History of the Order 
      
Its history, its character and its spirit….
 
The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is a military, religious and Hospitaller Order of Chivalry, and it bore no resemblance to modern-day knightly charitable organization.
 
It was military in that it played a military role from 1120 to about the beginning of the 16th century. Until 1291 its military activities were cantered in the Holy Land helping to hold it for Christianity, while after its loss they involved the protection of the pilgrim routes, particularly of that to Santiago de Compostela.
 
The military role was revived in the early 17th century when the Order maintained a squadron of ten frigates based at St Malo, manned by the knights, novices and chaplains. With the ending of the Order’s naval activities in 1668, the military role was continued through its naval academy, and the ownership of a military school in Paris, which it held until the French Revolution in 1791.
 
With regard to the religious aspect, the Order was originally an order of monks taking the triple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The monastic character was in no way lessened when it commenced its military role.
 
The Order was hospitaller in that its origins allegedly stem from a leper hospice founded in the 4th century. Subsequently it operated a hospice for lepers in the 12th century outside the walls of Jerusalem. Despite its eventual military role, it remained primarily a ‘hospitaller Order’, operating a worldwide network of hospitals and Lazar Houses.
 
The Order was chivalric in that it became a monastic Order of Knighthood in the early 12th century. Its ranks held those who were already knights or those of noble birth who received knighthood after entry into the Order. The Order always had the power of conferring knighthood on any person deemed suitable. This ancient prerogative was enshrined in the Act of 1624 which created the category of Knights of Grace, where nobility was not required. This power, to confer knighthood, remained unimpaired from the 12th century and needed no recognition for its validity, preceding, as it did, all secular knighthoods still surviving to this day.
 
Apart from this knightly aspect of chivalry, it also implied that privilege went hand in hand with responsibility, to care for the sick and protect the weak. It was service without being servile, the use of one’s effort and strength for the purpose of Christian and human charity.
 
The Order was not a reward, but a commitment of service past, present and future, to carry out its aims, and to work for humanity in its name. Through the dedication of its knights and members, its nobility of purpose in caring for the sick, and its splendid history, the Order’s traditions have survived intact throughout the centuries, and should continue so for centuries to come, as long as Christianity, and a need to help our fellow man, exists.
 
The Order in England…
 
It is uncertain at what date the Order of Saint Lazarus was first established in England. Certainly the Order would have been known to crusading knights and it is likely that the first brethren of Saint Lazarus were brought to this country by returning crusaders. Modern French authorities claim 1135 as the year in which Baron Roger de Mowbray presented the knights with land, and a mill, at Burton, near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. It was in the fertile countryside of this county that they built their great hospital (hospice), which became the chief house of the Order in England and from which, in succeeding years, numerous other hospitals and commanderies were erected throughout the country. The foundation at Burton, since called Burton Lazars, was administered by a Master and eight knights and was placed under the protection of the Blessed Virgin and of Saint Lazarus.                    
 
Two charters were granted, in the Order’s favour, by King Henry II in 1155 and 1159 respectively, with a further charter granted in 1176. This charter was confirmed by King Richard I (Coeur de Lion) at Westminster in 1189. On the 5th January 1195 Richard granted the Order a new charter in which it is declared:
 
‘We have recognized that the Holy House and Hospital of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is splendid and praiseworthy in the works of mercy, whereof we have sure faith and witness by the experience of our own eyes’.
 
This was testimony indeed from England’s most illustrious crusader! Subsequent Royal benefactors of the Order were King John in 1200 and Henry III in 1216. On 22nd October 1284 Edward I presented letters patent commanding his subjects to procure for the Master and Brethren of the Order whatever assistance their envoys would seek for the work of fighting the enemies of Christ and His Church. On 16th March 1343, in memory of his father, Edward III released the Order in England from payment of certain rents and taxes, recalling the hospitality of the Order towards lepers, and its military action against the enemies of the Cross. The administration, by the Order, of the hospital of St Giles, London, was confirmed by Henry VI in 1450.
 
In 1439 the Master, Geoffrey Shrigley, received licence from Henry VI to apply for bulls from the Pope to enable future Masters of the Order in England to be elected without reference to the Grand Master of the Order at Boigny in France.
 
In 1450 the Pope took the Order in England under his special protection, exempting it from all episcopal jurisdiction and decreeing that future Masters of the Order in England should be recognised as such without any further confirmation being required. This made the English branch of the Order independent of any overseas jurisdiction. By 1540 the Order was responsible for 96 Hospices within the English jurisdiction.
 
In 1544 Henry VIII suppressed the Order in England, as he had previously done with so many other religious Orders and Foundations. In France, however, as in other parts of Europe, the hospitaller work of the Order of Saint Lazarus continued to flourish.
 
In 1489 a Papal Bull was issued amalgamating the Order of Saint Lazarus (outside Italy) with the Order of St John. This decree was disobeyed by the officers of the Commandery of Boigny, France (Order of Saint Lazarus) and the Pope, as superior of all religious-military Orders, dealt with this thorny problem by authorising the foundation, by King Henry IV of France, of a new Order, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and amalgamated with this, by Papal Bull, the rump of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. It was by this Bull that the King gave statutes to the Order and why the Order was subject to canon law (the Italian possessions of the Order of Saint Lazarus had similarly amalgamated with the newly founded Order of Saint Maurice in 1572).
 
Since the Order had been primarily active in France since the 14th century it follows that it was subject to all the political upheavals in that country, none more important to the Order than the decree by the Assembly for the Third Estate, on the 30th July 1791, that ALL Orders of Chivalry were abolished. This decree placed the Order outside the law, including the Grand Master, who was in exile. There are those who would question the authority of the Third Estate to make such a pronouncement.
 
Was 1814 an "End" of the Order of Saint Lazarus ? …
 
The King could not ‘abolish’ the Order in 1814 (anymore than could the National Assembly earlier), although the government of Louis-Philippe suppressed it in 1831, but under canon law it could only become extinct through lack of canonical admissions. This is eventually what happened.
 
From the 18th century to present day ...

During its long and distinguished history the Order of Saint Lazarus had to undergo, and accept, many changes in order to survive. At times the Order was very strong, and had an important role to play, both in the Holy Land and subsequently in Europe; at other times it suffered from internal strife; it was attacked by Rulers, by 
Governments and even by the Church, and yet its Christian ideals of chivalry, and hospitaller service, are still being practiced.
 
There are, today, two organizations commonly known as “The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem”. Both these organizations claim to be the legitimate Order, each with its own Grand Master. Both organizations further claim direct descent from the chivalric and hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus which was founded in Jerusalem during the Crusades.
 
The question of the last Grand Masters of the Order of Saint Lazarus.
 
To enable one to understand this rather confusing situation one must delve briefly into the history of the Order of Saint Lazarus since the early 18th century.
 
