The Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing, has sent a message of condolence to the French President François Hollande after the shocking attacks in Paris which took place last Friday, leaving 130 people dead and hundreds injured. In his letter the Grand Master stated “In this tragic moment I wish to express our sincere condolences, closeness and spiritual solidarity to the families of all the victims and to the people of France”.
“The government of the Sovereign Order of Malta strongly condemns this atrocity, firmly reiterating its opposition to all forms of violence. Terrorism is an enemy of mankind and a threat for the entire international community; we need to show our common determination to defend and protect our principles of peace, liberty and fraternity.”
Ordre de Malte France’s medical teams went into action in the hours after the attacks to bring first aid to the victims. The teams, consisting of 40 volunteers and 5 ambulances, were deployed in the attack areas. Besides medical assistance, the Ordre de Malte France’s volunteers also attempted to comfort and reassure survivors of the attacks, in an evident state of shock.
“It was very frightening, the medical outpost was like a field hospital during wartime,” said Raphaëlle Oudart, one of Ordre de Malte France’s volunteers. The teams worked flat out for six hours.
In a sign of solidarity, this morning the Order of Malta’s Grand Magistry flag flew at half mast.