Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem

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February 9, 2012 by yamakashi

Via Scoop.itVia Regalis

The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus is one of the orders of chivalry to survive the downfall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the attempts by the Crusader knights to win control of the Holy Land from the forces of Islam. In theory the Order remained a military one, but with the exception of a brief period in the 17th century it played no military role after 1291. The Order of Saint Lazarus – OSLJ, is one of the most ancient of the European orders of chivalry. At the very least it dates back to the time of the Crusader knights. From its foundation in the 12th century, the members of the Order were dedicated to two ideals: aid to those suffering from the dreadful disease of leprosy and the defense of the Christian faith. Today the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is an international self-governing and independent body, having its own Constitution; it may be compared with a kind of electoral kingdom. According to the said Constitution the Order is nonpolitical, oecumenical or nondenominational, as its membership is open to all men and women being practicing members of the Christian faith in good standing within their particular denomination. Its international membership consists of Roman-catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Orthodox, United, Old Catholic, New Apostolic and other Christians, upholding with their lives, fortunes and honour the principles of Christianity. Traditionally it is organized as a Christian Chivalric Order. It is both a Military Order of Mercy and a Hospitaller Order dedicated to the care and assistance of the poor and the sick. Its aim is to preserve and defend the Christian faith, to guard, assist succor and help the poor, the sick and dying, to promote and maintain the principles of Christian chivalry and to follow the teachings of Christ and His Holy Church in all its works. With the exception of the present Teutonic Order (“Deutscher Orden”) the Order of Saint Lazarus is today the smallest of the orders of Christian chivalry. It is made up of approximately five thousand members in the five continents. The Order sees itself as an oecumenical Christian order whose genesis goes back to the Holy Land, to the crusades and to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. One of the oldest and most deeply respected confraternities of chivalry in Christendom, the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem was established at the Infirmary of Saint Lazarus in the year 1098, during the First Crusade. A leprosarium, the infirmary was located outside the walls of Jerusalem -near the legendary home of Saint Lazarus, where it had been long maintained by an ancient hospitaller brotherhood according to tradition founded by Saint Basil the Great in the 4th century. The Order of Saint Lazarus was the only chivalric organisation caring for the needs of lepers, outcasts who roamed the Near East and Europe throughout the Middle Ages. Known as Lazarists or Lazarites, members of the Order specialised in caring for lepers and ministering to those afflicted with other contagious diseases, as well. In order to protect these victims of disease from maltreatment and to defend their leper hospices against the infidels, the Order assumed a military role. In the 13th century, the Order of Saint Lazarus transferred its activities from Jerusalem to Acre in preparation for the final defence of the Holy Land. After the fall of Acre and the expulsion of all Christians from the Holy Land, the Order moved its headquarters to France, where it came under the protection of the Royal House. From there, the Order gradually extended its influence across Europe, establishing numerous leper hospitals (known as lazar-cotes or lazarettes) in France, Spain, Italy, England. Scotland, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland. During the Middle Ages, the Order of Saint Lazarus fulfilled a dual mission. As a military power, it operated a flotilla of warships in the Mediterranean to protect important sea routes against pirates and marauders. At the same time, the Hospitallers of Saint Lazarus protected and treated the victims of Europe’s most dreaded scourge. Today in Paris the district of St. Lazare derives its name from one of the important medical centers established by the Order. The decline in incidence of leprosy in the West reduced the need for special sanitaria. The 20th century brought new challenges and new opportunities for Christian endeavour: a growing spirit of ecumenism brought a need for Christian unity and relief for the victims of oppression around the world, especially those devastated by the break-up of the Communist empire. The contributions of the Order have grown to the point that it is considered a