The Order’s official history has it that Louis d’Orleans, duc de Chartres, later duc d’Orleans, was the Order’s 41st Grand Master, and served in that capacity from 1720 – 1752.
 
He was followed by Louis XVI (guillotined on the 21st January 1793), who acted as the ‘Protector’ of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.
 
The Comte de Provence (brother of King Louis XVI), was the 42nd Grand Master.
 
On becoming titular king, in 1795, as Louis XVIII, the Comte de Provence became ‘Protector’ of the Order (no Grand Master was appointed) and died in exile in 1824.
 
To some historians this was the end of any direct descent by Grand Masters of the Order of Saint Lazarus, and it was also seen as the end of the Order as a recognized Order of Chivalry.
 
The Council of Officers and the Melchite Protectors…
 
Since the death of Louis XVIII in 1824, and the prior decree, by the Assembly for the Third Estate in 1791, abolishing all Orders of Chivalry, the members of the Order of Saint Lazarus living at the time had to find a way in which to continue their association, failing which the Order would dissolve on their death.
 
By loosing the Grand Master the knights of the Order decided, in 1830, to form themselves into a Council of Officers which would govern the Order. In 1840 existing knights contacted the Greek Melchite Patriarch of Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria requesting him to act as the Spiritual Protector and Patron of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, thus offering the necessary spiritual and temporal guarantees to new candidates. From that time on the Council of Officers, by their own authority, received and invested new knights into the Order under the spiritual protection and patronage of the Greek Melchite Patriarch.
 
Some would question the regularity of nominations made while the institution was ruled by a Council of Officers responsible only to a spiritual patron.
 
The Order’s history states that although the protector Patriarchs cherished the Order, they had little time to devote to it. Thus the administration of Saint Lazarus was affected and the number of admissions took a downturn. The year 1910 marked a low point for the Order. It was then that the Patriarch Cyrill VIII Ghéa decided to transfer the chancery of the Order to Paris and entrust the administration to the Council of Officers which sat there.            
 
The Patriarch died in Egypt in 1916 leaving the Order without either Spiritual, or Magistral, patronage. The following ten years are thought by many to be, yet again, a break in the claimed direct descent, by the current two international Orders, from the Order originally formed during the Crusades.
 
In 1926 contact was re-established between the Paris administration and Patriarch Cyrill IX, who subsequently visited the Council of Officers, but the meeting was not without problems and some of the initiatives taken adversely affected the Order’s reputation and alarmed the more serious members.
 
Since the beginning of the 20th century the Order’s religious character has been maintained through its chaplains, its Religious Protector (The Melchite Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Orient), its Spiritual Grand Prior, its rules, services and traditions. Members are expected to live their lives in the spirit of ecumenical Christian charity.
 
An Association of Hospitallers… (France only). 
 
In 1927, in order to comply with French law governing associations, an organization was established as the ‘Association of Hospitallers of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem’ under the aegis of the marquis de l’Eglise de Ferrier.
 
1967 schism…
 
Unfortunately the period from 1935 to date has not been easy for the Order of Saint Lazarus. In 1956 the 45th Grand Master, Don Francisco Enrique de Borbon y Borbon appointed the late duc de Brissac as Administrator General of the Order, however, the duc de Brissac eventually led a revolt against his Grand Master and called a Chapter General, which was held in Paris on the 20th May 1967. The result was that HRH Charles Philippe d’Orleans, duc de Nemours, was elected and declared 46th Grand Master. Don Francisco Enrique de Borbon y Borbon was named ‘Grand Master Emeritus’. The validity of this election has been the subject of much discussion, and remains highly questionable in the eyes of many. Apparently still dissatisfied with the situation the duc de Brissac led a further revolt against his own appointee, the duc de Nemours and, by calling a further Chapter General on the 15th April 1969, had himself appointed as the 47th Grand Master.
 
Thus, by taking unilateral action on two separate occasions, the duc de Brissac managed, during a period of less than two years, to depose TWO Grand Masters, thereby ensuring his own nomination to that post.
 
These events caused a schism within the Order, and in 1973 the supporters of the ‘Borbon’ faction (subsequently known as the ‘Malta Obedience’) asked Don Francisco de Borbon y Borbon, to re-assume the Grand Mastership as the 47th Grand Master.
 
This left the Order with two Grand Masters. Senior members of the ‘Brissac’ faction (known as the ‘Paris Obedience’) and senior members of the ‘Malta Obedience’ formed a bi-partite commission which eventually led to the signing of a Protocol of Agreement in 1979. The continuing schism was supposed to be resolved in 1986, through the good offices of the Melchite Patriarch Maximos V. Hakim, but the attempt to unite the two ‘Obediences’ failed at that time.


2004 Schism
 
Since the beginning of 2004 there have been a number of changes to the situation regarding the TWO branches of the ‘Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem’; the ‘Paris Obedience’ (Duke of Brissac’s faction) and the ‘Malta Obedience’ (Duke of Saville's faction).  
 
At the Chapter General, held in Toronto in March 2004, it would appear that concerns and reservations about the duc de Seville were expressed by  several jurisdictions, and this led to a further ‘split’ in the Order’s membership and loyalties, leaving fifteen of the national Jurisdictions (all in Europe, with the exception of New Zealand) opting out of electing the duc de Seville as their ‘Grand Master’. 
 
In the mean time it was decided, by those national Jurisdictions that remained in Toronto, that the duc de Seville would remain as "Grand Master Elect" and that the duc de Brissac would remain as "Grand Master Emeritus in Charge" until October 2004 when an election would be held in Germany. 
 
Contrary to the claims of the ‘dissident’ factions, the Spiritual Protector has given his support to the election of the Duke of Seville as the next 48th. Grand Master of the French/Spanish Obediences. There is no  "49th. Grand Master within the Order of Saint Lazarus".      

 
Activities of the Order - The recent years.  
  

In recent years the expansion of the Order and its humanitarian activities have taken a new direction. Aid to the handicapped, the sick and to the aged has been added to the Order's pursuit of its traditional mission in the field of leprosy. The primary purpose and activity of the Order is, and always has been, charity. Primarily, St. Lazarus has been world renown as a Hospitaller Order in that its works have always been associated with medical care, primarily through the operation of medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics.

