CONSTITUTION OF THE ORDER OF ST. LAZARUS OF JERUSALEM
as approved by the Governing Council and proclaimed at the Grand
Magistral Meeting held at Brissac/Angers, september 1990.
Character of the Order
The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is an international and ecumenical
Christian Order of Chivalry, maintained in its traditions by this Constitution.
The Order was traditionally under the protection of the Crown of France and is presently under the Spiritual Protection of the Greek
Melchite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem.
All members of the Order shall be of the Christian faith and committed to the upholding in their lives, fortunes and honour, the principles of Christianity. Persons not members of the Christian faith may be associated with the Order as Companions.
Aims of the Order
It is the aim of the Order to sustain and defend the Christian faith; to assist, succour and help the poor, the sick and the afflicted especially those suffering from leprosy; to promote and maintain the principles of Christian chivalry; to work for Christian unity; and to follow the teachings of Christ.
Every official act of the order shall be preceded by the
In the name of God, of the Virgin and under the guidance of our patron, Saint Lazarus..
Cross of the Order
The Cross of the Order is by tradition a Cross, green, of eight points.
The arms of the Order are: Argent a Cross vert. The whole surmounting a Cross of
eight points, vert, encircled by the Grand Collar of the Order. The whole on a mantle, sable., with tassels and ornaments, or, on the sinister side bearing a cross of eight points, vert. Over all the Eastern Crown of the Order, lined sable, with on it a Cross and Orb, or. Beneath the arms is the motto: Atavis et Armis".
Seat of the Order
The seat of the Order has been successively Jerusalem, St. Jean d'Acre and the
Royal Chateau de Boigny, the ruins of which remain as Titular Seat with Magistral and Administrative Seats as decreed by the Grand Master.
Section 1: The Grand Master
The Grand Master is the Head of the Order. He is elected by a Chapter General and must be a member of the Order, bearing an hereditary title of major nobility.
He shall serve for life or until he retires. If because of incapacity, he is unable to serve, the Governing Council may call a Special Chapter General, which may decide to elect a successor.
The Grand Master shall he installed by the Patriarchal Spiritual Protector or by the Spiritual Grand Prior in his name. He shall take the following oath, administered by the Grand Capitular:
I do solemnly promise before Almighty God to honour, uphold and observe at all times His Holy Commandments, and to ensure that they may be upheld, venerated, and observed as far as that may lie within my power; to administer and govern the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem loyally and faithfully, as becomes the duty and dignity of the Grand Master; and to uphold the Ordinances, Regulations and Customs of the Order and to ensure that the same are upheld and observed by all members of the Order. So help me God.
The Grand Master shall appoint all members of the Governing Council of the Grand Magistry, the Constitutional Council and the Grand Honorary Council. His approval is required for the appointment of all Grand Priors, Grand Bailiffs. Friars, Bailiffs and Grand Commanders of Grand Commanderies. He is the sole authority for the creation of a Knight or Dame of
the Order. No member shall be admitted into the Order against the objection of the Grand Master, All members of the Order appointed to any office or dignity within the Order shall serve at the pleasure of the Grand Master.
Section 2: Governing Council
The Governing Council shall be the highest functioning body of the Order and shall comprise the Head of each national jurisdiction or his/her designated representative.
A jurisdiction which is not in good financial standing with the administration of the Order shall not be represented at a meeting of the Governing Council, unless the Grand Treasurer so agrees.
The Chairman of the Governing Council shall be elected by and from its members for a period of four years.
The Governing Council will meet at least bi-annually on the order of its Chairman or of the Grand Master.
The Governing Council shall have the authority to call a meeting of THE Chapter General on a vote of two-third of its members.
Section 3: The Grand Magistracy
The Grand Magistracy shall consist of the following dignataries of the Order: The Grand Master; the Grand Counsellor for the Affairs of the Order; the Visitor General; the Counsellor for External
Affairs, the Grand Referendary, the Grand Hospitaller, the Chairman of the Governing Council, the Chairman of the Constitutional Council, the Grand Treasurer, The Grand Secretary, The Spiritual Grand Prior, the Grand Capitular, The Grand Secretary, the Spiritual Grand Prior and the Grand Almoner. The aforementioned dignataries of the Order shell be drawn from at least three different national jurisdictions.
All Ordinances, Decrees, Regulations and Brevets of the Order shall be issued by the Grand Master on the advice of the Grand Magistry.
Section 4: The Constitutional Council
The Constitutional Council shall be a Standing Council of the Order and shall consist of five (5) members of the Order appointed by the Grand Master. The Constitutional Council shall be responsible for the interpretation of the Constitution, Ordinances and Regulations of the Order and for the supervision of the Legal Affairs of the Order. Any issue on which the Governing Council shall be unable to agree, may be referred by the Governing Council or the Grand Master to the Constitutional Council for interpretation. The Constitutional Council shall perform such other services as may be required by the Grand Master or by the Grand Magistry. The Constitutional Council shall elect one of its members Chairman.
Section 5: The Grand Officers
The Grand Master shall appoint the Grand Officers of the Order and determine their functions.
Section 6: The Honorary Council
The Honorary Council shall be a Standing Council of the Order and shall consist of members of the Order appointed by the Grand Master to advise him when so requested
Section 7: the Chapter General
The Supreme Governing Body and repository of all power in the Order is the Chapter General.
