The Order of Saint Lazarus (“the Order”) is one of the most ancient of the European orders of chivalry, dating back to the time of the Crusader knights. From its foundation in the 12th century, the members of the Order have been dedicated to two ideals: aid to those suffering from disease of leprosy and the defence of the Christian faith.

Today the Order is an international self-governing and independent body, with its own Constitution. The Order is registered as a Foundation in Madrid, in accordance with the laws of Spain. Traditionally it is organized as a Christian Chivalric Order. It is apolitical, oecumenical, and non-denominational.

With the exception of the present Teutonic Order ("Deutscher Orden"), the Order of Saint Lazarus is today the smallest of the orders of Christian chivalry. It is made up of approximately four thousand members in the five continents.

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