With the personal encouragement of Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Macharski of Krakow, the Grand Priory of Austria, under Archduke Leopold of Austria and Dr. Heinz Peter Baron von Slatin, and their Referendary Prof. Franz Josef Federsel, had constructed the first Polish Hospice for the terminally ill in Poland,  the St. Lazarus Hospice, in Nowa Huta the American Grand Priory providing substantial financial assistance to this project. For a number of years, the organization has been at the forefront of charitable and humanitarian projects supported by Pope John Paul II, and they were specifically singled out by him for their praiseworthy chivalric activities. Pope John Paul II, joined by members of the College of Cardinals, has on more than one occasion invited a group of people collectively as members of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem to his private apartments in the Vatican, has celebrated Holy Mass with them in his private chapel, and continues to encourage them to undertake charitable projects which he monitors personally. The Grand Priory of France and the European Humanitarian Grand Priory (Lazarus-Hilfswerk) supported by the Grand Priory America were particularly active in initiating the relief programmes of the Order in Croatia. The Order strongly backed the relief missions of the Grand Hospitaller throughout Eastern Europe. The trucks, trailers, field kitchens and jeeps that were provided by the Order for service in Croatia.  They have continued to be used by the Order’s members and the charitable arm of the church for humanitarian purposes only, and they remain the property of the Order. During the Winter of 1991/92, the European Community in Brussels  earmarked US$ 125 million-worth of aid for food for the starving population in Russia.  Transport and distribution were to be provided by organizations chosen by the European Community. Apart from the humanitarian aspects, it is a fact that this aid programme also prevented large scale social unrest and political instability in urban centes. Of this sum the European Community allocated half to the International Red Cross, and half to the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem as represented by the Lazarus-Hilfswerk. For this purpose the Order set up three centers, in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Novgorod from which they operated their distribution system. A letter from H.I.R.H. Archduke Dr. Otto von Habsburg, signed in his capacity as a Member of the European Parliament and addressed to the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem testifies to the high esteem in which the St. Lazarus and his work are held by the European Parliament.

These jurisdictions have also spent substantial amounts of their own money on charitable works and projects close to the heart of Pope John Paul II, the Polish and other Eastern European members of the College of Cardinals and the Polish and Eastern European Episcopate, as well as in other areas of activity. For example, the Canadian Grand Priory works extensively in the field of Hansen’s Disease (leprosy), both in the areas of research and of support services. In this and other fields, the Canadian Grand Priory has worked closely with the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and many of the officers of the Grand Priory of the Order of St. Lazarus are also officers in the St. John Order. Similarly, Grand Priories in New Zealand and Australia have been providing support for the victims of Hansen's Disease in their own countries and the islands of Oceania. When faced with the task of assessing meritorious, chivalrous work on a vast scale instead of simply writing about a Catholic-founded Order of Knighthood in the context of other Orders, there is a danger of compiling an activity report rather than keeping strictly to the criteria upon which the book is based. However, very rarely something catches one’s attention which seems to be so small, but in reality symbolises all that chivalry is about. It's been learned incidentally that part of the contribution several Commanderies of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem expect their members to make are twelve full days a year given free of charge to work in hospitals and institutions which cater for the mentally or physically sick, the hungry and the needy, or do social work that benefits those who need help. I was particularly impressed by the activities of the nine members of the Order in Liechtenstein: they set up in 1990 an emergency telephone helpline for the children of the Principality, ‘Sorgen-Telefon für Kinder in Liechtenstein’. They give their time freely, answering calls in rotation twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the year. Posters about this service are displayed in schools, and stickers are displayed in telephone booths and public places throughout the Principality. The members have been professionally trained as counselors for this particular task, and they receive well over 300 calls from children every year out of a population of 30,000. Other jurisdictions of the Order in Europe, South America and Africa are active in charitable activities, and the work of the Order in such countries as South Africa and Zimbabwe is remarkable, and some European Grand Priories still work as Hospitallers in the way that members of the Order did in the early years of its existence, much of their work still concerned with fighting leprosy Others, such as France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Bohemia, assist the Grand Hospitaller in relief work for the hungry and needy in several Eastern European countries. In New Zealand the Order is directly involved in Pacific-area programs against leprosy and donates medical supplies to various island leprosaria. The Grand Priory of Finland operates a Special Volunteer Ambulance Corps for young drug addicts and directly supports a medical and religious mission in Mugaea, Kenya.  The Grand Bailiwick of Austria also operates a Volunteer Ambulance Corps which is officially recognized by the government as an alternative to compulsory military service. Support for disabled people, the sick and the aged as well as for refugees is provided. The Grand Priory of Alsace supports various dispensaries in Cameroon as well as a leprosarium. The Commandery of Slovakia operates International Green Cross Organization (IGCO) with their Green Cross Ambulances in Bavaria and Romania. For the past 12 years the IGCO First Aid Training Division, alone in Slovakia, trained several thousand First Responders and Crime Prevention Practitioners. The Hungarian Priory supports people without lodging and earnings. The Grand Bailiwick of England is raising funds in support of research into the early diagnosis of malignant melanoma, leprosaria in Kenya, and currently the Kosovo Appeal. The Grand Bailiwick of the United States is donating health professions scholarships (physician's assistant and nursing), supporting leprosaria (Mexico, Kenya) and an ambulance/children's hospital program in Romania, assisting the American Organ and Tissue Donation Program and giving financial assistance to Christian churches of various denominations. The German Commandery of Berlin-Brandenburg gives medical aid for the population of Benin, Croatia, Hungary, Russia and Slovenia and relief for people without lodging in Berlin. Maltese members are supporting charities around Malta, also leprosaria Kenya, Tanzania and a medical clinic Bethlehem, Holy Land. The Commandery of New Caledonia is giving material and moral support to persons in need and collecting drugs and other medical items, in particular for hospitals and dispensaries of underprivileged Pacific islands. This is an impressive list of charitable activities, and equally impressive are the official acknowledgements of gratitude from governments and especially the Headquarters of the European Community in Brussels.  

For a number of years, the organization has been at the forefront of charitable and humanitarian projects supported by Pope John Paul II, and they were specifically singled out by him for their praiseworthy chivalric activities. As the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II, joined by members of the College of Cardinals, has on more than one occasion invited a group of people collectively as members of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem to his private apartments in the Vatican, has celebrated Holy Mass with them in his private chapel, and continues to encourage them to undertake charitable projects which he monitors personally.

  
      
"The Order will not compromise it’s principals"
   
by; Peter Bander van Buren
  
Dit is een hoofdstuk uit: Orders of Knighthood and Merit : The Pontifical, Religious and Secularised Catholic-founded Orders and their relationship to the Apostolic See / Peter Bander van Buren. - Gerrards Cross : Colin Smythe, 1995.
   
This chapter may be contentious for some readers who will probably criticise me (Peter Bander van Buren) for including it in my book. Such criticism may be to some degree justified, because I have previously been uncompromising in my refusal even to mention the subject matter.
Some critics have called me intransigent and blind to reality. I ignored them, because the criteria I used when revising Archbishop Cardinale’s Orders of Knighthood, Awards and the Holy See in 1984 and 1985, and wrote relevant comments in The Cross on the Sword in 1987, had remained unchanged since Mons. Cardinale decided in 1981 that it would be in the interest of all concerned to declare the Order of St. Lazarus nonexistent. He was provoked into doing so by one person who claimed to be a leading figure in the Order, and whose conduct towards Archbishop Cardinale and the Holy See was objectionable.
  
