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Festing, Fra Matthew
Arms: Quartely, 1 & 4. Gules a cross Argent [Order of Malta]; 2 & 3. Azure an eagle displayed Erminois armed & langued Gules, between three towers Argent, portals of the third [Festing].

SOURCES, NOTES & CREDITS: The blazon and some of the text from "The International Register of Arms", Vol. 2, 2015, No. 0364. We thank Rothesay Herald, Liam Devlin for his assistancein allowing us to reproduce the fabulous artwork of Ioannis Vlazakis of Fra Matthew Festing's arms. Additional text is based on, and adapted from Wikipedia and other internet articles.

Fra Robert Matthew Festing, OBE former Grand Master of the Order of Malta died on Friday, 12 Nov 2021. He was born 30 Nov 1949, a English Roman Catholic who was the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta from 2008 until his resignation on 28 January 2017, following a dispute with the Vatican.

Matthew Festing attended Ampleforth College, then St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated in Modern History. He was sponsored by the British Army in the rank of second lieutenant on a university cadetship whilst at Cambridge before being commissioned, on 23 July 1971, as an Ensign in the Grenadier Guards. Until 2008, he was Sotheby's auction representative in Northumberland and held the rank of colonel in the Territorial Army.

Festing was admitted to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in 1977. In 1991, he took perpetual vows, becoming a Knight of Justice. From 1993 to 2008, he served as Grand Prior of England, the first in this office since 1815. On 11 March 2008, Festing was elected Grand Master following a conclave-style meeting at the order's villa on the Aventine Hill in Rome. Only the third English Grand Master of the Order of Malta, he was the immediate successor to the second, Fra' Andrew Bertie, the first being Hugh de Revel in 1258–77. He resigned from the Order at the request of Pope Francis over a dispute he had with the Vatican.

Festing suddenly collapsed while attending an event in Valletta, Malta on November 4, 2021, and died eight days later at a hospital there, age 71.

The artwork is an interpretation by Ioannis Vlazakis painted in 2017.

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