International - Réunion international de Venise - mai 2005

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Grand Chancellor

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Between Wednesday 18 – Sunday 22 May 2005 around 200 members of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem made their way to Venice for all or part of an international gathering comprising a number of organisational, spiritual and social events.

The 49th Grand Master of the Order, HRH Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans, Duc d'Anjou, presided at full day meetings of the Grand Magistry of executive officers and the Governing Council of Heads of the 23 national Jurisdictions. Some important decisions were taken concerning the future organisation and charitable activities of the Order.

The meetings were held on the Island of San Lazzaro which has historical connections with the OSLJ through the Mechitarist Armenian Congregation whose monastery covers the island. (The first home of the Order of St Lazarus was the hospital of St Lazarus in Jerusalem which had been established in earlier centuries by Armenian monks. A commandery was erected on the island, which is one of the major centres of Armenian culture, in the twentieth century.) On 20 May during an Armenian rite Mass in the abbey church the Abbot-General was installed as Commander by the Grand Master in the presence of many members of the international Order.

The next day saw an even larger gathering at the Basilica Patriarcale di San Marco after a colourful informal procession of the Order with banners through the streets of Venice. With the kind permission of HE Cardinal Scola, Patriarch of Venice, HE Cardinal Paskai concelebrated a solemn Latin Mass with chaplains of the OSLJ and the Patriarcal Delegate, accompanied by the cathedral choir and organist. During the service, Cardinal Paskai was installed by the Grand Master as Spiritual Protector of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem. A number of other senior appointments were confirmed and a substantial delegation of Italian members from the Malta Obedience pledged their allegiance to the 49th Grand Master.

After a pause for refreshments in the Piazza San Marco, a flotilla of boats transported the knights and dames, clergy and guests to the seventeenth century Palazzo Donà dalle Rose. A reception and candlelit gala banquet, with impromptu musical entertainment by several senior officers, brought the meeting to a most enjoyable conclusion.

HRH Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans, Duc d'Anjou
Magnus XLIX Magister citra et ultra maria, Præceptor Boignaci

Opening of the Governing Council meeting
Isola di San Lazzaro degli Armeni - 20 May 2005
The Chancellor of England and Wales speaking to
the Grand Master and the Grand Chancellor

HE Cardinal László Paskai OFM arrives for Mass in the Abbey
attended by clergy and laity of seven Christian Churches

Mass in the Armenian rite during which HG Abbot-General Elia Kilaghbian
was installed as Commander of the Eternal Commandery of San Lazzaro

Members of the Grand Magistry with the Cardinal and the Abbot after the service

The Grand Master at the solemn Mass on the Vigil of the Holy Trinity
Basilica Patriarcale di San Marco - Venice - 21 May 2005

The Grand Master greets HE Cardinal Paskai
at the start of the Rite of Investiture

Knights and Dames of St Lazarus representing twenty national jurisdictions
attended the Mass in St Mark's Basilica with music provided by the cathedral choir

Having invested Cardinal Paskai with the Ecclesiastical Grand Cross of St Lazarus
the Grand Master solemnly installs His Eminence as Spiritual Protector of the Order

Abbot-General Elia Kilaghbian EGCLJ addresses the large number of Italians
who have come to declare their allegiance to the Grand Master

Start of the recession at the end of the service

Some senior members of the OSLJ outside the entrance to St Mark's Basilica

The Grand Master is decorated by the Italian Fire Service
and gives interviews to reporters

HRH Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans, Duc d'Anjou with
the Rt Hon the Earl Ferrers, Grand Prior of England & Wales

OSLJ Reception and Gala Banquet in the
candlelit Palazzo Donà dalle Rose, Venice

A pause between courses at the banquet

The Grand Chancellor, Grand Hospitaller and Spiritual Protector
of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem

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