In 1982 Archbishop Cardinale asked me to remove from the book a chapter which had in 1981 twice been drafted in collaboration with Lord Mowbray, Segrave and Stourton, Premier Baron of England, whose family links with the Order of St. Lazarus go back to the first Baron Mowbray who in 1283 founded a St. Lazarus Hospital for Lepers on his own land near Melton Mowbray
  
Subsequent events did nothing to change my mind, until in 1987 as a result of a great number of enquiries I had received from members of the European Episcopate, I wrote formally to the Secretariat of State asking whether it might not be expedient to have the position of the Order of St. Lazarus reviewed by independent experts before further compounding the negative attitude I had to adopt in The Cross on the Sword. The then Sostituto of the Secretariat of State, Archbishop Eduardo Martinez Somalo, replied without delay and informed me that he saw no reason for the Holy See to do so.
   
During one of my stays in the Vatican with Archbishop Cesare Zacchi later in 1987, I was visited by a Bishop and a Prelate of the Roman Curia. They showed me several photographs and a report stating that Pope John Paul II had received members of the Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem in private audience and had concelebrated Holy Mass with Cardinal Macharski of Poland and Bishop Frotz, who represented the German Bishops Conference, as well as Prelates and Priests of the Order of St. Lazarus. During the private audience, His Holiness received a detailed report about the charitable contributions which had been placed at the disposal of the Holy Father and the Polish Bishops for the hungry and needy in Poland. By 1987, there had been over 300 trucking expeditions, and the cost of this particular Polish relief programme was in excess of twenty million US dollars. Pope John Paul II spent much time in conversation with the members of the St. Lazarus delegation, especially with Mr. Klaus-Peter Pokolm, the President of the Lazarus-Hilfswerk. Later the Pope accepted the first of the medals struck to commemorate the Relief Fund for Poland and arranged for photographs to be taken of the event. I was informed that His Holiness had expressed his astonishment that these chivalrous benefactors had not received any recognition of their Order and indicated that he would make enquiries. This information was corroborated for me in 1987 and again in 1992 by His Eminence Cardinal Jacques Martin, who had been present at the discussions in his capacity as Prefetto de la Casa Pontificia. The Bishop, who had followed up the question about some form of recognition for the Order, had been given no direct reply by the Secretariat of State, but a senior member of the Secretariat suggested that the Bishop might consider private initiative. When he enquired what "private initiative" implied, he was told to speak to me as I was in Rome. I visited the Secretariat of State twice with Cardinal Martin and Archbishop Zacchi between the visits of the two Prelates, but nothing was mentioned to me about the request which had been made to the Secretariat of State by them concerning the Order of St. Lazarus.
  
Several times during 1991 and 1992, I met Polish Bishops who conveyed to me the renewed and express wish of the Holy Father that I should try and acknowledge the work of those meritorious Grand Priories of the Military Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus that had done so much for the hungry and needy in Poland and Eastern Europe, though His Holiness was aware that there were members of the Curia and other interested parties in Rome who opposed any form of recognition of Order of St. Lazarus and the Lazarus-Hilfswerk or its work in Poland. I agreed to abide by the personal wishes of the Holy Father, and this was much welcomed by some Cardinals and Bishops but, as I soon discovered, angrily denounced by other members of the Roman Curia. Although I made it clear from the outset that I had not yielded to any pressure from the Order of St. Lazarus, and, indeed, none of the above-mentioned Grand Priories had ever contacted me, I soon realized that the Pope’s intervention did not change the attitude of those who were opposed to my even acknowledging the existence of that Order.
  
Towards the end of 1992, I received detailed reports of the work the Order of St. Lazarus in Eastern Europe. As much of this was said to have taken place under the auspices of the European Economic Community in Brussels, I asked for, and received, official reports about the outstanding charitable work undertaken in Eastern European countries by the German Grand Priory of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem under the tireless leadership of their late Grand Prior, the Prince von Mettemich, the Princess von Metternich, who succeeded him as Grand Prior, and by the Lazarus-Hilfswerk (the President of which is Mr. Klaus-Peter Pokolm), by the Grand Priory of America, under their Grand Prior, Dr. Hans von Leden, (who is also the Order’s Grand Hospitaller), and members of the Order in Canada.
 
With the personal encouragement of Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Macharski of Krakow, the Grand Priory of Austria, under Archduke Leopold of Austria and Dr. Heinz Peter Baron von Slatin, and their Referendary Prof. Franz Josef Federsel, had constructed the first Hospice for the terminally ill in Poland, the St. Lazarus Hospice, in Nowa Huta the American Grand Priory providing substantial financial assistance to this project.
  
The Grand Priory of France, under the late Pierre de Cossé, 12th Duc de Brissac, was particularly active in initiating the relief programmes of the Order in Croatia. The Chancellor, Chevalier Guy Coutant de Saisseval strongly backed the relief missions of the Grand Hospitaller throughout Eastern Europe. The trucks, trailers, field kitchens and jeeps that were provided by the Order have continued to be used by the Order’s members for humanitarian purposes only, and they remain the property of the Order.
  
During the Winter of 1991/92, the European Community in Brussels earmarked US$ 125,000,000.00 worth of aid for food for the starving population in Russia. Transport and distribution were to be provided by organisations chosen by the European Community. Apart from the humanitarian aspects, it is a fact that this aid programme also prevented large scale social unrest and political instability in urban centres. Of this sum the European Community allocated half to the International Red Cross, and half to the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem as represented by the Lazarus-Hilfswerk. For this purpose the Order set up three centres, in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Novgorad from which they operated their distribution system.
   
To satisfy myself about the correctness of the reports I had received, I also requested detailed information from the appropriate offices of the European Community, so I would have the evidence in my possession should there be claims that the reports were untrue. A letter from H.I.R.H. Archduke Dr. Otto von Habsburg, signed in his capacity as a Member of the European Parliament and addressed to the Grand Hospitaller of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, Dr. Hans von Leden, Grand Prior of America, testifies to the high esteem in which the Grand Hospitaller and his work are held by the European Parliament.
  
For an Order the existence of which had so often been denied when I made official enquiries, and that I was obliged to consider extinct, the German, American, Austrian, some other Grand Priories and particularly their foundation, the Lazarus-Hilfswerk, have been remarkably active. These jurisdictions have also spent substantial amounts of their own money on charitable works and projects close to the heart of Pope John Paul II, the Polish and other Eastern European members of the College of Cardinals and the Polish and Eastern European Episcopate, as well as in other areas of activity.
  
For example, the Canadian Grand Priory works extensively in the field of Hansen’s Disease (leprosy), both in the areas of research and of support services. In this and other fields, the Canadian Grand Priory has worked closely with the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and many of the officers of the Grand Priory of the Order of St. Lazarus are also officers in the Venerable Order. Similarly, Grand Priories in New Zealand and Australia have been providing support for the victims of Hansens Disease in their own countries and the islands of Oceania.
  
