the Patron Saint of the Order. The author believes that the Church was the first Priory of the Order in Europe. Throughout the centuries this Church and Priory became the centre of many activities performed by the Knights. In 1591 Grand Master Verdala contributed large sums of money for its rebuilding. It was very badly damaged during the 1908 earthquake and what remains today is the facade and parts of the internal structure.

Andrew Vella.