Giovanni Paolo Lascaris
|Grand Master of the Order of Saint John|
16 June 1636 –14 August 1657
|Monarch||King Philip III|
|Preceded by||Antoine de Paule|
|Succeeded by||Martin de Redin|
|Born||28 June 1560|
|Died||14 August 1657 (aged 97)|
|Resting place||St. John's Co-Cathedral|
|Profession||Grandmaster of the Knights of St. John|
Giovanni Paolo Lascaris di Ventimiglia e Castellar (28 June 1560 –14 August 1657) was an Italian nobleman and Grand Master of the Knights of Malta.
Ventimiglia is a city, comune (municipality) and bishopric in Liguria, northern Italy, in the province of Imperia. It is located 130 km (81 mi) southwest of Genoa, and 7 km (4 mi) from the French-Italian border, on the Gulf of Genoa, having a small harbour at the mouth of the Roia River, which divides the town into two parts. Ventimiglia's urban area has a population of 55,000.
Castellar is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.
Lascaris was born on 28 June 1560, the second son of Giannetto Lascaris and his wife Franceschetta di Agostino Lascaris of the ancient family of the Counts of Ventimiglia, related to the Lascaris who were emperors of the Byzantine Nicaean Empire.
Count (Male), or Countess (Female), is a historical title of nobility in certain European countries, varying in relative status, generally of middling rank in the hierarchy of nobility. The etymologically related English term, "county" denoted the land owned by a count. Equivalents of the rank of count exist or have existed in the nobility structures of some non-European countries, such as hakushaku during the Japanese Imperial era.
An emperor is a monarch, and usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife, mother, or a woman who rules in her own right. Emperors are generally recognized to be of a higher honour and rank than kings. In Europe, the title of Emperor has been used since the Middle Ages, considered in those times equal or almost equal in dignity to that of Pope due to the latter's position as visible head of the Church and spiritual leader of the Catholic part of Western Europe. The Emperor of Japan is the only currently reigning monarch whose title is translated into English as Emperor.
In 1584, he entered the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. As a member of the order he lived for over thirty years in a priory and was responsible for a range of monastic functions. He was put in charge of the order's grain supplies and later, in 1615, the order's furnaces across the island. He comported himself well and was promoted to master of the "St Anthony" prison.
A priory is a monastery of men or women under religious vows that is headed by a prior or prioress. Priories may be houses of mendicant friars or nuns, or monasteries of monks or nuns. Houses of canons regular and canonesses regular also use this term, the alternative being "canonry".
A grain is a small, hard, dry seed, with or without an attached hull or fruit layer, harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legumes.
A furnace is a device used for high-temperature heating. The name derives from Latin word fornax, which means oven. The heat energy to fuel a furnace may be supplied directly by fuel combustion, by electricity such as the electric arc furnace, or through induction heating in induction furnaces.
In 1632 he was sent as ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain.
An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high-ranking diplomat who represents a state and is usually accredited to another sovereign state or to an international organization as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment. The word is also often used more liberally for persons who are known, without national appointment, to represent certain professions, activities and fields of endeavor such as sales.
Habsburg Spain refers to Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries (1516–1700), when it was ruled by kings from the House of Habsburg. The Habsburg rulers reached the zenith of their influence and power. They controlled territory that included the Americas, the East Indies, the Low Countries and territories now in France and Germany in Europe, the Portuguese Empire from 1580 to 1640, and various other territories such as small enclaves like Ceuta and Oran in North Africa. This period of Spanish history has also been referred to as the "Age of Expansion".
On the death of Grand Master Antoine de Paule, there were three candidates for election as Grand Master; Lascaris, Signorino Gattinara (about whom little is known) and Martin de Redin. Inquisitor Fabio Chigi (later Pope Alexander VII) attended as representative of Pope Urban VIII. Failing to secure enough votes for his own election, de Redin encouraged his supporters to instead side with Lascaris. On 16 June 1636, Lascaris was elected Grand Master of the Order of Malta, a position he held until his death.