major force in humanitarian activity The ecumenic activities have been recognised with the Pope John XXIII Award. The Order endeavours to maintain the Christian presence in the Holy Land by the construction and maintenance of medical facilities in the Old City of Jerusalem and in other Christian communities. In recent years the Order has been engaged in a major program to restore Christianity in Eastern Europe. Millions of dollars worth of food, clothing, medical equipment and supplies have been distributed in Poland, Hungary, Romania and Croatia. Because of this expertise, the European Community commissioned the Order to transport more than one and a half billion dollars in food to the starving in Russia, resulting in new laurels for the Lazarus volunteers. Today, more than 900 years after its birth, the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus remains actively engaged in service to mankind, keeping faith with a tradition dating back to the Crusades. As in those days long ago but now on a world wide scale, the Hospitallers of Saint Lazarus perpetuate the noble ideals of honour, integrity and charity through the relief of suffering, in the imitation of Christ. Aims and Obligations of the Order The Order of Saint Lazarus, founded during the Crusades, aims to defend Christianity while expecting its members to practice the Christian tenets of protecting and assisting the weak, helping the poor, aged, handicapped and sick. Today the Order is an international, oecumenical or nondenominational and independent non-governmental organization, traditionally organized as a Christian chivalric order. The Order dedicates itself especially to lepers, always mindful of it’s origin in the Holy Land in the early centuries following the life of Christ, and to the supporting of the Christian faith. The activities of the Order are worldwide with particular attention to leprosy. By its activities in charitable, philanthropic, health and education fields the Order contributes to the achievement of the aims and principles of the United Nations Charter and the Statute of the Council of Europe. The Investiture, the wearing the mantle and the green eight pointed cross are more than a ritualistic maintenance of an old tradition; they are symbols of brotherhood and dedication to Christianity. All Members of the Order shall be practicing members in good standing within their particular denomination. They shall be committed to the upholding with their lives, fortunes and honour, the principles of Christianity, and shall stand united before all men in their determination to live and die following the teaching of Christ and His Holy Church. The pursuit of unity is shown by respecting the other Christian denominations represented in the Order and by praying together for true unity. All Members form a spiritual family and brotherhood, sharing and helping each other at all times, and particularly in times of trouble. Each Member does, when admitted to the Order, solemnly undertake, before God and the assembled congregation, to maintain and defend this code of conduct. There are two categories of membership in the Order: Justice, for individuals able to submit nobiliary proofs, and Magistral Grace for those unable to do so. Christians may be admitted in the following grades: Member, Officer, Commander, Knight or Dame, Knight or Dame Commander, Knight or Dame Grand Cross. As a mark of the Grand Master’s special esteem, the Order may also award a Collar to a head of State and very occasionally to its high dignitaries. The Order also confers decorations of merit to its members and to individuals not necessarily members of the Order who have contributed, by their service, to its humanitarian work. The order’s badge is a green Maltese cross edged in gold, worn in different sizes according to rank. The decoration of merit is a green cross flory, with crossed swords in the angles, in the center of which is a circle surrounding the order’s green Maltese cross on a white background. The badge depends from a green ribbon edged with purple. It is awarded in the same grades as that of the order. In the English-speaking jurisdictions of the Order members, use post-nominal initials indicating their rank (MLJ,OLJ,CCLJ,CLJ,KLJ,KCLJ,GCLJ) on internal correspondence, and in the ranks of KLJ and above refer to and address one another as “Chevalier”. Obligations of Members Every person proposed for admission into the Order shall be a practicing member of the Christian faith and shall be of sound mind and of such means and position as will enable her or him to live honourably and to observe fully and freely the laws and decrees of the Order. Each Postulant must prove that he is a person of irreproachable conduct, honour and integrity, and if he is married, that the contract of marriage into which he had entered is perfectly honourable and is valid in accordance with the laws or regulations of their particular