When faced with the task of assessing meritorious, chivalrous work on a vast scale instead of simply writing about a Catholic-founded Order of Knighthood in the context of other Orders, there is a danger of compiling an activity report rather than keeping strictly to the criteria upon which the book is based. However, very rarely something catches one’s attention which seems to be so small, but in reality symbolises all that chivalry is about. I had learned incidentally that part of the contribution several Commanderies of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem expect their members to make are twelve full days a year given free of charge to work in hospitals and institutions which cater for the mentally or physically sick, the hungry and the needy, or do social work that benefits those who need help.
  
I was particularly impressed by the activities of the nine members of the Order in Liechtenstein: under their Commander, they set up in 1990 an emergency telephone helpline for the children of the Principality, "Sorgen-Telefon für Kinder in Liechtenstein". They give their time freely, answering calls in rotation twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the year. Posters about this service are displayed in schools, and stickers are displayed in telephone booths and public places throughout the Principality. The members have been professionally trained as counsellors for this particular task, and they receive well over 300 calls from children every year out of a population of 30,000.
  
Other jurisdictions of the Order in Europe, South America and Africa are active in charitable activities, and the work of the Order in such countries as South Africa and Zimbabwe is remarkable, and some European Grand Priories still work as hospitallers in the way that members of the Order did in the early years of its existence, much of their work still concerned with fighting leprosy Others, such as France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Bohemia, assist the Grand Hospitaller in relief work for the hungry and needy in several Eastern European countries.
   
This is an impressive list of charitable activities, and equally impressive are the official acknowledgements of gratitude from governments and especially the Headquarters of the European Community in Brussels.
  
There are several imitation orders which also use the name of "St Lazarus of Jerusalem" and certain individuals who claim to belong to, or to represent, "The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus". They are at the root of much of the hostility which has been shown towards their Order, but their organisations have not demonstrated the same Spirit of Christian chivalry in this troubled world. As I mentioned earlier, there are at least eighteen very active imitation orders of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem, all, claiming to be the true Order of St. John of Jerusalem. All these imitation orders lay claim to chivalric privileges but show little or no inclination to take upon themselves the duties and responsibilities of true chivalry, and all of them hope to be mistaken for the genuine and legitimate Orders.
  
His Beatitude the Greek Melchite Catholic Patriarch Maximos V Hakim, the Spiritual Protector of the Order of St. Lazarus, and His Eminence Cardinal Ernesto Corripio, the Spiritual Counsellor of the Order’s Grand Priory of America, with the enthusiastic support of several Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and Prelates from Poland, the U.S.A., Germany, Austria, Mexico and other Central and Eastern European countries, have often expressed their regret at the Holy See’s policy of refusing to recognise officially the Order. The members of the hierarchy who actively support the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus are members of the Roman Curia and the Cardinals and some of the Archbishops and Bishops are actually members the Holy See. They consider it unfair and against the principles of chivalry to withhold rightful recognition from the Order, and strongly reject the suggestion that the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem should be merely accorded the status of a charitable society. They regard the Order as an Hospitaller Order of Knighthood, the 48th Grand Master of which is His Excellency Francois de Cossé, the 13th Duc de Brissac. As I have noted in earlier chapters, for reasons of international law, the Holy See cannot recognise any Order other than the Pontifical Orders, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and those Orders granted by sovereign States with which it entertains diplomatic relations. However, the Apostolic See as represented by the Supreme Pontiff can express cognizance of the Order’s status.
   
I am not introducing with this chapter a subject which might be seen by some as deliberately confrontational, but in the light of the express obligations which have been placed upon me since 1983, with particular reference to the Order of St. Lazarus —— obligations I adhered to without reservation until I was informed of the Pope’’s wishes - I find it puzzling that eminent spiritual members of the Order should have been advised semi-officially to seek the help of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to gain recognition as an Order of Knighthood from the Holy See.
   
It is a fallacy to believe that the Sovereign Military Order of Malta would or could obtain official recognition from the Holy See for the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem through intercession. In fact, whenever I have corresponded with the competent representative of the Sovereign Council of the Sovereign Order, I have always been informed that the Sovereign Order would never be prepared to give to the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem any form of confraternal recognition.
   
In fact, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta has published its view of, and attitude to, the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus Jerusalem in a joint declaration of the "False Orders Committee" of the Federation of the Orders of St. John. Apart from the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, it is made up of internationally recognised Orders that have been incorporated in the list of Orders of Knighthood under the sovereignty of the respective heads of state, and is mainly concerned with imitation Orders of St. John, but it has always shown a special interest the Order of St. Lazarus and its activities.
  
This and the repeated statements sent me by the representative of the Sovereign Council of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, contradict all the vague promises which were made to a Spiritual Counsellor of the Order of St. Lazarus with regard to "recognition by the Holy See". As the criteria upon which the Holy See recognises Orders of Knighthood exist and are strictly adhered to, any special intercession would be totally useless. This again raises the important question as to whether the criteria for recognition applied by the Holy See to Orders of Knighthood or Merit that do not form part of an honours system of sovereign States, and, decorations conferred by them, need reappraisal. Personally I doubt the the Holy See will change its practice.
  
In the past, it has not been unknown for some Popes to organise amalgamations of Orders. In today’’s terminology, such amalgamations would be considered "take-overs", especially when the assets of an Order are absorbed by another. This has happened to the Order of St. Lazarus twice before: Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484) tried unsuccessfully to have the Knights absorbed into the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, but in 1573 Pope Gregory XIII amalgamated the wealthy Italian Commanderies of St.Lazarus of Jerusalem with the Order of St. Maurice of the House of Savoy. Another, similar amalgamation took place in 1608 under Pope Paul V when for political and economic reasons, he sanctioned the amalgamation of the Order’s wealthy French Commanderies with the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel which had been founded by King Henri IV of France the year before.
   
The Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem was not the only Order of Knighthood to have been thus absorbed with its assets into another Order. The fate of the Knights Templars is well documented; in France many were arrested and subjected to mockeries of trials, some just murdered, and the Order’s great wealth divided up between interested parties. Having escaped such a fate, the Knights of St. Lazarus had much to be thankful for.
  
Assets of Orders are no longer only land and castles, but the money and assets of their individual members, especially when much of it has been converted into trucks, trailers, jeeps and field kitchens for the relief of the hungry and needy in the world. In addition, an Order’s activities, and especially its reputation for efficiency in administering large charitable relief projects, are also tangible assets: indeed, in commercial terms, the good name of a company or business can be the greatest of them.
  
Why, one must ask, did the European Community ask the Order of St. Lazarus to distribute food and other aid worth 125 million US dollars? There were several organisations besides the International Red Cross and the Order of St. Lazarus in contention to carry out this enormous task, and I am sure that the Commissioners of the European Community who are responsible for allocating such vast sums of money, form their judgement and decision on very sound criteria. However far-reaching such judgements and decisions have been, the criteria upon which they were based are not the criteria upon which "purists", as they are styled, judge the status of chivalry.
   
