The ancient Knights of Malta get blessing from the Pope
9 February 2013 Last updated at 20:55 GMT
At the Vatican 4,000 members and volunteers of the Knights of Malta, a medieval religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, marched in procession to St Peter's basilica to receive a papal blessing.
It is exactly 900 years this week that the crusader knights were granted recognition by the Pope as a sovereign state.
The BBC's David Willey reports.