The LAZARUS UNION has roots dating back to 1973 and developed (with a few detours) into today‘s form in 2010.

With currently more than 22.000 members in more than 120 countries on all continents the LAZARUS UNION is at the moment the largest of all “Lazarus-Formations“ worldwide.

The LAZARUS UNION is also with the United Nations as an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) in “General Consultant Status” with the United Nations (ECOSOC) in New York, Geneva and Vienna.

According to its possibilities the LAZARUS UNION is a world-wide operating charity organisation supporting all who are in need of help, friendship, comfort, or care.

The LAZARUS UNION vigorously resists any and all “assimilation“ attempts from certain organizations and their representatives and stresses the full neutrality of the LAZARUS UNION against all groups and formations of the Lazarus Order worldwide.

Extract from the statutes:

“…it is stated here expressively and clearly that the LAZARUS UNION is neither a spiritual nor a secular order and neither claims nor seeks such a status. Maintaining knightly traditions and virtues is claimed and sought for as these are essential parts of the mission and the foundation of the LAZARUS UNION and as such are embedded in the statutes and in the Knighthood of Honour. The LAZARUS UNION is an independent group neither wanting to be taken for any other “Lazarus formation“ nor wanting to imitate on of them…”

On the Legitimacy of the Lazarus Order

The Order of Saint Lazarus is not an Order of Ecclesial Knights recognized by the Holy See as an Order of Knighthood, such as The Military Order of the Knights of Malta or The Knights of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, but it is a Chivalrous Association with an ecumenical character, great merit and a long tradition.

Since The Order of Saint Lazarus was a religious Military Order, only the Pope has authority over matters of legitimacy.

From 1608 The Order of Saint Lazarus received Papal approval on condition that the women of The Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel were an integral part of the Order. During the French Revolution all Royal Orders were dissolved, including The Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Order of Saint Lazarus henceforth no longer enjoyed Papal protection and was, de jure, thus no longer extant.

Neither Charles X, nor his successors as head of the Royal House, or the Pope have ever tried to have The Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for women revived. Therefore, the French King ruled that the Order of Saint Lazarus must also cease to exist.

The revolutions of 1830 and 1840, as well as the lack of support from The Vatican, led the leadership of The Order place it under the protection of the Melkite Catholic Patriarch. However, the Melkite Church is subordinate to the Holy See and its Patriarch is not authorized to have an Order of Knights under his protection without permission from the Pope. The same is true for Bishops.

The fact that a Prince officiates as Grandmaster does not give an Order legitimacy. For an Order to be legitimate, it must be either Sovereign (e.g. The Order of Malta), or be under the protection of The Pope, a sitting Head of State (e.g. The French Legion of Honour) or the legitimate head of a Royal dynasty. The Order of Saint Lazarus is neither one nor the other.

According to Canon Law, an Order is valid for 100 years after the death of the last of its members. The last member of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel died in 1857. The Order is therefore out of time and can no longer form an integral part of The Order of Saint Lazarus. The Legion of Honour considered the Order of Saint Lazarus and The Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a single entity and, because it has not been possible for this to exist since 1956, de jure The Lazarus Order as an Order of Knighthood in the traditional sense can no longer exist. The Order of Malta and The Knights of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre for their part consider membership in The Order of Saint Lazarus as incompatible with their statutes, and the International Committee for Orders of Knighthood (ICOC) assigns the Order of Saint Lazarus to the list of “self-styled” orders.

The Order of Saint Lazarus lives on de facto as one of the world’s recognized Christian ecumenical organizations directing its charitable and social activities according to the traditions of the extinct Order of Knights. The modern form of the Order was created privately in 1910. Today the “O” in the acronym OSLJ no longer stands for “Order” but, more correctly, for “Organization”.


How is the relationship of the LAZARUS UNION to other “Lazarus Groups”?


The LAZARUS UNION – CSLI is neutral towards all “Lazarus Groups” or “Orders of Saint Lazarus” and is equally close or distant to all of them (depending on your point of view). Any other representation or description, links or other „usurpation” are therefore undesirable, obsolete, inaccurate and counterproductive for our self-declared neutrality.

….and first of all, the following information should not be held back:

The Lazarus Union is neither a “self-styled” order, nor a member of any order, something it clearly and publicly states in its official (by law and approved by the authorities) statutes.

The Lazarus Union is a non-profit association.

The Lazarus Union is fully registered and recognized in the public official register according to Austrian laws.

The Lazarus Union is legally obligated to hold an annual general assembly.

The Lazarus Union must officially publish its management, visible for everybody.

The Lazarus Union is non-political and nondenominational.

The Lazarus Union is required by law to have its finances checked annually by two auditors.

The Lazarus Union is a registered UN-NGO organisation with “General Consultative Status” with ECOSOC.

The Lazarus Union every year publishes the minutes of its general assembly.

The Lazarus Union every year publishes ist audit report and submits it to the UN.

The Lazarus Union does not pay any reimbursement to any member as stated in the statutes.

The Lazarus Union has to prove its legal and financial status to the United Nations.

The Lazarus Union spends less than 2% of the total budget for “administrative” costs for years already.

The Lazarus Union elects its management during the general assembly in democratic way.

The Lazarus Union does not differ between “the president“ and a “common“ member.

The Lazarus Union has the rule that all members have the same rights and duties.

The Lazarus Union does not collect membership or application fees, any donations are voluntary.

The Lazarus Union is an open organisation with no “hidden” issues or secrets.

The following documents any serious organisation should be able to present to all interested parties without any problems at any time, no matter what. At any rate all these documents should fully and unambiguously bear the full name the organisation is using publicly.

If this information is missing: exercise extreme caution!

Here the documents:

Download (PDF, 66KB)

It is obvious to us that not all “Lazarus Groups” and “Lazarus Orders” are happy with the openness and transparency of the Lazarus Union. But in our times, if you consider joining one of the various “Lazarus Orders” or “Lazarus Orders”, check for your own safety and security very carefully all these things before you sign any paper of membership or other commitment. If you refrain from doing so, it may cost you a lot of money for nothing. Some of these organisations do not even have a clear legal status or are no legal personality and can therefore not be prosecuted easily. The Lazarus Union is anxious to make sure that the name “Lazarus is not misused for any form of deceptive business practices

If you have any questions which are not answered on our homepage, do not hesitate to ask us whatever you like to know.

Now have a pleasant stay on our website!

The web team of the Lazarus Union