The 2017 Ball Beneficiary
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Name of Bank: Bank Zachodni WBK S.A.
Address: Rynek 9/11, PL – 50-950 Wrocław
Bank department: 21 Oddział w Warszawie, ul. Ordynacka 11, PL – 00-358 Warszawa
Account number IBAN: PL 40 1090 1883 0000 0001 1344 9206, BIC: WBKPPLPP
With the reference: Beneficiary 2017
Account name: Stowarzyszenie POKOLENIA POKOLENIA
Address: ul. Sobieskiego 104, lokal 44, PL − 02-764 Warszawa
Polish Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, also known as the Order of Malta, evolved from the brotherhood of Amalfi that in the eleventh century built a hospital in Jerusalem to help the sick, homeless and pilgrims. After the conquest of Jerusalem by the First Crusade, apart from continuing its charity work, the Order provided military protection to the new Kingdom of Jerusalem and Christians attacked by the surrounding Muslim countries.
Although the Order is mainly known for its military activities, which they dropped after the loss of Malta in 1798, in our contemporary society, they dedicate their energy and time to humanitarian causes. It is the eldest European philanthropic institution. Its Latin motto is:
Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium pauperum
The Order of Malta is also a sovereign entity of international law and a religious order, subject to the Holy Father. The actual head of the Order is Lieutenant of the Grand Master H.E. Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto.
Poland is one among over 100 countries that maintain formal diplomatic relations with the Order. The Ambassador of the Order to Poland is His Excellency Vincenzo Manno.
Maltese tradition in Poland dates back to the twelfth century. It is associated with the patrimony of Prince Henry of Sandomierz in Zagość near Sandomierz, which was irretrievably destroyed during Mongolian invasion, and the second patrimony, of Prince Mieszko The Third The Old and bishop Radwan in Poznań, which existed till 1832 when it was abolished by Prussian invaders. The Polish Knights of Malta in the First Republic of Poland belonged to the Great Priory of Czech and Moravia, and thus to the German Language (the division into eight languages was introduced during the existence of the monastic state of Rhodes and lasted until the seventies of the nineteenth century). In 1774 the Great Priory of Poland and Lithuania was formed. It belonged to the Anglo-Bavarian Language and was banned after the Third Partition of Poland.
Following Poland’s regaining its independence in 1918, on 21st June 1920, the Polish knights of Malta formed the Association of the Polish Knights of Malta, which was approved by the Order’s Authorities in Rome on 27th June 1927. During the interwar period, the knights conducted charity work in hospitals in Rychtal, Rybnik and Ołyka. The Sanitary Corps was established in 1939. The intention of the founders was to link Polish Maltese Hospitals with the military structures within Poland i.e. District Command Posts.
On 7th September 1939, the Maltese military hospital was established in Warsaw. It provided medical assistance to victims and the sick during the siege of the Capital City of Warsaw at the time of German occupation and the Warsaw Uprising. The commander of the hospital was a Maltese knight Stanisław Lipkowski-Milewski.
From 1945 to 1989 the Order of the Knights of Malta could not officially conduct any operations in Poland, despite the fact of its emigration structure engaged in charitable and humanitarian aid in Poland.
On 17th October 1992, the first assemblage of the Association of Polish Knights of Malta after the Second World War took place at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, thus, starting a new stage in the independent Poland. The current President of the Polish Association is His Excellency Jerzy Baehr.
The first institution that carried out the humanitarian vocation of the Order of Malta in Poland was the Outpatient Oncology Clinic called the “Maltese Aid” near the Parish of St. John of Jerusalem outside the Walls in Poznań. It has been operating for 20 years in the rooms provided by the parish and currently continues its activities in The Maltese Aid Centre, the “Komandoria” opened on 24th June 2013. It has a Geriatric Centre, a day-care centre for children from less fortunate families, and therapy workshops.
Three foundations of the Association of the Polish Knights of Malta have their offices in Poznań, Warszawa and Kraków. They coordinate the work of the community self-help centre in Puszczykowo, therapy workshops in Poznań, The Maltese Aid Centre “Komandoria”, a hospital for comatose patients in Barczewo, a nursing home for the mentally challenged in Szyldak and medical equipment and rehabilitation rental centres in Radom, Płock, Kozienice and Żabia Wola. In the seven centres in Poland a program is being implemented to support those with motor disabilities to find employment.
The Maltese Family Support Centre for Children with Disabilities and Their Families in Krakow is one of the best-known works of the Association of the Polish Knights of Malta. There is also a Kinder Garden and an Autism Outpatient Clinic associated with the Centre. It has now become a tradition to organise the annual Maltese Pilgrimage to Lourdes for people with disabilities and the sick. Closely associated with the structures of the Polish Association is Maltese Medical Service, which trains young followers in providing medical help especially during religious and sports events and pilgrimages.
Every year a Summer Camp for children and youth with disabilities is organised in Szczyrzyc.
The Association of the Polish Knights of Malta actively helps victims of natural disasters and armed conflicts. It organised help for the victims of floods in Poland, victims of Tsunami in the Indian Ocean, victims of the earthquake in Haiti and war victims in Georgia and Ukraine.
The chaplains who, among other things, organise retreats and pilgrimages to Jasna Góra and Gietrzwałd, fulfil the spiritual formation of the members of the Order.
The annual International Summer Camp for Disabled Youth of the Order of Malta, also known in Poland as the “Little Malta” (“Mała Malta”), plays a major role in promoting the Maltese concept among the youth. During the weekly stay, disabled and non-disabled participants, regardless of nationality and religion get to know each other while taking part in games and workshops, competing against each other in sports or meet during prayers coordinated by the Camp chaplain and the chaplains of national groups. The Camp is an effect of a yearly work of an organizing committee from a host country and national teams, which take part in the Camp. Poland hosted the International Summer Camp twice, the first time in 1996 in Wągrowiec, and the second in 2006 in Piekary near Krakow. Both events were considered a huge success. In 2016 Poland will be hosting the International Summer Camp for the third time, again in Piekary near Krakow. The Association of the Polish Knights of Malta is also getting ready to provide the aid service for the participants of the World Youth Days, which will take place in Krakow in July 2016 and are preparing for the visit of Pope Francis during this meeting.
According to tradition, Great Master Pierre d’ Aubusson placed an inscription in Greek on the gate in Rhodes, known to Christians as the Gate of St. Catherine and to the Turks as the Market Gate, which read: “Pallin Darro” meaning “Destroyed, I rise again”. The inscription can be successfully applied to the actions of the Order, which although often stood on the brink of collapse, always rose again while facing new challenges and helping those in need.