1.1 CHARACTER OF THE ORDER
a. The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem is an international, non-political, ecumenical or non-denominational and independent non-profit Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) according to the European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations.
b. Traditionally it is organised as a Christian Chivalric Order.
c. It is both a Military Order of Mercy and a Hospitaller Order dedicated to the care and assistance of the poor and the sick. The Order dedicates itself especially to lepers, always mindful of its origin in the Holy Land in the early centuries following the life of Christ, and to the supporting of the Christian faith.
d. The Order is similarly structured to a Constitutional Monarchy where the Monarch is the nominal representative of the State while all political and administrative decisions are run by the Government of the State.
e. Therefore it is the Grand Master who is the representative of all civil, military, diplomatic and religious authorities while, the operation and representation of the Order is the responsibility of all members of the Supreme Council.
f. In order not to create confusion, it is stated that the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is:
- the original Order that was founded in the Holy Land in 1098 and has continued to this day;
- the same Order that was originally under the Magisterial of the Duke of Seville, who was given a vote of no confidence and was no longer recognized as the Supreme Head of the Order, at a meeting where the majority of all Heads of Jurisdiction were present in Vienna, May 2004;
- recognized by the Spanish Government by means of a Decree in May 9, 1940 and which was published in the Official Spanish State Bulletin in 10/05/1940 no. 131 pp. 3177 and 3178;
- mentioned with specific duties and privileges in the Spanish State Regulations for the care of Leprosy (Arts 22 and 25) approved by a Decree dated 8th March 1946;
- treated in all respects as a Spanish state as per Decree dated 4th August 1980;
- defined as an International Humanitarian Body as recognized by the European Economic Community in an Act dated 20th April 1982.
g. The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem – Malta, recognizes the existence of other organisms using the said name of the Order with the term “Obedience” or other groups declaring themselves independent and all these do not form part of the true and legitimate continuation of the original Order. However, The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem - Malta, can create Alliances or other agreements with such groups for the promotion of charitable acts under the common Heading of the Order.
h. Any irregular Saint Lazarus member or Body who would like to join the true Order can by means of a written petition do so. Each petition must also be accompanied with copies of their diploma for admission, promotions received, if any, and the same documentation requested when originally applied for admission. On acceptance, they will keep their original rank but will have to forfeit their original position.This will guarantee the positions of all members of the Supreme Council of the Order.
a. All Members of the Order shall be practising members of the Christian Faith in good standing within their particular denomination. All Members of the Order shall be committed to the upholding with their lives, fortunes and honour, the principles of Christianity, and shall stand united before all people in their determination to live and die following the teaching of Christ and His Holy Church.
1.3 AIMS OF THE ORDER
a. It shall be the aim of the Order to preserve and defend the Christian faith, to guard, assist succour 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.
b. By its activities in charitable, philanthropic, health and educational 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.
c. The activities of the Order are world-wide with particular attention to leprosy.
a. The Sign of the Cross and the invocation “In the name of God, and of the Virgin and of Saint Lazarus“ is to precede every official act of the Order.
1.5 CROSS OF THE ORDER
a. The Cross of the Order shall be the Cross of the Eight Beatitudes, commonly called the Maltese Cross, green in colour.
b. The Cross of the Order may be used by the Order itself, by its Jurisdictions and Volunteer Corps and by all active individual Members.
1.6 BANNERS AND ARMS OF THE ORDER
a. The Banner of the Order is white with a green cross.
b. The Arms of the Order are white with a green cross, surmounting eight points signifying the eight Beatitudes, encircled by The Grand Collar, the whole on a black mantle lined sable, with gold tarsils and ornaments and on the left side bearing the green Cross signifying the eight Beatitudes, over all the old traditional gold Crown of the Order on which is borne a green Cross and gold Orb and beneath the arms is the motto “Atavis et Armis“.
c. The Arms of the Order, with or without the motto, may be used by the Order itself, by its Jurisdictions and by individual Members.
d. Various Banners and Ensigns as well as Pinsils and the general Standard of the Order as prescribed in the General Regulations (Part 3, chapter 9, section 1) may be used by various Jurisdictions, Volunteer Corps and Senior Officers.
1.7 BANNER OF THE GRAND MASTER AND OF THE
PRESIDENT OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL
a. The Banner of the Grand Master is white divided quarterly, 1 and 4, the arms of the Order; 2 and 3, the personal arms of the Grand Master, golden fringed.
b. The Banner of the President of the Supreme Council is white, the complete coat of arms of the Order, without the Motto Atavis et Armis, circulated by the Grand Collar, golden fringed.
1.8 SEALS OF THE ORDER
a. The Great Seal of the Order is: The full arms of the Order encircled by the inscription “ORDO MILITARIS ET HOSPITALARIS SANCTI LAZARI HIEROSOLYMITANI“.
b. The Seal of the Order shall be used by the President of the Supreme Council to be affixed at all diplomas and other important documents.
c. Other Seals as prescribed in the General Regulations (Part 3, chapter 9, section 2) may be used by Senior Officers in the exercise of their official duties.
1.9 MOTTO OF THE ORDER
a. The Motto of the Order is in Latin “Atavis et Armis“, translated “By the Example of our Ancestors“.
1.10 SEAT OF THE ORDER
a. The Spiritual (titular) Seat of the Order will be the place so established by the Supreme Council.
b. The Administrative Seat of the Order will be situated at the address of the Grand Chancery will be so designated by the Supreme Council. At the moment the administrative seat of the Order is in Malta.
c. The Grand Custodian (the Treasurer) should, if possible, also reside in the same country where the Grand Chancery is situated, unless it should be desired otherwise by the Supreme Council.
1.11 ANTHEM OF THE ORDER
a. The Anthem of the Order is the musical composition ”Hymn to Saint Lazarus”, written and composed by Confrere Peter LaManna, D.Mus., KStG, CLJ, and dedicated 1986 to the Members of the Order of Saint Lazarus.
b. Text and music of the Anthem are included with this Constitution as an appendix.
c. The Anthem must be recited during every official function of the Order, if possible in singing version.
1.12 ORGANIZATION OF THE ORDER
a. The Order shall be divided into a number of National Jurisdictions, accountable to the Supreme Council. In the past they were calIed by the various names, e.g. Grand Bailiwick, Grand Priory, Grand Commandery, Bailiwick, Priory or Commandery, according to custom, actually they are called Grand Priory or Priory.
b. A Grand Priory will normally be sub-divided into suitable smaller Jurisdictions called Commanderies, Sub-Commanderies or Delegations, but such have no independent standing outside of their Grand Priory.
c. Hereditary Commanderies reports directly to the Executive Council. They are installed by it and are not subject to the local Jurisdictions within whose geographic territory they exist, but all communications to the Executive Council will be passed through the Grand Chancery.
1.13 OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
a. The official language of the Order is English.
b. The Brevets will be in English, the Diplomas and the Decrees will be in Latin.