Welcome to the principal website of
the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem!
Who are we?
An international community of Christian knights devoted to ecumenical spirituality, unostentatious charity and chivalric tradition; a centuries-old fellowship bound by noble ideals of caring for the poor and sick.
Where did we come from?
At the end of the eleventh century, many European noblemen began to see it as their spiritual duty to forsake a comfortable life and travel to the holy city of Jerusalem to defend Christianity in its historical homeland. They bonded together as ‘orders’ of knights in a number of distinct military and religious groups, the most famous of which were the hospitallers and the templars. Those knights who contracted leprosy or were permanently wounded in battle were confined to the ancient Hospital of Jerusalem. This community was dedicated to Saint Lazarus and is the foundation of our Order.
In succeeding centuries the Knights of Saint Lazarus benefited from royal and ecclesiastical privileges and established houses all over Europe. As the world’s spiritual and temporal powers evolved, the Order continued to adapt itself from one generation to the next while remaining true to its noble traditions.
Where are we going?
The green cross of Saint Lazarus is the origin of the international symbol for healthcare. The unbroken succession since mediaeval times of men and women inspired by it continues today as a charitable confraternity supported by chaplains from all the major Christian Churches. Members of the Order of Saint Lazarus undertake a special commitment to love and serve God and their neighbour according to a tradition enshrined in the Constitutional Charter of the Order. The quiet giving of time and money to help those who cannot help themselves continues to be the core of the Christian chivalry they practise.
Under the spiritual protection of a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, the multicultural and ecumenical Order
is proceeding with and developing its Saint Lazare humanitarian activities in many countries. The hospices and
healthcare of previous ages have recently been augmented by a focus on problems related to water. And so the
hospitaller vocation continues to evolve, drawing those of noble heart, united in their common baptism, to service
with valour in the spirit of our forefathers: ATAVIS ET ARMIS!
“The periods of history come and go, social contexts
change, but the Christian vocation to live the Gospel in
solidarity with the human family does not vary or go out
Pope Benedict XVI, 6 September 2009