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.

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.

Last update 01 04 2006