Founded in 1098
The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem is an order of Christian chivalry composed of men and women, lay and clergy, from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Founded in 1098 by Hospitaller Knights in the Holy Land, it was the only chivalric order organized to care for the needs of “lepers,” victims of the dreaded disease which plagued civilization for centuries.
A Desire to Serve Others
Today, well into its tenth century, the Order of St. Lazarus remains actively engaged in service to humanity throughout the world, keeping faith with traditions dating back to the Crusades. While continuing our fight against leprosy (Hansen’s disease) in many countries including the United States, members support a variety of other causes ranging from providing relief following natural disasters to promoting organ and tissue donation awareness and registration.
Spiritually, the Order is ecumenical. Members come from Christian denominations subscribing to the Nicene Creed and are pledged to the realization of Christian unity.
Members represent various professions and backgrounds, but all share the desire to serve. Service comes in the form of financially supporting our Order’s local, national, and international efforts, as well as volunteering to provide service to those in need. The eight points of our green Maltese cross remind members of the Beatitudes and the importance of serving others.
Please see below for the history of the Grand Priory of America. To view the complete history of The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, please visit the international website.
Founding Year of the Grand Priory of America.
First visit by a Grand Master to the New World.
- Grand Priory has meeting at Castle Lanzun, Malta. Grand Priory completes first pilgrimage to Holy Land.
- Grand Priory makes official visit to the Holy See to honor the Holy Father Paul XI.
- Grand Priory establishes the Crusader’s Medal for the Order.
- Grand Priory appointed custodian of the Crusader’s Medal by Grand Master.
National Shrine Founded at Ursuline Convent in New Orleans.
- First Joint Meeting & Investiture with Canada.
- First official visit of the Patriarch to the Grand Priory.
First International Meeting hosted in the US (Washington D.C.).
Oxford Chapter General: Duke of Brissac elected Grand Master 1986.
Heraldry and the Grand Priory of America is published by the Grand Priory’s Herald, the Chevalier Dr. Felix W. G. v.L. Holewinski, KCLJ.
900th Year Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
During this Pilgrimage the major Holy Sites of Christ’s work were visited, and the delegation was received and greeted by the President of Israel, who arranged a special reception in our honor; the mayor of Bethlehem; Archbishop Lufti Laham (the Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem); The Episcopal Bishop of Jerusalem; and other dignitaries. In turn, the Grand Priory arranged a reception in honor of the ranking prelates of the various Christian Churches in the Holy Land, and presented them with meritorious recognitions and honorary membership in the Grand Priory of America. This pilgrimage also served as an occasion for the two Grand Masters to meet for the first time. They prayed together in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, shook hands at the tomb of our Lord, and promised reunification of the Order. This was the biggest event in the history of the Grand Priory of America as confirmed by the Grand Prior.
Dublin Chapter General in which reunification was approved. Grand Priory of America has taken a leading role for three decades in promoting unification of the Order.
Grand Commandery of the South becomes the first sub–jurisdiction to surpass 100 members.
- Retirement of the Duke of Brissac as the 48th Grand Master upon his 75th Birthday in February.
- Reunification is achieved by the Chapter General held in Toronto in March; the election is overseen by His Beatitude Patriarch Gregory.
- The Chapter General appoints the Duke of Brissac to serve as acting Grand Master for the Grand Master-elect, HH the 5th Duke of Seville.
- Reunification of Paris and Malta Obediences made official.
- HE The Chevalier Bruce M. Harrington GCLJ, JD, succeeds HE The Chevalier Hans von Leden GCLJ, MD, as Grand Prior of America.
His Excellency Don Carlos Gereda Borbón, Marquis de Almazán, becomes 49th Grand Master.
Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
- Pilgrimage to Kevelaer, Germany.
- HE RADM The Chev. Kenneth P. Moritsugu, USPHS (Ret), GClrLJ, GCLJ, MD succeeds HE The Chevalier Bruce M. Harrington, GClrLJ, GCLJ, JD as Grand Prior of America.
Pilgrimage to Walsingham, England.
Chapter General, held in New Orleans, adopts new Constitution.
Death of His Excellency Don Carlos Gereda Borbón, Marquis de Almazán, 49th Grand Master.
His Beatitude Youssef Absi becomes Spiritual Protector of the Order.
H.E. Don Francisco de Borbón Graf von Hardenberg, GCLJ, is elected 50th Grand Master.
H.E. The Chevalier John Francis Byrnes, Jr., GCLJ, KMLJ succeeds HE RADM The Chev. Kenneth P. Moritsugu, USPHS (Ret), GClrLJ, GCLJ, MD as Grand Prior of America.