On June 22, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta - Mr. Camillo Zuccoli, and his wife Ursula hosted a reception in honour of the Feast of Saint John the Baptist.

Many guests came to Sofia Hotel Balkan: ambassadors, diplomats, representatives of the state administration and religious communities in Bulgaria, journalists and friends.

The Sovereign Order of Malta commemorates the birth of its patron saint John the Baptist, on June 24th. Since the opening of the embassy in Sofia in 2005, the celebration is held around this date every year in Bulgaria as well.

In his address to the guests H. E. Mr. Camillo Zuccoli pointed out that the newly elected Grand Master of the Order is Fra' Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, and wished him success in his work. He then thanked our institutions at the national, regional and municipal level for their excellent cooperation in the humanitarian field. The Maltese Order in Bulgaria has implemented about 500 humanitarian initiatives related to hospitals, education and well-being in 171 different parts of the country. The Ambassador emphasized the fact that the Order is involved in humanitarian actions in over 120 countries around the world.

At the end, H. E. Mr. Camillo Zuccoli bestowed the Crosse of Merito Melitense on Bulgarians with merits for strengthening the bilateral relations between the Order of Malta and Bulgaria and with personal engagement in numerous social and cultural activities. Bulgaria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Todor Stoyanov received the Croce di Grand'Ufficiale al Merito Melitense, two artists Nikolay Tchergarov and Paraskeva Georgieva received Croci al Merito Melitense, and the volunteer Gabriela Mineva was given a bronze medal.

The photos are provided by the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Above: the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sovereign Order of Malta - Mr. Camillo Zuccoli, his wife Ursula and Mr. Bogdan Patashev, a counselor at the embassy, welcome the guests at the reception

Below:

First row: with H. E. Ms. Bea ten Tusscher, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and H. E. Mgr. Archbishop Anselmo Guido Pecorari, Ambassador, Head of Mission of the Holy See, Apostolic Nuncio; with MrAlberto Alfredo Manuel Trueba, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Argentina and his wife, Mrs. Carina Tomassini; with H. E. Mr. Moayad Fathallah Mohamed Eldalie, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt and his wife; with H. E. Dr. Ahmed Al Madbuh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Palestine and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Bulgaria

Second row: with H. E. Mr. Shpend Kallaba, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kosovo to the Republic of Bulgaria, and his wife; H. E. Mr. Camillo Zuccouli welcomes the guests; with the awarded Bulgarians; with guests at the reception