At the turn of the 19th century during the reign of the Melkite Patriarch Cyril VIII Geha, a series of administrative reforms was initiated whereby the Order’s Chancery was re-established in its historic seat in France. The statute of the Order, now named the Chevaliers Hospitaliers de Saint Lazare de Jerusalem et de Notre Dame de la Merci, was reviewed. The governance was explicitly placed in the hands of the Magistracy, thus completely laicizing the Order. The Melkite Patriarch was identified as the Supreme Pontiff.
In conformity to the 1901 French legislation regulating non-governmental bodies, the Order in 1927 organised itself as the Association Francaise des Hospitaliers de Saint-Lazare de Jérusalem under the presidency of the Marquis de l’Eglise de Ferrier de Felix. In 1929, the Order published a new edition of its Rules and Statutes, which recapitulated the Order's ancient customs whilst adapting them to modern times and relying upon the basis of the Fundamental Statute of the Knights and Hospitallers which had been drawn up in 1841. The subsequent years saw the expansion of the Order beyond the French borders, notably in Spain and Poland but also the Americas.