• In 1113, the Hospitallers received papal recognition from Pope Paschal II
  • This papal bull is often referred to as Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
  • The bull gave the Order the absolute right to ensure the continuation of its work
  • The document is preserved in the National Library of the Republic of Malta
Pope Paschal II

Pope Paschal II

In 1113, just over 900 years ago, the Order of Malta was given papal recognition by Pope Paschal II. At the time, the Order of Malta was still known as the Hospitallers.

Founded over half a century earlier, the Hospitallers were a monastic community housed at the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, taking care of its poor and sick.

The papal bull recognizing the Hospitallers is called Pie Postulatio Voluntatis, which are also the first few words of its main text. Pie Postulatio Voluntatis established the basis for the Order of Malta’s sovereignty and independence. This is why the Order can be known as the Sovereign Order of Malta, even today.

Battle of Hattin in 1187

The Knights Hospitaller in the 13th century

Thanks to this papal privilege, the Hospitallers were able to grow freely as a lay and religious order.

The Order was also given the authority to elect, in due time, a successor to its founder and first Grand Master, Blessed Fra’ Gerard. This ensured the continuation of the Order’s work and its service to the poor and sick in Jerusalem, which had already begun to spread into Europe.

Today, Pie Postulatio Voluntatis is preserved in the National Library of the Republic of Malta.