English Pages, 31. 5. 2009
Your Highness, members of the Order,
on behalf of my wife and myself I would like to thank you for the possibility to meet with you, the highest representative of the Order of Malta, and for the friendly reception we received here. We appreciate it very much.
We are aware of the fact that the activities of the Sovereign Order of Malta have in the past affected, and in recent years are once again affecting, also my country – the Czech Republic. Many things have changed since the formation of the Order almost a millenium ago, but many of the original visions, ideas and goals of the Order remain relevant today, not less than 1000 years ago. The members of the Order of Malta are still faithful to their motto “Defense of faith and service to the poor”. It is still attractive for many people of the world what can be seen in the number of volunteers who are active within the Order’s structures.
The Grand Priory of Bohemia of the Order of Malta has existed practically continuously since the 12th century and this year is celebrating its 850th anniversary. It was active in Prague, Brno and other cities. It was never abolished nor was it ever subject to secularization. This is unique. The members of the Order, however, were frequently persecuted and in the last century both the Nazi and Communist regimes prohibited their functioning. Thanks to the personal courage and devotion of its members, the Order was able to preserve the meaning of its existence and after the fall of communism was able to renew its activities. People in the Czech Republic have once again become used to seeing the emblem of the Order at various charitable events.
We know that the Order of Malta was not only able to defend its existence, but that it has, as an entity of international law, contact with more than 100 countries in the world and is a members of many international organizations. It gives it a special importance.
Please, allow me one more time, Your Highness, to thank you for the invitation. I hope that you will also have the opportunity to visit our country soon. I wish the Sovereign Order of Malta all the best into the future, and to you personally much strength and devotion for this demanding position that you accepted last year, and, last but not least, all the best to the personal anniversary that you will celebrate in the following months.
Václav Klaus, Rome, 30. May 2009
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