If we ignore the splinter groups and separate, self-styled orders of St. Lazarus that abound in some countries, the question must be asked as to the juridical and chivalric status of The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, with special reference to the Grand Priories of America, Canada, Germany and Austria whose work is so greatly appreciated by the Supreme Pontiff and the Most Eminent and Most Reverend Members of the Roman Curia, who have expressly asked that the Order to which the above-mentioned Grand Priories belong, should not be denied a chivalric-hospitaller status.
  
As I have emphasized time and again, my task is to chronicle the evolution of Catholic-founded Orders and their either continued or no longer existing relationship with the Apostolic See. I personally cannot grant recognition to anybody, and the whole concept of recognition is a very complex one. If the Holy Father, not as Sovereign Pontiff but as Supreme Pontiff and Pastor, recognises true chivalric works and merit, it is his prerogative to ask, indeed command me, to reflect his personal cognizance in a book that deals specifically with Catholic-founded Orders and the Holy See, the Apostolic See and the Papacy. Nobody can deny, regardless of the Order’s evolution, that the Military Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem is a Catholic-founded Hospitaller Order of Knighthood.
   
Having endeavoured to present an objective record of the activities of the above-mentioned Grand Priories of The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, as I was specifically asked to do, the s reader may be tempted to think that these outstanding charitable, accomplishments would be automatically reflected in the juridical status, of the Order, its standing in the community of Catholic-founded Orders of Knighthood and its recognition. I consider the Supreme Pontiff’’s cognizance of the chivalric work of the Order on a par —— if one speaks of I justice rather than of law —— with the Pope’s continued cognizance of Orders of Knighthoood that have continued their loyal devotion to His Holiness and the Church in participating in the ceremonial and liturgy the Church. I do not believe that His Holiness has ever given any consideration to the —— sometimes very remote —— possibility that some of the Orders- of non-regnant dynasties may sooner or later, become once again Orders of sovereign monarchs.
  
The statement published in L’Osservatore Romano on 22 March 1953 and again on 14 December 1970 lists the name "St. Lazarus" among the "deplorable phenomenon of the appearance of alleged Orders of Knighthood originating from private initiatives and aiming at replacing the legitimate forms of chivalric awards and not approved of or recognised by the Holy See". In the same statement, the Holy See condemns Orders using the appellations: "Military", "Equestrian", "Royal", "Sovereign", "Religious", "Sacred" and similar titles. According to the 3 statement such appellations belong exclusively to authentic Orders approved by the Holy See. There have been five pontificates since 1953, and if the Catholic-founded Orders of Knighthood of some non-regnant dynasties have a specific lay apostolate, then it may indeed be necessary for the Holy See to look at the subject again and, if necessary, introduce different levels or types of cognizance, if not full recognition in international law. I feel this is especially necessary if the definition in the Codex luris Canonici that equates the Holy See with the Apostolic See is to be realised without having constantly to refer to the opt-out clause about the context in which the names "Holy See" and "Apostolic See" are used.
  
However, there is the third factor which has to be taken into consideration: the personal opinion and wishes of a Supreme Pontiff. In Canon Law the personal opinions and wishes of a Pope fall in a grey area. The hundreds of self-styled orders can find no comfort or support in the Pope’s wish to see the chivalrous work of the above-mentioned Grand Priories recognised. The self-styled Orders serve one purpose only: the vanity of men and women to enhance their appearance by decorating themselves with pieces of enamel and metal, the only value of which is what people are prepared to pay for them.
  
As far as the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem is concerned, the question of sovereignty, or the lack of it, is often raised by its critics. During the Crusade, in the 12th century, the city of Acre was ~ temporarily placed under the sovereignty of the Order; this protection was later shared by other Orders that had been fighting in the Crusades. However, it would make nonsense of the ideals and principles governing these Orders to justify their existence on some very short-lived temporal power they enjoyed. Only the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, (now the Sovereign Military Order of Malta) continued to exercise sovereign power in different places.
  
This raises another important issue: following the independence of Croatia and its recognition by many States, including the Holy See, the Croatian Government promulgated and published on 6 May 1992 in Zagreb the Projet de Décret de Reconnaissance which recognises The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, which had been largely responsible for the distribution of aid for the care and relief of refugees during its struggle for freedom, as an Order of Knighthood legitimately active in the sovereign territory of Croatia. The Decree has four Articles, three of which grant specific privileges to the Order, the fourth states the date of ratification of the Decree and declares the intent of the Croatian Government to inform other foreign powers that the decree had been lawfully signed on behalf of the Republic of Croatia.
  
The increasing hostility between Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia since that document was issued by the Croatian Government, and the fact that at the time of writing these words the territorial boundaries are changing almost daily, have no bearing on the legitimacy of the Projet de Décret de Reconnaissance which was issued by a member state of the United Nations. The Republic of Hungary and South Africa have followed with similar statements recognising the Order.
  
Has this in any way changed the Order’s juridical or sovereign status? I know of no precedent where the recognition of an Order of Knighthood by a sovereign state has conferred a sovereign status on that Order, unless the Order were to establish its seat in that country and the State were to take the Order under its national sovereign protection.
  
The Knights of the Italian Commanderies of the Order of St. Lazarus, amalgamated in 1573 with the Savoyan Order of St. Maurice, have continued to exist in the Savoyan dynastic Order of St. Maurice and Lazarus. Many Knights of the French and other Commanderies were strongly opposed to an amalgamation with the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel under the protection of the King of France and refused to be absorbed by an Order that had only been founded the previous year; and they appear to have continued to exist independently. After those Knights who had been amalgamated with the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 1608 had lost their temporal protection with the downfall of King Charles X in 1830, many joined the Commanderies that had refused to agree to the amalgamation of 1608. After that, the Knights of St. Lazarus were governed by a Council of Officers.
  
Eleven years later, in 1841, the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem requested the protection of the Greek Melchite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Maximos III Mazlûm, and petitioned he become their Spiritual Protector; he accepted, both for himself and his successors.
  
Eastern Patriarchs, whether autonomous or in union with the Roman Church, always refer to their patriarchate or religious jurisdiction as a "nation". Arab Sovereigns and Princes accord to them the status of a Head of State, though this must be seen in the light of political expediency, as an Islamic ruler cannot accord any honour to the leader of another religion.
On 19 January 1928, Pope Pius XI addressed a message through the papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Gasparri, to the Marquis Française de Saint-Lazare, the President of the French Association of the Knights of St. Lazarus: "The Holy Father kindly accepts the filial homage.... offering in turn his best wishes for the prosperity of the Hospitallers of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem and their families, sends them all a special benediction." (Reference 3511/27)
  
Whilst remaining under the spiritual protection of the Greek Melchite Catholic Patriarch, in 1935 the Chapter General of the Order elected as the new Grand Master Don Francisco de Bórbon y de la Torre, 3rd Duke of Seville. Whilst the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem requires that all its members are practising Christians, its statutes no longer make membership dependent upon membership of the Roman Catholic Church.
  