Christian denomination. A number of obligations are demanded of members when admitted to the Order: All Members have to observe the Constitution and other by-laws of the Order and to obey their senior officers. There are some financial obligations, like the payment of chancery and annual fees. Each member is asked to participate actively, according to ability, in the hospitaller work for the sick, the disabled, the elderly and all who are in need. This involves the concerned giving of services and funds, or the supply of medicines, equipment, clothing and other necessary items required by the helpless and needy. Also it is expected that every Member will endeavor, where possible, to support the Order by attendance at as many of its events as possible like Investitures, chapter and international meetings or the annual St. Lazarus Service. Members are encouraged to pray daily for the well-being and extension of the Order. ——————————————————————— Between the 12th and 14th March 2010 the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem met in Malta for an Investiture of the Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands. A Holy Mass and Investiture Ceremony were held on the 13th March 2010 in Valletta. The ceremony was presided over by the Grand Vicar of the Order, H.S.H. Dr. hc. Vittorio Galoppini, 37th Duke of Carpenedolo and Prince of the Holy Roman Empire of Germany. The Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands was led by its Grand Prior, H.E. Chev. Joseph S.P. Meli Attard. The congregation was made up of members from the Supreme Council and delegations from Malta, Belgium, Hungary, Sicily, Italy and Sweden. Before the ceremony in Valletta, the Grand Vicar planted an oak tree in the garden of Balluta Bay in order to represent the Order’s appreciation to the community of St. Julian’s that hosted the delegates and also to demonstrate the Orders commitment of promoting and protecting the Islands natural heritage. The Investiture saw a total of 12 postulants admitted to the order; 10 within the Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands and two within the Hungarian Jurisdiction. Three members of the Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands were promoted to Commanders of the Order whilst members of other Priories received different recognition for their work. The ceremony was followed by a Grand Gala dinner at Le Méridien St. Julians Hotel & Spa, where a donation was presented to Mr. Anthony Guillimer, chairman of the Richmond Foundation. The funds donated were collected during ‘Gloria’ 2nd Making Music Malta International Festival which was organised by Making Music Malta St. Lazarus Foundation, the musical arm of the Order in Malta. The official programme came to an end the following day with a memorial services in honour of the late Grand Vicar, H.E. Chev. Reginald S Attard at the Addolorata Cemetery. ———————————————————————
The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem-Malta has the pleasure to announce that an Investiture will be celebrated in Gozo, the sister Island of Malta, on Saturday the 22nd day of November 2008. This special occasion, hosted by the Grand Custodian of Treasure H.E. Dame Helen Meli Attard, Countess of Calcinato DGCCLJ-J, will also incorporate the installation of the Grand Spiritual Prior of the Order H.E. Monsignore Ronald Philippe Bär O.S.B former bishop of Rotterdam and former bishop of Military Ordinanary, the Netherlands. The Grand Vicar of the Order, H.S.H. Dr hc. Vittorio Galoppini 37° Duca di Carpenedolo Principe del Sacro Romano Impero di Germania GCCLJ-J, GCMLJ, HCLJ, GMLJ, GCrLJ, Don1LJ, MMSLJ will preside over the whole event. Mass will be held at 14.00 in the beautiful sanctuary at Ta Pinu church, Ta Pinu. Today the sanctuary is a place of pilgrimage to thousands of devotees. This will be followed by an Investiture, drinks and a Gala dinner. Memorial Service, Malta 2008-11-21 Prior to this event, on Friday the 21st day of November, 2008, at 15.00 there is going to be a memorial service for the late Grand Vicar H.E. Reginald Saviour Richard Attard Count Palatine della Casa Imperiale e Reale di Svevia e Conte di Calcinato FIA, CPA, FAIA, MBIM, M Inst AM, MMIM, CSA, GCLJ-J with Grand Collar, KMLJ. President of the Supreme Council in the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, member of the International Fraternity of Noble Titles, Grand Chancellor (ret.) Vice Commander of the Commandery of the Castello (ret.), who served the Order for more than thirty years. http://www.orderofsaintlazarus.org/ Atavis et Armis ———————————————————————
