The Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem
The Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem was a medieval military, religious and Hospitaller Order of Chivalry, and bore no resemblance to modern-day historical or charitable organizations, all using the name Saint Lazarus.
It was military in that it played a military role from 1120 to about the beginning of the 16th century. Until 1291, its military activities were centered in the Holy Land helping to hold it for Christianity, while after its loss they were involved in the protection of the pilgrim routes, particularly of that to Santiago de Compostela.
The military role was partly revived in the early 17th century when the Order maintained a squadron of ten frigates based at St Malo, manned by the knights, novices and chaplains. With the ending of the Order’s naval activities in 1668, the military role was continued by means of its naval academy, and the ownership of a military school in Paris, which it held until the French Revolution in 1791. With regards to the religious aspect, the Order was originally an order of monks taking the triple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The monastic character was in no way lessened when it commenced its military role.
After the Crusading period, the Order’s religious character was maintained by means of its chaplains, its Religious Protector, its Spiritual Grand Prior, its rules, services and traditions. Members were expected to live their lives in the spirit of ecumenical Christian charity.
Today, the United Grand Priories of the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem projects itself according to the laws and statutes of the countries where it operates as a fully registered chivalric institution. It is duly recognized as such by all the relative authorities and is proud to have a number of very close relationships with other established chivalric operations throughout the world. In various regions where it operates, the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem works hand in hand with local and national government authorities in order to further underline modern-day Hospitaller and philanthropic work.
Its primary aim is Hospitaller and philanthropic work throughout the continents. Such Hospitaller work is evident and constant in the continents of the Americas, Europe, Africa, Australasia and Asia.
The constant Hospitaller work and their commitment to furthering the goal of philanthropic work as per the needs of the region in question around the world has made the United Grand Priories of the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, one of the biggest, if not the biggest Lazarite organization worldwide. It proudly boasts of the respect of the highest authorities in all the continents and its Hospitaller work has been publicly applauded in various jurisdictions spanning the globe.
For more information, visit saintlazarus.org