Monday, 18 January 2021

The Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, by its history and its structure, has always been and remains, in reality, an equestrian order.



Because of it's checkered history, at times almost dying out, the Order of St Lazarus sometimes faces questions on the question of in what way is it recognized by the Catholic Church.

The historical and spiritual identity of the Order is obviously equestrian in nature and we are happy to report that in December 2020 Cardinal Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, has  given us this confirmation by a letter sent to the Grand Master. 

The Cardinal specifies that he 

"considers that the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, by its history and its structure, has always been and remains, in reality, an equestrian order" 

and 

"wishes the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem to continue with great fruitfulness the work of sanctification of his members and of the noble service in favour of the poorest who characterise it in all the local Churches where it is present ”
.
The historical identity of the Order under our 50th Grand Master HE Jan Count Dobrzensk├Ż z Dobrzeniczand and it's vocation within local Churches are thus confirmed by the Holy See and this is a great joy for us.

In conclusion, we can henceforth affirm that the Holy See confirms our historical identity as an equestrian order and encourages us to continue our action within the Catholic Church through the recognition of the local Churches.

Because of the historical vagaries of the Order, we have not had direct governance under the Holy See like the better known Equestrian Orders. Since October 16, 2016, the Apostolic See decided not to expand the number of its own equestrian orders; so new recognition in that manner would not be possible for any group. 

Therefore, encouraged by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, we continue the work oft gaining recognition at diocesan and Conference of Bishops level, as has happened already in many places.

We look forward to renewing our efforts under this encouragement as, God willing, we are able to return to meeting together to push forward our efforts fundraising for those in need.