The Order in Malta The presence of the Order of St Lazarus in Malta was a relatively late occurrence. There is no evidence of any leprosaria being extant in Malta during the Medieval Period, though reference has been made to the possibility of the Hospital of St Francis at Rabat, Malta [subsequently renamed to Santo Spirito Hospital] having been initially established as a leprosarium . No documentary proof has however been found to substantiate this assertion. The hospitalis Sanctj Franciscj, situated outside the Medieval walls of Mdina, is known to have been definitely in existence by 1372 and probably by 1347. It may in fact have been extant as far back as 1299. The hospital was managed by members of the Franciscan Order. The post 15th century continuous conflict between the Order of St John and the Order of St Lazarus would have definitely precluded any form of presence of the latter Order after the Maltese Islands were ceded to the Order of St John in 1530. This however did not exclude the temporary presence on the Islands of Knights belonging to the Orders of St John and also of St Lazarus. The fortunes of the Order of St Lazarus during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries similarly precluded a presence on the Islands. The Order of St. Lazarus in the Maltese owes its presence in the Maltese Islands to the traditional Anglo-Maltese links established during the nineteenth and twentieth century and dates only to the latter third of the twentieth century. In the mid-1960s, a number of Maltese individuals, including Sir Hannibal P. Scicluna, Colonel J.V. Abela, Chev. Elias Zammit, Chev. Anthony Miceli-Farrugia, Prof. Dr. J.V. Zammit-Maempel and Chev. Robert Biasini dei Conti Stagno Navarra, were admitted to the Order. The Maltese members of the Order soon established their own Independent Commandery of Malta. This commandery, on the 15th April 1969, was raised to the status of a priory with the title of Priory of Malta. The Roll of Member of the Order published in 1969 includes 17 Maltese members among a list of 500 members. The Priory of Malta continued to increase its membership and promotions; and was elevated to the status of Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands after the Order established its Chancery in Malta in 1973 with the head of the jurisdiction being Col. J.V. Abela. By 1983, the Grand Priory of Malta was represented by 55 members. The officers of the Grand Priory included Judge W.D. Harding serving as Grand Prior; Biasini dei Conti Stagno Navarra – Prior; Major F.E. Critien – Vice Chancellor; Reginald S. R. Attard – Receiver General; A. Miceli-Farrugia – Convener Admissions Ceremony; Prof. J.V. Zammit-Maempel – Hospitaller. Senior Chaplains included Rev. Mons. I. Sciberras-Psaila, Rev. Canon E. Ghigo, and Rev. Canon F. Perici; while Rev. Canon E. Galea served as Chaplain. The Malta Grand Priory and its members have furthermore been particularly active in the general affairs of the Order with Maltese members holding high posts in the central government. In 1969, Sir Hannibal Publius Scicluna was appointed Grand Chancellor of the Order assisted by Elias Zammit as Secretary General and Anthony Zammit as Secretary. In 1972, Sir. H.P. Scicluna occupied the post of Grand Capitulator, while Chev. J. Amato Gauci occupied the post of Chancellor & Secretary General, also acting as Grand Custodian. In 1973, Chev J. Amato Gauci was appointed to the post of Grand Chancellor & Custodian besides serving as Keeper of the Seal, a post held until 1986 when he served as Grand Commander & Grand Inquisitor. In 1994, other Maltese high dignitaries of the Order included: Chev Joseph Amato Gauci [b.1909 d.1995 served as Grand Chancellor & Grand Custodian (1973-1986); and as Grand Commander & Grand Inquisitor (1986-1995)]; Chev Reginald S. R. Attard [Grand Chancellor]; Chev Dr. Jaime H. Cremona [Grand Hospitaller] and Chev R. Flores Martin [Grand Cross Bearer, subsequently served as Vice-Grand Chancellor]. In 2005, the fraction aligned to the French Prince Charles-Philippe was also represented by Maltese high dignitaries including: H.E. Chev. Reginald Saviour Attard [President of Supreme Council & Grand Vicar]; H.E. Dame Helen Meli Attard [Grand Custodian, Administrator & Advisor to Grand Chancellor]. Anthony Buttigieg de Piro also previously served as a Member of the Supreme Council. The Priory of Malta hosted the Grand Magistral Council held in Malta on the 3rd-5th October 1969 during which its members participated actively. The Delegations attending the Council were received by His Grace the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Malta and His Coadjutor Bishop Gerada at the Curia. The Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands gave a hospitaller contribution to both the Maltese leper community and to overseas leper communities particularly in Kenya and Egypt. It regularly organized social events for the Maltese leper community and contributed funds to assist in the treatment of lepers overseas where the disease is still highly prevalent. The Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands also contributed further to other worthy causes such as institutions for the handicapped in Malta such as Dar il-Providenza and Razzett