It's A Dramatic Story
Diplomatic relations between the Order of Malta and Lithuania were officially established on 9 July 1992. On 2 September 1993 the first of the Order of Malta‘s ambassador to Lithuania baron Peter von Fürstenberg was accredited.
APPOINTMENT OF THE LITHUANIAN AMBASSADOR UNDER THE ORDER OF MALTA
On 5 January 1994 a Decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania Algirdas Brazauskas was signed to appoint Kazys Lozoraitis as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary under the Order of Malta.
Prior to the reinstatement of Lithuania’s independence, Mr Lozoraitis has been working for many years as the Secretary of the Lithuanian Representation in Vatican and the editor of the Vatican radio in Lithuanian, also as the long-term member of the community of the Lithuanian Italians and of its board.
On 7 February 1994, Mr Lozoraitis presented letters of appointment to the Grand Master of the Order of Malta in Rome.
Mr Lozoraitis maintained offices of the Lithuanian Ambassador under the Holy See and of the Order of Malta until 2004. In August 2007, Mr Lozoraitis died in Rome after a serious illness.
The preparations for the official visit of His Most Eminent Highness the Prince and Grand Master of Malta Endrew Bertie to the Republic of Lithuania have been taking place from the very moment of institution of diplomatic relations. The ex-President of the Republic of Lithuania Algirdas Brazauskas invited the Grand Master of the Order of Malta to Lithuania for the first time during his visit in Rome. At a later date, the invitation was repeated by the Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Vytautas Landsbergis and the President Valdas Adamkus.
The delegation led by the Grand Master arrived in Vilnius on 17 May 1999.
The Grand Master met the President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus. The visit resulted in the exchange of official awards at the highest level, and a discussion behind the closed doors. ‘This was an extremely interesting exchange of views’, Prince Andrew Bertie noted afterwards, ‘as well as a possibility to make sure on my own about the progress of Lithuania in strengthening its identity and in implementing faster than ever social and economic progress, by fully respecting humane and Christian values, a feature that has always been characteristic of Lithuania.’
On the next day, the Prince visited the Lithuanian Seimas. The Prince said, ‘It is a great honour for me to be able to address the representatives of the noble Lithuanian nation in this House. Who have become known to the world on the cold days of January 1991, when they had to stand as the fortress of independence, day and night surrounded by barricades, protected from the inside and the outside by thousands of brave and almost unarmed representatives of the re-establishing Lithuanian State’.
After addressing the Lithuanian Seimas, a postal convention was signed between the Republic of Lithuania and the Order of Malta.
On 11 October 2006 the President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus accepted the letters of credence of the Ambassador of the Order of Malta to Lithuania Douglas von Saurma-Jeltsch.
Count Douglas von Saurma-Jeltsch was born on 10 September 1966 in Marburg, Germany. He graduated from European Business School in Eltville, Germany. Between 1997-1999 he worked as the head of the Order of Malta‘s subsidiary in Frankfurt am Main.
On 9 september 2011 the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta Fra‘ Matthew Festing came to visit Lithuania on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Order of Malta Relief Organisation in Lithuania.
The Grand Master met the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, visited a Children Day Care Centre in Šiauliai, the Maltesers‘ offices in Vilnius and Kaišiadorys, participated in the Mass in Šiluva, visited the Hill of Crosses and met a large number of Lithuania‘s Maltesers.
On 21 March 2012 the new Ambassador of the Order of Malta, Baron Christian von Bechtolsheim presented letters of appointment to the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė.
Baron Christian von Bechtolsheim completed psychology and business studies in Ludwig-Maximilians University in München, Germany. He is a well-known financial specialist who has been long holding responsible offices in German Vereinsbank and Dresdner Bank, also in FOCAM AG company in Frankfurt.
From 1987, Baron Christian von Bechtolsheim actively participates in the activities of the German Order of Malta, is a member of the Investment Committee of Johann Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and holds many other responsible offices of social nature in Germany.
Baron Christian von Bechtolsheim is married and has five children.
‘In my new office, I will try to continue the activities of my predecessors and help the Lithuanian people who are in poverty and in need as much as possible,’ said the new Ambassador of the Order of Malta. ‘For 900 years now, the motto of the Order of Malta is: “Defence of the Faith and assistance to the poor and the suffering”, and it is realised by more than 100 000 medical practitioners and other volunteers of the Order of Malta. Every day, they are dedicated to help peoples of all races, nationalities and beliefs in the farthest corners of our planet. From now on, my mission will be to help the Lithuanian people.’