Symbols of the Order of Saint-Lazarus
Through two centuries the knights of Saint Lazarus carried a simple green fabric cross on their clothes for indication. Assumed this would be allowed to do at the beginning of the 12th century in order to differ themselves from the knights of the Temple (red cross), the knights of Saint John (white cross) and of the German knights (black cross).
Some saw in the selection of the green colour, which is well known assigned to the prophet Mohammed a symbolic challenge, other ones a character of the respect and the gratitude opposite Saladan after the fall of Jerusalem.
To approx. 1480 a Latin or Greek cross was in use, whose square ends were ever more stylized. With the bull of Pope Innocent VIII. in 1489 the Orders of Saint Lazarus and of St. John were placed under a common Grand Master. He set the smaller green cross of Saint Lazarus upon the larger white cross of St. John, developing a white edged green eight pointed cross. Grand Master François Salviati gave then 1578 at a chapter in Boigny to the knights of Saint Lazarus the plain eight pointed green cross.
The Cross of the Order of Saint Lazarus
The Cross of the Order of Saint Lazarus is an eight pointed cross, commonly called the Maltese Cross, green of colour.
Since centuries ago the Maltese Cross is the distinctive emblem of orders of knighthood, established in the Holy Land as the oldest institutions in the world, whose mission is to provide humanitarian assistance in war and peace.
In the year 1120, Raymond du Puy became the first Grand Master of the Hospitaller Order of St. John. One of his first decrees was that all members of the order should wear a white cross, and this has ever since been the badge of the Order, later changed to the eight pointed one. The white colour represents purity and the cross is worn on the left side where the heart is, to indicate love.
Through two centuries the knights of Saint Lazarus carried a simple green fabric cross on their clothes for indication. Assumed this would be allowed to do at the beginning of the 12th century in order to differ themselves from the knights of the Temple (red), the knights of St. John (white) and of the German knights (black). Since 1578 the knights of Saint Lazarus wear a plain eight pointed green cross.
The four arms of the cross symbolize the four Christian virtues: prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude. The eight points represent the virtues upheld by the Order: spiritual tranquillity, life without malice, contrition, patience in adversity, love of justice, mercy, sincerity and purity of heart, and endurance under persecution.
The Coat-of-Arms of the Order of Saint Lazarus
The Coat-of-arms of the Order of Saint Lazarus are argent a cross vert, surmounting a cross of eight beatitudes (eight pointed or Maltese cross), encircled by the Grand Collar of the Order, the whole on a mantle sable, with tarsils and ornaments or, on the sinister side bearing the cross of eight beatitudes vert, over all the Eastern Crown of the Order lined sable on which is borne a cross and orb or.
Beneath the arms is the motto "ATAVIS ET ARMIS".
The Flag of the Order of Saint Lazarus
The Flag of the Order of Saint Lazarus is argent (white) a cross vert.
The Flag of the Volunteers Corps of the Order of Saint Lazarus
The Flag of the Volunteers Corps of the Order of Saint Lazarus is argent (white) an eight pointed cross vert.