Rome – April 2004. His Excellency Dr Abel Pacheco de la Espriella, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, on the occasion of his investiture into the Constantinian Order at the Palazzo di Cancelleria in Rome, bestowed his country’s highest honours, the Knight Grand Cross of the National Order of Juan Mora Fernandez on the Constantinian Order’s Grand Prefect, His Royal Highness The Duke of Calabria, and Grand Prior, His Eminence Mario Francesco, Cardinal Pompedda.
The Duke of Calabria, as Grand Prefect of the Constantinian Order, hosted a banquet at the Excelsior Hotel in central Rome in honour of His Excellency Dr Abel Pacheco de la Espriella, President of the Republic of Costa Rica . The President was earlier invested as a Knight Grand Cross of Merit with Gold Star of the Constantinian Order.
The Duke of Calabria stated in a banquet speech “It is great honour for me as Grand Prefect of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, to welcome you all here this evening. In particular I would like to extend to the President and First Lady of the Republic of Costa Rica , and their accompanying delegation, the warmest of welcomes to Rome.
“For tonight, and in the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Pompedda, our Grand Prior and Ecclesiastical Counsellor by appointment of Pope John Paul II, we celebrate Your Excellency’s investiture into our ancient and internationally recognised Roman Catholic Order of Knighthood.
“We also are graced this evening with the presence of many senior officials of the Italian Republic , the Holy See and of nations accredited to both states. To many of you the national and international spiritual role as well as the charitable and humanitarian activities undertaken by the Constantinian Order are well known and I believe appreciated.
“Your Excellency, this afternoon you were honoured with the highest decoration of our Order. This award was bestowed on you in recognition not only of your own great personal merit, but also the tireless efforts of your Government and your noble people.
“In particular I would like to record your Government’s worthy efforts and continuing aspirations to seek an international convention against all forms of human cloning. I was pleased to note that the United Nations draft resolution was sponsored by over 66 countries and I commend Costa Rica efforts in the defence of human dignity. I hope that in the not to distant future this resolution will be adopted.
“Mr President, before I conclude, I would like to publicly affirm the Constantinian Order’s desire to adopt further charitable and humanitarian initiatives in Costa Rica . This is a core element of our Order’s activities and I hope the firm foundation on which to continue to build a long and fruitful relationship between our Catholic institution and your country”.
Among the 120 people who attended were Her Excellency Señora Leila de Pacheco, First Lady of the Republic of Costa, HRH The Duchess of Calabria, the Order’s Grand Prior, His Eminence Mario Francesco, Cardinal Pompedda, HE Count Jacques de Liedekerke, Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Countess de Liedekerke, HE Ambassador Giovanni Castellaneta Diplomatic Counsellor of the Italian Prime Minister, Prince Paolo Boncompagni Ludovisi, Master of Ceremonies of the Order of Malta and President of the Royal Deputation of the Constantinian Order, the Duchess of Gallese, Donna Edoarda Crociani, HE General Mario Arpino, HE Ambassador Count Umberto Lucchesi Palli, Deputy Head of Protocol of Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, HE Dr Giuseppe Balboni Acqua, Ambassador of Italy to the Holy See, HE Anthony Bailey, Delegate of the Constantinian Order in Great Britain and Ireland, Avv. Marco Cecilia of the Order of Malta, Prince and Princess Raimondo Orsini d’Aragona, the Duke and Duchess of Aquila d’Aragona, Monsignor Maurice Monier, and Monsignor Robert Michael Sable of the Roman Rota, HE Marchese Gian Luca Chiavari, Receiver of the Common Treasure of the Order of Malta, HE General Paolo do Noia, of the Italian Ministry of Defence, Hon. Rocco Crimi, Member of the Italian Parliament, HE President Corrado Calabro, President of the Administrative Tribunal of Rome and Donna Maria Pia Fanfani.
Among the Costa Rican invitees were HE Dr Roberto Tovar Faja, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Culture, HE Señor Javier Guerra Laspiur, Ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica to the Holy See, HE Señor Rodolfo Gutiérrez Carranza, Ambassador of Costa Rica to the Court of St James’s and Portugal, HE Señor Manuel Hernandez Gutierrez, Ambassador of Costa Rica to Italy, HE Señora Victoria de Hernandez, Ambassador of Costa Rica to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, HE Signor Gioachino Trizzino, Ambassador of Italy to Costa Rica, HE Señora Marta Nunez, Ambassador and Head of Protocol of Costa Rica, HE Ambassador Señora Marta Nuñez, Chief of State Ceremonial of Costa Rica, HE Ambassador Javier Sancho, Director General of External Politics, and many others.