Following the return from the Holy Land after the fall of Acre, King Philip the Fair took the Order of Saint Lazarus under ‘…his special care and protection’ at Poitiers in July 1308 in order to prevent its despoilment.


Thenceforth, successive Heads of the Royal House of France granted the same protection to the Order until the time of King Charles X in 1830.


Initially under the spiritual protection of the Greek Catholic Patriarchs of Jerusalem, the Order of Saint Lazarus was confirmed by the bull given by Pope Alexander IV in Naples on the 11th day before the calends of April 1255.


Having revived its oriental origins by forging new links with the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate in 1841, the Order of Saint Lazarus re-established a direct link to the Catholic Church on 2 February 2005 through the appointment of a Spiritual Protector.