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WHAT IS THE ORDER OF MALTA?
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, commonly called The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), or simply the Order of Malta, or the Hospitallers, is the oldest order of chivalry in the world. Over the past 900 years, since its foundation in Jerusalem in 1099, it has provided constant service in the alleviation of suffering among the poor and the sick throughout the world.
The Order is recognised in international law as a sovereign entity. It maintains diplomatic relations with 107 states, and it has permanent observer status in the United Nations. This recognition supports and protects the Order in maintaining its humanitarian missions throughout the world, particularly in areas of extreme conflict.
Local Associations of the Order, in many countries including Ireland, not only support the international humanitarian missions but also provide local emergency medical services and training, and support to the vulnerable in society. The volunteer members of the Order’s Ambulance Corps, who are trained in first aid and in providing emergency medical services, provide invaluable assistance to the Order’s mission in Ireland.