The National Day of the Sovereign Order of Malta was celebrated in Sofia

11:22ч / 26.06.2023г
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The national holiday of the Sovereign Order of Malta is celebrated on June 24, the day of its patron Saint John the Baptist. On this occasion, two days earlier, H.E. Ms. Ursula Höfler Zuccoli, Ambassador of the Order for Bulgaria, gave a reception in Sofia Hotel Balkan. The reception was attended by ambassadors, diplomats, Princess Kalina with her husband Kitin Muñoz, public figures, intellectuals, journalists.

A speech on the occasion of the holiday was delivered by H.E. Mrs. Ursula Höfler Zuccoli:

“Your Royal Highness, Your Excellencies, dear colleagues, distinguished guests, dear friends,

I am very pleased and honoured to received you for our annual feast of Saint John the Baptist, Patron of the Order of Malta. Thank you very much for coming.

This year we have a new Grand Master Frà John Dunlap, elected on last 3th of May. He is the first Professed Knight from North America to be elected as head of the Order. To him our most fervent wish for his high mission.

Our bilateral relations are excellent and our intention is to further strengthen cooperation in the diplomatic and the humanitarian and social field, as well as the promotion of our common shared Christian values.

Our gratitude goes to the Bulgarian authorities to whom all I renew our appreciation for availability and for the spirit of constructive common work. The same is valid for our close collaboration with the Catholic church in Bulgaria but also with the Bulgarian orthodox church and the Muslim community.

It has been a year of intense work for us, during the hard winter because of rising prices of the food, the Embassy has distributed 1500 packages of basic products in 15 different localities, most of them in North Bulgaria.

Our work with disadvantaged children living in family type centres is continuing, we are preparing the traditional Summer Creative holidays at the Black sea for 60 children.

During the year we have organized different activities for their free time like going to cinema, climbing, excursions, meetings with famous sport people and singers.

The Embassy distributed clothes, shoes, blankets and other necessary materials for the better life of these children.

We ran a program of professional orientation for the youngsters that are near 18 years old to help them to integrate in the real life. Our first participant ended with success the program.

Our newest project is a football training for Roma kids in Fakulteta.

This year we donated also a medical device for virtual rehabilitation called Nirvana for the specialized hospital in Stara Zagora. It is the third type of this equipment existing in Bulgaria.

All of these could not be possible without the support and help of our donators and sponsors, partners, volunteers and stuff. To all of them I express my hearty and deep gratitude and thanks.

The interventions of the Order of Malta support the people in need in all over the world, today we maintain diplomatic relations with 112 states which supports our humanitarian activity.

Recently the Order of Malta is promoting the so-called faith-based diplomacy, which emphasizes dialogue, mutual respect and understanding in a globalized world when sometimes the limits of conventional diplomacy are increasingly evident. Our action moves in parallel on two levels: that of international and religious diplomacy and that of interventions in the field. One very clear example are the interventions in the medical-social sphere to help the victims of the war in Ukraine both in the country and in the neighbouring states.

Now I rise the cup to the health of all of you and wish you a pleasant evening!”

From right to left: Tanya Mihaylova, director of the Diplomatic Institute; His Excellency Ms. Zakia El Midaoui, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco; behind her is the journalist Georgi Mitov, President of the Association of Spanish-speaking Journalists in Bulgaria; H.E. Mrs. Ursula Höfler Zuccoli; Princess Kalina and her husband Kitin Muñoz, and the journalist Gergina Dvoretzka, President of Europe and the World Foundation

A quartet of soloists from the Classic Chamber Orchestra took care of the good mood of the guests.

The quartet of soloists of the Classic Chamber Orchestra: Rumyana Petrova – flute, Mario Yotsov – piano, Estir Shishkova – viola, Boyan Tsonev – cello

Explanations for the photos in the gallery to the publication: 1. H.E. Mrs. Ursula Höfler Zuccoli delivers a speech during the reception, 2. A moment from the reception, 3. Kitin Muñoz, HE. Mrs. Ursula Höfler Zuccoli, Princess Kalina, the journalist Georgi Mitov, 4. General Director of BNR Milen Mitev (right) and the journalist Vladimir Dvoretzky, 5. Kitin Muñoz and the journalist Slavena Ilieva, 6. Quartet from Classic Chamber Orchestra

You can see more photos from the event here.

Our team thanks the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Bulgaria for providing the speech of H.E. Mrs. Ursula Höfler Zuccoli.