The Chapter General is composed of all Knights and Dames of the Order in good standing, such good standing being confirmed in
writing by the national jurisdiction to which each member belongs. Each Knight and Dame of the Order in good standing shall be entitled to vote at the Chapter General. Each Knight and Dame of the Order in
good standing may vote by written proxy given to the Head of the national jurisdiction to which such Knight or Dame belongs. The Chapter General shall be convened by the Grand Referendary on instruction of the Grand Master or on the death of the Grand Master, or on the order of the Governing Council.
When the Chapter General is convened, notice of at least one hundred and eighty (180) days of the subject matter for which such Chapter General is convened shall be given to the Head of each national jurisdiction.
Section 8: The Grand Magistral Meeting
The Grand Magistral Meeting shall comprise all members of the Order in good standing. Only members of the grade of Commander or of higher rank may vote. The Grand Magistral
Meeting shall convene at least every two years. It shall be summoned by the Grand Referendary on the order of the Grand Master. Notice of not less than one hundred and eighty (180) days being given and an agenda shall similarly be distributed in advance of such Grand Magistral Meeting.
- ARTICLE IX
Section 1: The Spiritual Protector of the Order
The Spiritual Protector of the Order is His Beatitude the Greek Melchite Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem. The Spiritual Grand Prior of the Order shall be a high ranking member of the Greek Melchite Catholic Clergy, appointed by the Spiritual Protector.
Section 2: The Spiritual Advisory Council
The Grand Master, upon the recommendations and with the consent of the Spiritual Protector of the Order, shall appoint a Spiritual Advisory Council. The Chairman of the Spiritual Advisory Council shall be the Spiritual Grand Prior of the Order. The purpose of such council is to advise and to provide guidance to the Grand Master upon all matters relating to the Spiritual Life of the Order. It shall meet at least every two years, on the occasion of the Grand Magistral Meeting.
Section 3: Chaplains
Each jurisdiction shall have at least one Chaplain who shall be responsible for the spiritual matters of the jurisdiction.
Membership of the Order
Section 1: Qualifications
In accordance with the Ordinances of the Order, ladies and gentlemen of such character and standing as may be a credit to the Cross of the Order and to its aims may be proposed to a jurisdictional Admissions Commission and, subject to approval, shall be recommended to the Grand Master for admission as a member or as companion of such status as may be appropriate.
Recommendations for promotion or awards shall follow such similar procedure and shall be based on service to the Order.
Section 2: Ranks in the Order
The ranks in the Order in ascending order are:
Member (ML), Officer (OUJ), Commander (CU), Knight or Dame (KUJ/DUJ), Knight
/ Dame Commander (KCLJ/DCUJ), Knight / Dame Grand Cross (GCLJ/DGCUJ, Knight I Dame Grand Cross with Grand Collar.
Section 3: Clergy
Priests and ministers of the Christian faith may be admitted as Chaplains of the
Order, Such candidates for admission must submit proof of ordination
and be in good standing as a priest or minister in his/her particular denomination.
The ranks of clergy members, in ascending order are:
Assistant Chaplain (AChUJ) Chaplain (ChLJ), Senior Chaplain (SChLJ), Ecclesiastical Chaplain (EChUJ), Ecclesiastical Grand Cross (EGCUJ).
Section 4: Admissions and Transfers
Every admission or transfer requires the approval of the Head of the national jurisdiction of the country in which the candidate is principally domiciled. Except for jurisdictions in exile, no jurisdiction may recruit or admit members outside its national territory without the permission of the Head of Jurisdiction of the country of which the candidate is a national or in which he/she is principally domiciled.
In the rank of Knight or Dame and above there are two categories, these being:
Justice and Grace.
Members of the Order may be granted the Cross of Justice on proof of nobility in
accordance with their national traditions.
Section 5: Payment of Oblations and Passage Fees.
It shall be a requirement of membership of the Order that each
member shall pay
such oblations and passage fees as may properly from time to time be assessed, as
provided in the Ordinances. For good cause shown, in individual cases, the Grand
Master or the Head of the appropriate jurisdiction may suspend or remit the
requirements of this Section 5 of Article X.
Section 1: Uniforms and Insignia
The uniform, insignia and armorial bearings of the Order shall be as prescribed by
the Grand Master, and shall be promulgated in the Ordinances
of the Order, making
allowance for the traditions of national jurisdictions.
Section 2: The Seal of the Order
The Seal of the Order comprises the Arms of the Order and the
inscription: ,,Ordinis Sancti Lazari in Jerusalem".
- Validity of Acts
Every act of the Chapter General shall be valid when the same shall have been affirmatively approved by not less than two-thirds of the members thereof having been duly called together to vote upon the particular act and who are present in person or by proxy at the time the vote is taken.
Every act of the Governing Council shall be valid when the same shall have been approved by not less than two-thirds of the national jurisdictions in the Order present through duly authorised representatives.
Voting by proxy shall not be permitted at any meeting other than at a Chapter General.
Amendments to the Constitution
The Constitution of the Order may be amended or otherwise modified by the affirmative vote of no less than two-thirds of the members of the Governing Council pursuant to due notification of such proposed amendment or modification.
Ordinances of the Order
The Grand Master may promulgate such Ordinances, not inconsistent with any provisions of this Constitution, as may be necessary or
desirable for the government of the Order.