Fra' Antoine de Paule was elected the 56th Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller on 10 March 1623. He died on Malta thirteen years later, on 9 June 1636, after a long illness and at the age of 85. His epitaph eulogizes him as a leader who both loved his subjects and was loved by them in return. He is said to have made more resources available to the Order, thus strengthening it. He also sought to fortify ramparts which the Order had erected for defense.
Fra' Martin de Redin was a Spanish military and politician, and the 58th Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta. He became Grand Prior of the Order of Malta of Navarra in 1641, and Viceroy of Sicily in 1656.
An inquisitor was an official in an Inquisition; an organization or program intended to eliminate heresy and other things contrary to the doctrine or teachings of the Catholic faith. Literally, an inquisitor is one who "searches out" or "inquires".
The following year, Lascaris commissioned a series of towers as fortifications around the island of Malta,now known as the Lascaris towers . The towers were designed and built by papal military architect, Vincenzo Maculani. Lascaris Battery was named in his honor.
A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to solidify rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from the Latin fortis ("strong") and facere.
Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Italy, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2 (122 sq mi), Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country. Its capital is Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.2 The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese officially recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union.
The Lascaris Towers are a series of mostly small coastal watchtowers built in Malta by the Order of Saint John between 1637 and 1652. The first seven towers were built around the coast of mainland Malta between 1637 and 1638. Between 1647 and 1652, a large tower was also built on mainland Malta, and two smaller ones were built on Gozo.
Martin de Redin, who succeeded Lascaris as Grand Master of the Order, commissioned further towers and the combined collection of fortifications is often referred to as the De Redin towers .
In 1639, Lascaris implemented a ban on women wearing masks or attending masked balls during carnivale . The ban was unpopular and locals blamed Lascaris' Jesuit confessor, Father Cassia. They took to the streets to poke fun at the Jesuits and Lascaris had one of the instigators arrested. A Jesuit college was ransacked as retaliation and those responsible demanded that Lascaris banish the Jesuit order from Malta, which he did for a short time while tensions abated. The incident is still remembered today as Lascaris' ban .
Also in 1639, Pope Urban VIII asked Lascaris to intervene in the First War of Castro by sending naval forces owned by the order to assist papal troops against the Dukes of Parma; specifically galleons and other warships. But the Dukes of Parma, as well as the Duchy of Venice, the Duchy of Florence and Duchy of Modena (who were allied with them), appealed to Lascaris not to provide the pope with support.
Lascaris played a dangerous double game; he sent warships to aid the pope while assuring the Dukes they were there only as a show of force and would not participate in the conflict. Sure enough, conflict was limited to on-land skirmishes and Lascaris' troops never fired a single shot.
In 1651, the Knights, with Lascaris's approval, bought the island of Saint-Christophe, along with the dependent islands of Saint Croix, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Martin, from the failing Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique.The Knights' ambassador to the French court, Jacques de Souvré, signed the agreement. The Order's proprietary rights were confirmed in a treaty with France two years later: while the king would remain sovereign, the Knights would have complete temporal and spiritual jurisdiction on their islands. The only limits to their rule were that they could only send French knights to govern the islands, and upon the accession of each new King of France they were to provide a gold crown worth 1,000 écus. In 1665, after Lascaris's death, the Knights sold their islands back to France, ending their brief colonial project.
In October 1652 Pope Innocent X closed a number of monasteries including one on Gozo. However, it was opened again after just four months thanks to intervention from Lascaris who was close to the monks of the order. A portrait of Lascaris still hangs in the monastery today.
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), officially the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta and also known as the Order of Malta, is a Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalric and noble nature.
Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy (1584–1660) was a French nobleman and Bailiff Grand Cross of the Knights of Malta. He governed the island of Saint Christopher from 1639 to his death in 1660, first under the Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique and later under the Knights of Malta themselves. Poincy was the key figure in the Hospitaller colonization of the Americas.
