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.