Pie postulatio voluntatis

Pie postulatio voluntatis (English: The Most Pious Request) is a papal bull issued on 15 February 1113 by Pope Paschal II, in which the Pope formally recognized the establishment of the Knights Hospitaller and confirmed its independence and sovereignty. Today, the document is preserved at the National Library of Malta in Valletta, Malta.


The origins of the Knights Hospitaller go back to around 1048, when the Fatimid Caliph Al-Mustansir Billah gave permission to merchants from the Republic of Amalfi to build a hospital in Jerusalem. The community which ran the hospital became independent during the First Crusade in around 1099, under the leadership of Grand Master Blessed Gerard.[1]

The bull

The bull is preserved at the National Library of Malta in Valletta

Pope Paschal II granted the bull to the Blessed Gerard on 15 February 1113. In it, the Pope formally recognized the foundation of the Hospital, which became a lay-religious order under the sole protection of the Church. The bull gave the Order the right to elect its Grand Masters without interference from external authorities. The knights of the Order were bound by three vows: poverty, chastity and obedience.[1]

The bull was the basis of the independence of the Order, and it still serves as the legal base of the sovereignty of its present-day successor, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM).[2][dubious ]

The document is preserved at the National Library of Malta in Valletta, Malta.[2]


The 900th anniversary of the papal bull was commemorated by the SMOM with a two-day International Conference in Rome, which was attended by around 5000 people. The conference began on 7 February 2013, and it ended on 9 February with a mass held by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone at St. Peter's Basilica.[3] The branches of the SMOM around the world also commemorated the anniversary with a number of initiatives.[2]

Poste Magistrali, the Order's postal service, issued a set of two stamps[4] and Malta's postal authority MaltaPost issued a miniature sheet to commemorate the anniversary.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b "960 years of history". Order of Malta. Archived from the original on 9 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Nine hundred years since the recognition by Pope Paschal II". Order of Malta. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015.
  3. ^ "900 Years of Faith in Action: 1113-2013, the Bull of Pascal II" (PDF). Melitensia. Malta Study Center: 4. Fall 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 13, 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Emissione 443 – IX Centenario della Bolla di Papa Pasquale II". Order of Malta (in Italian).[dead link]
  5. ^ "MaltaPost to Commemorate the Papal Bull 9th Centenary" (PDF). MaltaPost. 12 February 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 December 2015.

External links

  • Text of the bull in English