The Holy League of 1571 was arranged by Pope Pius V and included the major Catholic maritime states in the Mediterranean except France. It was intended to break the Ottoman Turks' control of the eastern Mediterranean Sea and was formally concluded on 25 May 1571. Its members were:
The suppression of the Jesuits in the Portuguese Empire (1759), France (1764), the Two Sicilies, Malta, Parma, the Spanish Empire (1767) and Austria and Hungary (1782) is a complex topic. Analysis of the reasons is complicated by the political maneuvering in each country which was not carried on in the open but has left some trail of evidence. The papacy reluctantly went along with the demands of the various Catholic kingdoms involved, and advanced no theological reason for the suppression.
The Order of Pope Pius IX, also referred as the Pian Order, is a papal order of knighthood originally founded by Pope Pius IV in 1560. The awarding of the order fell into disuse and was re-instituted by Pope Pius IX as a continuation on 17 June 1847. Since November 1993, it has been granted to women.
Manuel Pinto da Fonseca was the 67th Grand Master of the Order of Saint John, from 1741 until his death.
The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, also known as the Order of Saint John, Order of Hospitallers, Knights Hospitaller, Knights Hospitalier or Hospitallers, was a medieval and early modern Catholic military order. It was headquartered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, on the island of Rhodes, in Malta and St Petersburg.
The Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George is a Roman Catholic dynastic order of knighthood founded 1520–1545 by two brothers belonging to the Angeli Comneni family. Currently, the grand magistry of the order is disputed among claimants to the headship of the former reigning house of Bourbon-Two Sicilies as heirs of the Farnese.
Carnival has had an important place on the Maltese cultural calendar for just under five centuries, having been introduced to the Islands by Grand Master Piero de Ponte in 1535.
The De Redin Towers are a series of small coastal watchtowers built in Malta by the Order of Saint John between 1658 and 1659. Thirteen towers were built around the coast of mainland Malta, eight of which still survive.
The Wignacourt towers are a series of large coastal watchtowers built in Malta by the Order of Saint John between 1610 and 1620. A total of six towers of this type were constructed, four of which survive.
The orders, decorations, and medals of the Holy See include titles, chivalric orders, distinctions and medals honoured by the Holy See, with the Pope as the fount of honour, for deeds and merits of their recipients to the benefit of the Holy See, the Catholic Church, or their respective communities, societies, nations and the world at large.
Malta was ruled by the Order of Saint John as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1530 to 1798. The islands of Malta and Gozo, as well as the city of Tripoli in modern Libya, were granted to the Order by Spanish Emperor Charles V in 1530, following the loss of Rhodes. The Ottoman Empire managed to capture Tripoli from the Order in 1551, but an attempt to take Malta in 1565 failed.
The Hospitaller colonization of the Americas occurred during a 14-year period in which the Knights Hospitaller of Malta, led by Italian Grand Master Giovanni Paolo Lascaris, possessed four Caribbean islands: Saint Christopher, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Croix.
The fortifications of Malta consist of a number of walled cities, citadels, forts, towers, batteries, redoubts, entrenchments and pillboxes. The fortifications were built over thousands of years, from around 1450 BC to the mid-20th century, and they are a result of the Maltese islands' strategic position and natural harbours, which have made them very desirable for various powers.
The navy of the Order of Saint John, also known as the Maltese Navy after 1530, was the first navy of a chivalric order. It was established in the Middle Ages, around the late 12th century. The navy reached its peak in the 1680s, during the reign of Grand Master Gregorio Carafa. It was disbanded following the French invasion of Malta in 1798, and its ships were taken over by the French Navy.
Italy and the colonization of the Americas was related to: 1) Italian explorers and colonizers serving for other European nations; 2) The role played by the Roman Pontiff in Christianizing the New World and resolving disputes between competing colonial powers; 3) Limited attempts to create a colony in the Americas, by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the early 1600s and by an Italian Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller of Malta.
Antoine de Paule
| Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller |
Martin de Redin