As the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II, joined by members of the College of Cardinals, has on more than one occasion invited a group of people collectively as members of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem to his private apartments in the Vatican, has celebrated Holy Mass with them in his private chapel, and continues to encourage them to undertake charitable projects which he monitors personally, can the recognition, trust and gratitude expressed by the Supreme Pontiff to those who have been directly involved in these projects, be without significance?
  
This will probably raise the perennial question of ipso facto recognition. However, I have always stressed in the past, and I do so now, that neither the Apostolic See nor Holy See recognise anything or anybody ipso facto. As far as I am concerned, a wish of the Supreme Pontiff, that has been conveyed to me on several occasions, is something I cannot ignore, regardless of who disagrees with the Holy Father’s personal wishes and judgement in this matter. I reiterate, however, that in this case, as in several ethers, I am in no position to express the consensus of views held by all members of the Roman Curia.
  
For this reason I have focused my main attention on the Order’s Grand Priories of America, Germany, and of Austria. For a number of years, these jurisdictions have been at the forefront of charitable and humanitarian projects supported by Pope John Paul II, and they were specifically singled out by him for their praiseworthy chivalric activities.
   
With the sole exception of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, to whom the Supreme Pontiff appoints a Cardinal Patron, and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, to whom the Pope appoints a Cardinal Grand Master, no other official appointments of Cardinals by the Supreme Pontiff are made, although individual Cardinals or high Prelates sometimes receive the Holy Father’s express permission to act as Spiritual Counsellors to particular Orders of Knighthood. By the same token the Apostolic See has been known to expressly ask dignitaries of the Church to withdraw from any activities within some organisations. In such cases the Supreme Pontiff, acting through the Prefect of the Apostolic Court or the Papal Secretary of State, would as a matter of principle refuse to receive in private audience representatives of an Order or organisation of which he disapproves.
   
On 28 and 29 October 1992, members of the American, German, Austrian, and Canadian Grand Priories, with pilgrims from other jurisdictions of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, under the leadership of the Order’s Grand Hospitaller and Grand Prior of America, Dr. Hans von Leden, attended the celebrations of the silver jubilee of the Patriarchate of the Order’s Spiritual Protector, His Beatitude Maximos V Hakim, in the Vatican. His Holiness Pope John Paul II made a special point of singling out and greeting the Grand Hospitaller from the tens of thousands who were present at the General Audience, and afterwards he invited Patriarch Maximos V Hakim to a special audience on the occasion of his jubilee, and Dr. Hans von Leden and the members of the Order to a private audience for the next day in the Sala Regia in the Apostolic Palace, where His Holiness spoke to every member individually, that them for the work they had done.
    
All the above-mentioned events, beginning with the continuation of activities of the Knights of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem before and after the dissolution of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Lazarus of Jerusalem in 1830, to present day, create a dilemma for me when assessing the Order’s correct status and style. Before writing this chapter, I wrote to the two surviving Hospitaller Orders of Knighthood who with the Order of St. Lazarus share a common history in the early Crusades. The then Governor-General (now Lieutenant General) of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Prince Paolo Enrico Massiomo Lancellotti, replied that as a matter of principle the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem never comments on other Orders or organisations. The High Historical Consultant of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Frà Cyrill, The Prince Toumanoff, stated unequivocally that the Sovereign Order would as a matter of principle never recognise the Military Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem.
  
As I said above, there are several self-styled organisations in existence that use the same name but have nothing to do with those who are the subject of this chapter. If we search for a fons honorum of the Order, there is no hereditary successor to a former reigning sovereign who claims the Order as a dynastic institution. The Duc de Brissac, a member of one of Europe’s most ancient ducal houses, is the Order’s Grand Master, and it should be noted that holders of this office are elected: it is not hereditary.
  
I mentioned at the beginning of the book that the criteria upon which chivalric orders are judged are being questioned inside the Roman Curia. The fact that the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem has members belonging to various Christian denominations, makes it impossible to judge it solely on Catholic criteria, in spite of the fact that the Order has had a Catholic Patriarch as its Spiritual Protector since 1841, and today a number of Cardinals and high dignitaries of the Roman Curia are Spiritual Counsellors to various Grand Priories.
   
There are two important issues raised in the previous paragraph: first, the Knights who in 1841 approached the Greek Catholic Melchite Patriarch of Antioch and asked him to take the Order under his protection, did so because they felt that under the circumstances their most logical step was to go back to the Middle East where the Order had been founded and seek spiritual protection there. Secondly, whilst the Order’s appellation "Hospitaller" is self-evident by its activities, the Order defines its appellation "Military" in terms that conform to fundamental principles of the Second Vatican Council. The Grand Hospitaller, Dr. Hans von Leden, said: "We are a Military Order because we fight for Christian Unity. Much of our work is dedicated to that aim, and we endeavor to adhere to the fundamental Christian values." The Order does not style itself "ecumenical" because it maintains that this term and "ecumenism" have changed their original meaning: they used to imply Christian Unity, but over the last few decades they have no longer made fundamental Christian values a criterion, so that "ecumenical" now means "tolerance and coexistence between faiths of different cultures". Whilst the Military Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem is committed to tolerance towards, and peaceful coexistence with, other faiths, it seeks to operate on strictly fundamental Christian values and principles on which the Order will not compromise.
   

Peter Bander van Buren

  
Selection of various historical events relating to the Order. 
       
Early leper hospitals and leper houses ...
  
According to ancient tradition, the birthplace of the Order of Saint Lazarus was a leper hospital, constructed outside the walls of Jerusalem by the High Priest John Hyrcanus who ruled over the Jewish people between the years 135 and 105 BC. Letters patent issued in 1343 by John (later King of France under the name John "the Good") attest to the tradition that the Brotherhood was founded in the year 72. Putting this fanciful origin aside, most historians agree with the affirmation by Pope Pius IV in his Bull Inter Assiduas that the Order existed in 369 during the papacy of St Damasus I, when St Basil the Great was Archbishop of Caesarea. It is this saintly archbishop who is considered the legendary Father of the Order by virtue of his founding a large hospital for lepers near Caesarea. 

During the fifth century another leper hospital was established at Acre, and then the principal hospital was opened at Jerusalem in 530. And the Leper House was also located outside the walls of the city near the postern of Saint Ladre, or Saint Lazarus, on what was believed to be the site of the ancient hospital founded by John Hyrcanus.

   
The Priory of Capua ...
  
The Priory of Capua had been founded in 1211 and Pope Leo X granted it extraordinary privileges. From 1517 onwards the leader of this branch called himself Grand Master of the Order within the Kingdom of Sicily, and elsewhere. In 1572 Pope Gregory XIII united this branch in perpetuity with the House of Savoy. This Bull specifically excluded the Spanish branch of the Order which remained under the control of the Spanish Crown. The reigning Duke of Savoy, Philibert III, hastened to fuse the Priory of Capua with his recently founded Order of Saint Maurice, and thenceforth the title Grand Master of the Order of Saint Maurice and Saint Lazarus has been hereditary in the Ducal House of Savoy and the Royal House of Italy. This order has been conferred by the King of Italy without restrictions of borth to both civilians and military personnel.
    
