Religion: Knights in Rome

In such smart Roman hotels as the Excelsior and the De Russie guests stared last week as fellow-guests, garbed in black silk mantles with white crosses and long black stoles, marched and countermarched through the lobbies. They were Knights of Malta, gathered together from all over the world in their first general meeting since 1788, to pay their respects to the Pope, Benito Mussolini and King Victor Emanuel, and to make pilgrimages to Rome's four great basilicas in honor of the Holy Year which ends Easter Monday.

Founded during the Crusades, the Knights once...

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