Thursday 22 September 2011

Order of St Lazarus

Fiftieth Grand Master, HE Jan Count Dobrzenský z Dobrzenicz.

This Friday and Saturday my little parish is hosting an Investiture for the Military and Hospitaler Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem. Sadly, in its recent history there have been many splits and breakaway groups - the result of not being directly under the jurisdiction of the Holy See, who would be the ones to arbitrate any disputes. However, we remain under the Temporal Protection of HRH Prince Henri, Count of Paris, Duke of France, Head of the Royal House of France.

It is only our annual Investiture for great Britain but we will be graced with the presence of
our Grand Master, HE Jan Count Dobrzenský z Dobrzenicz from the Czech Republic and our Grand Master Emeritus, HRH Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans, as well as the heads of jurisdiction from Bohemia, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.S.A. and France.

HRH Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans with his wife Dianna, the Duchess of Cadaval on the steps of Évora Cathedral with Prince Charles visiting them earlier this year.

There is a Vigil Service on Friday evening and a Mass with Investiture of seven new members for the Priory of Great Britain as well as eleven "Companions" - friends of the Order who support us with prayer and practical activity. As the Priory of Great Britain we are fortunate to be welcoming new embers from England, Scotland and the Northern Ireland. The Mass on Saturday morning at 10.30am this year will be in the Extraordinary Form, with Byrd's Mass for 5 voices as the setting. We are able to offer Mass of Our Lady of Ransom because she is the principal patron of the Order in Great Britain (otherwise it is an Ember Day). The Mass is open to all, if you happen to live locally.

Apart from that, I've also been busy sorting out the accompanying meals and receptions. Principally, a Charity Dinner for 80 or so people with the Mayor and Mayoress of South Ribble in attendance. We are raising funds at this for our new project in association with His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. I had the very great pleasure of meeting the Cardinal in Rome recently to co-ordinate work with SUROL, a leprosy charity in his Archdiocese in Sri Lanka, so we hope to raise a goodly sum for this charity which takes the Order back to its origins of caring for those suffering from leprosy.

The setting for our Charity Dinner - fortunately, just next door to the church
(And no, this is, sadly, not the presbytery!)


Rise Up....... said...

If I may make a flippant comment: I would think that the Order of St Lazarus would have very few members - only three or four that I can think of offhand.

David O'Neill said...

Wishing all new initiates great joy in the Order. Wonderful that an Order carries on the traditional Mass. I work to have it in my own Order.
Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem

Fr Simon Henry said...

Rise Up - As I said in the post, there other other St Lazarus groups. It must be one of those you know of.

Anonymous said...

My prayerful congratulations to you and the Order.

Father, may I ask, I've been researching the Military Orders founded during the Crusades and when I came upon OSL, It did not find any mention - and as your post confirmed- of the Order being under the protection or auspices of the Holy See. May I ask why?

Again, congratulations and many thanks!

James Scott, STB MA said...

Father, I would like to comment on the remarks made by Rise up. Having attended the several occasions over the weekend i can assure him/her that there are far more than 3 or 4 people. It may be worth mentioning that there were three men, who as the rector of my boarding school would have said spent too much time in the wrong part of the duty free dept., they arrived late, giggled during Mass and made strange noises that may,in my professional opinion, require them to add roughage to their diets. They left Mass early. I was perplexed by their behaviour. It seems they are mebers of some group who style themselves as the Order of St Lazarus. It must be the group that Rise up is writing of. I was not impressed by their attire, apparently this rogue group wear plaid shirts and imitation chinos, surely this is not part of their patrimony?
They also need to learn how to behave during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Which again surprised me for a group claiming to be Christian.
Although on an empathy level they may be more sympathetic as to how lepers may have felt, only their exclusion from normal society is self inflicted.

Rise Up....... said...

I must confess that my flippant remark about the Order of St. LAZARUS having very few members was, as it turns out, a rather weak joke that nobody understood. Lazarus was raised from the dead as were two or three others in the New Testament; last Sunday's Gospel at the EF Mass about the young man from Naim being another example. If one had to be raised from the dead to be a member of the order then it would have very few members. That was my point albeit it (deservedly?) fell on stony ground.

Fr Simon Henry said...

In answer to a question in the comments box from Annonymous - the Order is not directly under the authority of the Holy See because although a Catholic Order, it admits non-Catholics as members as well, including clergy, so long as they profess a "mainstream" Trinitarian Christianity and are in good standing with their own ecclesial community. This means that those members could not be under the authority of the Holy Father, as this can only apply to catholics. For example, in the case of a dispute, they would not be bound by the Church's Canon Law in the same way as a catholic.