The Headquartered at Boigny, France ...
  
The branch headquartered at Boigny in France had been founded in 1154 through a gift of King Louis VII to the first knights of the Order to leave the Holy Land. After the final fall of Acre, its commanders were recognised as Grand Masters of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem Upon and Beyond the Seas. The sovereign character of the Order was recognised by the Kings of France. and under their protection the Order continued to perform its sovereign functions.
     
Other important branches gravitated around these two main jurisdictions. In England, the Master of the Hospital of Burton Lazars, founded in 1135, was Vicar-General of the Grand Magistracy of Boigny for England. The Spanish knights of the Order also came under the jurisdiction of the Grand Magistracy of Boigny. The Commander of the famous Convent of Seedorf, founded in Switzerland in 1134, bore the title of Master of Saint Lazarus. In Germany, the Commander of the Hospital of St Magdalene of Gotha was Provincial Commander; the Commander of Strigonia (Estergon) in Hungary was Vicar-General of the Grand Magistracy of Boigny for Hungary. From these examples, it is apparent that the principal European branches of the Order were grouped around the Grand Magistracy of Boigny. Thus Boigny assured the perpetuation of the sovereign existence of the Order.
   
The Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Order of Saint Lazarus, and there after ... 
  
In 1608 (16th. of February 1608, Papal Bull Romanus Potifex) the knightly Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was created in France and later that same year, in a political move, a Royal French Letters Patent was signed and sealed on October 31, 1608.  From this Letters Patent, the knightly orders of Saint Lazarus and the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel were merged to form the new Order known as:

"The Royal and Military Orders of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem United." (ML).

This act placed the Order firmly under the favour of the French Royal Family.

Later on in 1816 publication of the Almanagh Royal a few individuals were listed as the members that Order. The letters "ML" signified a membership in the united Orders; none of them, however, were named in the pre-1789 rolls nor in the Roll of the united Orders published in this Almanach. Including, notably, Count Camille-Henri-Melchior de Polignac (Maréchal de Camp), Count Maurice-Gabriel-Joseph Riquet de Caraman (Maréchal de Camp, Inspector-General of Cavalry, Peer of France, Commander of Saint-Louis), the Marquis de Bizemont (indicated as a member in the 1820 edition), the Marquis de Dubois-Descours (1820 and 1823 edition), and M. Huzart, Agent-General of the Royal Society of Agriculture (1820 edition). Charles-François le Prévost de Basserode was authorized to wear the decorations of the united Orders in a letter written in the name of the Duc de Gramont, First Gentleman of the Chamber of the King, dated July 6, 1814, on the basis that he had been nominated by the King in exile; and a M. de la Brousse, Captain at the École Militaire de la Flèche, was authorized in a letter dated 12 Aug 1814 from the Marquis de Dreux-Brezé, Grand Master of Ceremonies of France, to wear the decorations and this last gentleman was listed in the Almanach Royal in several editions from 1817 with the ML symbol. Later some other names appear e.g. Albert de Steiguer, Maréchal de Camp listed in the 1827 Almanach (knighted after 1814).

   
That statement had been officially confirmed by each succeeding Patriarchs, including present one. - The Knights and the Hospitallers of the Order of Saint  Lazarus, now confident that their traditions would be maintained, resumed their charitable work especially for the benefit of Christians in the East. Under the spiritual authority of the Patriarch, there was cautious recruitment to the Order, so that by 1850 it numbered some twenty knights. Among the Eastern prelates appointed to the Order were, notably, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishops Clement of Beirut (who became Patriarch in 1856), Mgr Agapi Dumani (appointed in 1864) and Mgr Antoine Sabbagh (appointed in 1871). In the West, recruitment of new members was restricted by the Patriarch’s position vis-à-vis the Ottoman Empire. Knights appointed up to the end of the nineteenth century included, in 1853, Admiral François Alphonse Hamelin, who commanded the Black Sea squadron during the Crimean War, became Minister for the Navy and was Grand Chancellor of the Légion d’Honneur when he died in 1860. In the same year, Admiral Louis Edouard Bouët Willaumez, who became an Imperial Senator and died in 1871. In 1863, Comte Louis François du Mesnil de Maricourt, who became French Consul at Larnaca in Cyprus and died in 1865 while ministering to cholera victims; Comte Paul de Poudenx, who died in 1894; the Rev. Jan Tanski, who came to France after taking part in the Polish uprising, lived in Paris (where he was attached to the parish of Sainte-Marie-des-Batignolles), later became Almoner of the Order, contributed to its maintenance and died in 1913. In 1865, Comte Jules Marie d’Anselme de Puisaye, a Zouave in the papal armies; the Vice-count of Boisbaudry in 1875; Baron Yves de Constancin in 1896, who was later to become commander of the Hospitaller Nobles of St Lazarus, a Knight of the Order of Isabella the Catholic and the Order of Saint Anne of Russia. A man of letters, he founded the Association of Parliamentary Journalists and was the director of the Revue Internationale, dying in 1914. In 1880, Count Jules Marie d’Anselme de Puisaye, living at the time in Tunisia and desirous of involving  the Order in a charitable and hospitaller project, founded in Tunis the  Association of Green Cross, a society for aid to the injured and sick. In 1902, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Saint-Jean-d’Acre, Mgr Cyrille Ghea, a member of the Order, became Patriarch Cyril VIII. Under his aegis, new members joined the Order, among them Mgr Grégoire Haggear, his successor as Melkite Archbishop of Saint-Jean-d’Acre, Paul Watrin, Paul Beugnot, Charles Otzenberger, Jean-Paul Eyscher, Alexandre Gallery de la Tremblaye, Jean Georges de Guillet de Pardes de Fleurelles.
   
20th. Century ... 
  
On January 19th. 1928, Pope Pius XI addressed a message through the papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Gasparri, to the President of the French Association of the Knights of St. Lazarus: ‘The Holy Father kindly accepts the filial homage.... offering in turn his best wishes for the prosperity of the Hospitallers of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem and their families, sends them all a special benediction.’ (Reference 3511/27). 
   
By the Government of Spain decree of May 9th. 1940, published in State Bulletin of Decrees, No. 131 from 10/05/1940, page 3177 and 3178; next (Art. 22 and 25) approved by Decree from 8 March 1946; by recognizing the Grand Priory of Spain of the Saint Lazarus Order as part of "Orders of State of Spain" by King Juan Carlos, and by the Decree from 4 August 1980 reaffirming all  previous Decrees.
     
The Grand Masters and the Administrators of the Order ...
   
 
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