LIFE OF THE ORDER
Bailli of the Grand Priory of Poland chevalier Krzysztof Polasik-Lipiński was appointed a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the GreatCHARITABLE ACTIVITIES
On December 17, 2016, Bailli of the Grand Priory of Poland chevalier Krzysztof Polasik-Lipiński was a...read more
Burns Night SupperCHRISTIANITY
A highly succesful belated Burns Night Supper was held by the Grand Priory of Great Britain on Friday night.
The venue was the conventual church of the Grand Priory, St.Catherine Labouré in Farrington in Lancashi...read more
Pope's appeal for the victims of violence in Congo, Pakistan and IraqWORLDWIDE ALERT
After the Marian prayer of the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square yesterday, Sunday, February 19, the Holy Father invited to pray for the people wh...read more
Series of earthquakes in central Italy
A total of four quakes over 5.0 on the Richter Scale and more than 200 aftershocks have been recorded in central Italy. A man was found dead under the debris of a building in the town of Castel Casta...read more
THE ORDER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Catholic men, women, priests and religious or those from the major ecclesial communities who wish to participate in the three vocations of the Order: Christian unity, service of the poor and the maintenance of the chivalric tradition of Saint Lazarus
The Order of Saint Lazarus found its origins in a Catholic monastic community which followed the rule of Saint Basil and cared for lepers outside the walls of Jerusalem. It was directly under the protection of the Holy See from the thirteenth century until the early nineteenth century, it has welcomed Knights from within other ecclesial communities, namely Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant, since the governance of the Count of Provence; the future King Louis XVIII. Having re-established the protection of the Head of the Royal House of France, the Order of Saint Lazarus has placed ecumenism at the heart of its spiritual vocation. The Grand Master, as well as the Spiritual Protector, must be Catholic, like other Orders of the Holy See.
Those wishing to become members of the Order must meet the criteria defined in the Constitutional Charter, that is to say:
- to be Catholic or belong to a major ecclesial community and be in good standing with its rules,
- to be committed to lead their life in an exemplary manner in accordance with the duties and principles of the Catholic Church or the ecclesial community to which they belong,
- to be committed to participate with the three vocations of the Order: spirituality, charity and tradition.
Cited in the ninth century, for the first time, as an Armenian community following the rule of Saint Basil, under the patronage of Saint Lazarus, and caring for lepers outside the walls of Jerusalem. After the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099, it welcomed Knights who suffered from leprosy and assumed its military character - confirmed by the Papal Bull of Pope Alexander IV 11 April 1255. Thus, the Order of Saint Lazarus has a threefold vocation: religious, military and hospitallar. Since a decision taken by King Philip IV the Fair in 1308, the successive heads of the Royal House of France have been the temporal protectors of the Order.
Since the ninth century the history of the Order of Saint Lazarus has been uninterrupted. King Henry IV founded the Order of Our Lady of Mount Caramel in 1607, binding it to the Order of Saint Lazarus in order to protect it from attack. This link was recognized by the Holy See in 1668. The Order of Mount Caramel was dedicated in 1779 to deserving students of the École Militaire, but this disappeared with its last promotion in 1788. The Royal Almanac still included the new appointments to the Order of Saint Lazarus until 1830. In 1841, the Order sought the protection of the Melkite Catholic Patriarch, Patriarch of Jerusalem and was consecrated, from 1844, to the Hospital of Mount Caramel and to develop its hospitaller activities in the Holy Land. It restored its chancellery in France in 1910, and regained the protection of the Head of the Royal House of France in 2004.
In 1572 the Duke of Savoy appropriated the property of the Order of Saint Lazarus incorporating it into his duchy. To enable this he obtained a papal bull linking the Grand Priory of Capua in the Order of Saint Lazarus, with an order that he had founded himself, the Order of Saint Maurice. This became the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus. When the House of Savoy became the ruling house of Italy in the nineteenth century, entry to the Order was in the gift of the Italian royal family. The current pretender to the throne of Italy continues to distribute its insignia. In addition a number of associations and charitable groups have adopted the name The Order of Saint Lazarus, without being able to rely on any historical legitimacy.
The Order of Saint Lazarus is of diocesan right in Austria and in Czech Republic. Being international, the Order has a Spiritual Protector who must be a high-ranking Catholic prelate solicited by the Grand Master; maintaining a link with the Holy See without the Order having a status of pontifical right.
Founded in the Catholic Church, the Order of Saint Lazarus has been receptive to the value of Christian unity since the nineteenth century, during the Grand Mastership of the Count of Provence, the future King Louis XVIII. Having been linked to the Eastern Churches from the outset, it is historically connected to the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church. In addition, its members are Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant or Anglican; many prelates, priests and religious ministers of various ecclesial communities belong to the Order. It should be noted, however, that the Grand Master and the Spiritual Protector of the Order must be Catholic.
Meetings were held between the Grand Master and the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, the Knights of Malta, to put into perspective their hospitaller activities. In some national jurisdictions there has been co-operation in different projects. A real dialogue at the international level has been developed.
King Louis VII took the Order under his protection in 1308; making it hereditary within the Royal House of France. It was assumed until King Charles X, and it was re-established in 2004 by the current Head of the Royal House of France HRH the Count of Paris, Duke of France. The French Royal Family has produced many Grand Masters of the Order: Louis d’Orléans, Duc de Chartres (1720-1752), Louis de France, Duc de Berry (future King Louis XVI, 1757-1773), Louis-Stanislas Xavier de France, Comte de Provence (future King Louis XVIII, 1773-1814), Charles-Philippe d’Orléans, Duc de Nemours (1967-1969), Charles-Philippe d’Orléans, Duc d’Anjou (2004 - 2010) the Grand Master Emeritus, and current Grand Prior of France.
Is the Order of Saint Lazarus a commemorative or honorary organization?
The Order of Saint Lazarus is neither an institution, commemorative nor honorific. Its historical mission is to support the weak, to contribute to Christian unity and to uphold its tradition of chivalrous service.
In each country where the Order is established, there is an organization set up to achieve its mission. Contact information for these organisations and of the Grand Secretary can be found on the contact page