The Military and Hospitaller Order
of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem
is one of the orders of chivalry to survive the downfall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the attempts by the crusaders 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 more military role after 1291.
The Order of Saint Lazarus is one of the most ancient of the European orders of chivalry. at least it dates back to the time of the crusaders 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 MHOSLJ is an international self-governing and independent organization having its own constitution. It may be compared with a kind of electoral kingdom. The Order is nonpolitical, oecumenical and open to men and women being practicing members of a recognized Christian church.
Traditionally the Order is organized as a Christian Order of Chivalry. It is both a Military and a Hospitaller Order dedicated to the care and assistance of the poor and sick. As from its foundation till today the Order with its worldwide jurisdictions is supporting leprosy projects around the world as well as running many projects to assist the sick, poor and needy.
With approximately five thousand members around the world the Order of Saint Lazarus is one of the smallest orders of Christian chivalry whose genesis goes back to the Holy Land and to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.