VATICAN CITY —  The Order of Malta elected Fra Giacomo Dalla Torre as their new Grand Master in the latest move in the ongoing reform of their leadership, on which the bulk of his one-year mandate will focus on.

Announced in an April 29 communiqué from the order, the election of Dalla Torre was the result of the Order of Malta’s daylong “Council Complete of State,” which fell shortly after the resignation of the Order’s former Grand Master, Matthew Festing, earlier this year.

Dalla Torre will swear an official oath before Archbishop Giovanni Becciu, the Pope’s special delegate to the Order, and members of the “Council Complete of State” that elected him Sunday, April 30, at the church of Santa Maria in Aventino.

Even though he's currently concluding a two-day trip to Egypt, Pope Francis was the first to be informed of Dalla Torre’s election through a letter. Notice was then given to other members and entities of the Order, including the 106 States with whom they currently hold diplomatic relations.

According to the Order’s communiqué, Dalla Torre will serve as Grand Master for a mandate of one year, and will work closely with the Order’s Sovereign Council to advance their humanitarian work and to strengthen the spiritual life of the Order.

The new Grand Master was born in Rome in 1944 and is an expert in art and art history. He holds a degree
in philosophy from the University of Rome, with a specialization in Christian Archaeology and Art History.
He later began teaching courses in Classic Greek at the Pontifical Urbanianum University in Rome, and was eventually named head of their library and their chief archivist for important collections.

Dalla Torre entered the Order of Malta in 1985 and made his solemn vows as a professed knight in 1993. From 1994-1999 he served as Grand Prior of Lombardy and Venice, and from 1999-2004 was a member of the Sovereign Council.

In 2004, he was elected Grand Commander, and after the death of the 78th Grand Master Fra' Andrew Bertie, he stood in as interim Lieutenant. He has served as Grand Prior of Rome since 2008.