The Order of Malta has elected Fra’ Marco Luzzago as Lieutenant of the Grand Master, serving a one-year term before another election is held.
Forty-four members of the order’s Council Complete of State met in Rome over the weekend to elect a replacement for the late Grand Master, Fra’ Giacomo dalla Torre, who died in April.
Rather than elect Luzzago Grand Master, a position held for life, the council chose to elect him to a one-year position. While serving a lieutenant, he will hold all the prerogatives of a Grand Master until the next election.
Twelve of the 56 eligible electors were unable to attend the election due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Luzzago was born in Brescia in 1950 and studied medicine before managing his family’s properties. He then had a career in retail distribution. He joined the Order of Malta in 1975 and took solemn vows in 2003.
In a statement after his election, Luzzago said: “The Holy Spirit has graciously turned his gaze to me. I thank each one of you for placing your trust in me and for showing by your presence here today a great love and a great dedication to our Order.”
“For my part, I can only assure you of my maximum commitment to address the challenges that lie ahead of us in the coming months. First of all, the reform of the Constitutional Charter and the Code carried on with such fervour by our late Fra’ Giacomo, whom at this moment I remember with emotion.”
Luzzago’s election comes as the Order continues to debate reforms to its constitution. The order has been in a constitutional crisis since Pope Francis compelled the resignation of Fra’ Matthew Festing as Grand Master in 2017.
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