Andrew Bertie

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His Most Eminent Highness
Fra' Andrew Bertie
Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta
Servant of God
Gianfranco-De-Meo Gran-Maestro-Fra-Andrew-Bertie g.jpg
78th Prince and Grand Master
Reign11 April 1988 – 7 February 2008
PredecessorFra' Angelo de Mojana, 77th Prince and Grand Master
SuccessorFra' Matthew Festing, 79th Prince and Grand Master
Born15 May 1929 (1929-05-15)
London, England, United Kingdom
Died7 February 2008(2008-02-07) (aged 78)
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Burial16 February 2008
Full name
Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie
DynastyBertie family
FatherLt. Cdr. the Hon. James Bertie
MotherLady Jean Crichton-Stuart

Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie (15 May 1929 – 7 February 2008) was Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta from 1988 until his death in 2008.

On 20 February 2015 a formal inquiry for the cause of his beatification and canonisation was opened in Rome.[1]

Early career[edit]

Bertie was born in London as the elder son of the James Bertie (youngest son of the 7th Earl of Abingdon) and Lady Jean Crichton-Stuart (daughter of the 4th Marquess of Bute). He was the fifth cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II, by common descent from King George III and his wife Charlotte Sophia.

He was educated at the English Roman Catholic public school, Ampleforth College, and graduated in Modern History from Christ Church, Oxford. He also attended the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. From 1948 to 1950, he carried out military service in the Scots Guards, becoming a commissioned officer in 1949. After a short experience in the commercial sector, he taught modern languages (particularly French and Spanish but also German, Dutch, Tibetan and Maltese) for twenty-three years at Worth School, a Benedictine public school in Sussex, England. He was a judo black belt and taught judo at Worth School.

Grand Master of the Order of Malta[edit]

Flags flying at half-staff over Palazzo di Malta, headquarters of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, after the death of the Grand Master Andrew Bertie
Fra' Andrew Bertie's arms
As knight of the Austrian branch of the Order of the Golden Fleece
As knight of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (Spain)

Bertie was admitted to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) in 1956. He became a Knight of Justice in the order by taking Perpetual Vows in 1981 (the equivalent of a monk).[2]

He also joined the government of the Order in 1981 as a member of the Sovereign Council, and in April 1988, he was elected Grand Master. Subsequently, he was Hospitaller of the Sanctuary of Lourdes, which is the annual pilgrimage site of SMOM.[3] He succeeded the late Angelo de Mojana, the Milanese nobleman who had served the Order as Grand Master since 1962 and accomplished a great deal of modernization to the organization. Although it is considered sovereign, the Order of Malta is also a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, so Bertie's election needed the ratification of Pope John Paul II, which was obtained on 11 April 1988.

Bertie described the aims of the Order as "to help the poor and the sick; that is and always has been our primary aim":

"The other military orders were there to fight the Saracens and to save Spain or the Holy Land or Prussia from the pagans. But we always had this special commitment to the poor and the sick. Our aims today are exactly the same as they were in 1099, the sanctification of our members through service to the sick."[3]

Personal life[edit]

Bertie never married or had children. He died in Rome from cancer on 7 February 2008, aged 78.

Ancestry[edit]

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Titles and style[edit]

His full title was: His Most Eminent Highness Fra' Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Most Humble Guardian of the Poor of Jesus Christ.[4]

Honours and awards[edit]

Honours[edit]

Awards[edit]

  • Path to Peace Award (2005)
  • Matteo Ricci Award (2006)

Honorary citizenships[edit]

Honorary degrees[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1,300 arrive in Rome for the mass and initiation of the cause of beatification of Fra' Andrew Bertie". Order of Malta. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Obituary: Fra Andrew Bertie". The Times. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Pope Mourns Fra Bertie, Grand Master of the Order of Malta". Radio Vaticana. 8 February 2008. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Fra' Andrew Bertie". Ampleforth College. Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Lithuanian Orders". Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  6. ^ "State Honours: Holders of the Order of the 1st Class White Double Cross". Slovak Republic. Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Royal Decree 887/1999 Andrew Bertie's induction as knight of the Collar of the Order of Isabella de Catholic". BOE Spanish Official Journal. Retrieved 9 February 2019.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Angelo de Mojana di Cologna
Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller
1988–2008
Succeeded by
Matthew Festing