tal-Hbiberija, as well as the Youth Institution St Francis Ravelin. On the 13th May 1973, the Grand Priory of Malta donated an ambulance to the Hospital of St Catherine of Siena at Attard. This ambulance had been obtained from the Commandery of Lochore, Scotland through the agency of Messrs. Chalmers and Hardie. The 47th Grandmaster Prince Francesco Enrique de Borbon, in Malta at the time for the occasion of the inauguration of the Grand Chancery at Castello Lanzun, made the formal presentation. The hospital, now functioning as a home for the elderly, was again visited by HRH Don Francisco de Borbon y Escasany, Duke of Seville, 48th Grandmaster in September 2001 when the Grandmaster visited Malta to take command as Commander of the Commandery of the Castello. The Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands was not spared the general division in the Order’s management. In 2004, the Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands broke off its allegiance to the H.R.H. Don Francisco de Paula de Borbón y Escasany, Duke of Seville 48th Grandmaster Elect of the Spanish Obedience and joined the branch led by the Grand Vicar H.E. Count Reginald S. R. Attard GCLJ-J, KMLJ, whose enforced retirement from the post of Grand Chancellor in 2003 was one of the contentions for which the division took place. In November 2004, two philanthropic groups were affiliated to the latter Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands. These included the Special Rescue Group – Saint Lazarus Corps who are trained to deliver assistance to people in distress during individual or national emergencies; and the Step-by-Step Foundation which assists in the therapy of children suffering from impaired cerebral function. In April 2005, the Grand Priory obtained the consent of the Archpriest and the Collegiate Chapter to adopt the Basilica of St George at Rabat, Gozo as the spiritual seat of the Grand Priory. The Basilica was the collegiate church for the Confraternity of St Lazarus and of Charity [est 1620] and houses a dedicated altar to St Lazarus embellished by a 17th century painting by Giuseppe D’Arena. The Grand Priory also restored an earlier 17th century painting depicting St Lazarus kept in the sacristy of the Basilica. The Basilica also houses a monument to Mgr Joseph Pace [Bishop of Gozo: 1945-1972] who was a past honorary Grand Cross of Merit of the Order. The demise of the Grand Vicar H.E. Reginald S. R. Attard in 2006 left a void in the leadership of the branch led by him and members of the Grand Priory lead by Chev. Dr. Jose Pace and Cdr. Chev Paul Banavage, opted to move out of the Order taking the Step-by-Step Foundation with them and re-affiliate themselves to the spilter branch led by the expelled Grandmaster H.R.H. Don Francisco de Paula de Borbón y Escasany, Duke of Seville. The branch originally lead by the late Grand Vicar H.E. Reginald Saviour Richard Attard Count Palatine della Casa Imperiale e Reale di Svevia e Conte di Calcinato FIA, CPA, FAIA, MBIM, M Inst AM, MMIM, CSA, GCLJ-J with Grand Collar, KMLJ is still active in Malta and now headed by Grand Vicar H.S.H. Dr hc. Vittorio Galoppini 37° Duca di Carpenedolo Principe del Sacro Romano Impero di Germania GCCLJ-J, GCMLJ, HCLJ, GMLJ, GCrLJ, Don1LJ, MMSLJ On the 22nd November 2008 an Investiture which was presided by the Grand Vicar and President of the Supreme Council was held on the sister island of Malta, Gozo. On this special occasion, the Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands after being controlled and managed directly by the Grand Chancery was further strengthened by installing H.E. Chev. Joseph Meli-Attard KCLJ-J, OMLJ, BSCrLJ, as the next Grand Prior and Head of the Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands. The Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands is legally registered with the Commissioner of Voluntary Organisations VO/0513. It is affiliated to the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem under Grand Vicar H.S.H. Dr hc. Vittorio Galoppini 37° Duca di Carpenedolo Principe del Sacro Romano Impero di Germania GCCLJ-J, GCMLJ, HCLJ, GMLJ, GCrLJ, Don1LJ, MMSLJ. To protect the Order and its heritage, the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, the Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands, its names, logos and emblems have been legally registered in the Maltese Islands and are protected by International Copyright and Trademark laws. Any infrigment to these laws are liable to legal action and any other organisation/s operating under these same names, emblems, logos and not recognised by the Grand Priory of the Maltese Islands should be considered in breach of these laws. For more information regarding the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem please visit it’s Official International website which is http://www.orderofsaintlazarus.org  
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