The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is one of the most ancient of Christian institutions. Having been present in the Holy Land from the eleventh century onwards, the Order traces its origins back through religious, hospitaller and military tradition, as well as the traditions of knighthood and nobility. Its members include both lay and religious Knights and Dames committed to the practice of Christian virtues and of charity. What marks them all out is their willingness to seek spiritual perfection within their own Church and to devote their efforts to the service of the sick and the deprived.
Saint Lazare today represents a benevolent order engaged in charitable work in over forty countries around the world, helping people in need, the sick, and those rejected by society. By that we mean people in the most desperate need, people dying of starvation, those who are forgotten, those who are ravaged by disease or the innocent victims of others’ barbarism. It is human need with which we have to deal, against which we fight day in and day out with the determined endeavours of thousands of volunteers. Such is the tragic reality of our world.
The Order of St Lazarus remains faithful to its founding principles, summed up in the motto Atavis et Armis. We fight for adherence to Christian values and in the service of the poor, and these principles are given practical expression in the self-giving work carried out by Knights and Dames of the Order in the sphere of humanitarian and charitable aid.
Characteristics of the Order
The Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem is remarkable for being the only ecumenical order, welcoming as members adherents of the major Christian Churches: Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox and Anglicans.