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The coat of arms being (order heraldry) of the
Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus von Jerusalem
From Adolf F. J. Karlovsky

The origin of the European coat of arms being is close-knit with the crusades and the whole world of thought of the medieval-knightly knighthood.

It lies in the nature of the person to differ together, to maintain specific features "to distinguish itself". Nevertheless, the more comprehensibly wish of the knights for a special "honouring", they committed themselves with the knight's blow for good to God's men and-Frauen-serves as it ordered also her personal honour. Then the family coat of arms develops from the personal coat of arms virtually by itself, as a corollary. It is also clear that also the knightly unions accepted a common symbol as a totality, so the "orders" again from what to themselves in the course of the time the order coats of arms as well as the order badges developed.

Of course one finds in all European orders the cross, already as a differentiation sign of her mostly Islamic opponents in the fight. From the whole also follows the development of the differentiation signs of the trunks and nations; some European states, above all Austria, derive her national colours directly from the crusades. The coat of arms as a differentiation sign found out of course directly the most extensive differentiations.


Knight of St. Lazarus about 1200

The knigths of St. Lazarus carried, as well as most other knightly unions, the so-called "Greek" cross whose beams are equally long, on the weapon skirts by height of the left shoulder. Remarkably with the knigths of St. Lazarus was the colour of her cross, green. The colour remained typical till this day for the order of St. Lazarus, she became even a synonym for "caritativ". The green with the knigths of St. Lazarus was absolutely striking because this colour originally only as a complementary colour with the coats of arms never seems, however, practically as a colour of the sign figure.

In any case, the green is valid as typical for the order of St. Lazarus since the days of the early heraldry.

Václav Mìøièka writes in addition: „The green colour was typical for the hospital orders and was used by the ecclesiastical order of knights of Saint Lazarus and by all his successors, namely above all from the French order of the same name, from savoyian and later Italian orders of the saint Mauritius and Saint Lazarus, but also by the modern, sovereign order of Saint Lazarus.

From the remaining mentioned orders led the order of Alcantara and the order of the saint Benedikt von Aviz a green tape. By the other worldly orders of knights which carried the sign in the green tape are mentioned the German order of Saint Joachim, the Swedish Wasa order and the Saxon order of the rhomb crown, furthermore the Scottish thistle order, the Ethiopian order of the seal Salomons and the Persian solar north and the lion's north." (Order and honourings, Artia, Prague, 1966.)

The original order badge, the green herald's cross in the coat of arms, was changed under Grand Master Jean de Levis (1557-1564) to the 8 pointed cross of the so-called "Maltese kind".

Also this cross was sewed originally only from material on the coat; only late also there originated the enamelled decorations carried around the neck how we know them today.

The present big order coat of arms, executed after the still valid orders of the general chapter from the 17th of December, 1933, already testifies by his simplicity his venerable age from the days of the early heraldry.


The big order coat of arms

His main part is a silver sign with continuous cross. The silver of the sign is valid - after an explanation of the Grand Master Charle Achille de Nérestang (in 1645-1673) - as a „colour of the holy virgin", while the green symbolises hope. To this order sign becomes a 8 pointed, green cross puts under - till 1556 it was a Greek cross - and a collane surrounds both with the order jewel.

The black coat of arms coat reminds of the former sovereignty of the order - the black reminds the tallness of Basilius the Great.

The coat of arms coat is fed on ermine and is banked by a magistral crown; moreover, the coat is bound by golden strings with tassels

A green, golden bordered 8 pointed order cross adorns the (heraldically) left shoulder. The magistral crown is a golden, black fed oriental crown with nine visible points. An imperial orb with 8 pointed check mark banks the crown.

Beyond the sign is a green tape with the election slogan of the order Atavis et Armis (with forefathers and weapons) in silver writing, an election slogan which removed the old foreign exchange En guerre et en paix in the 18th century.

The order seal is round and shows the small order coat of arms, a continuous green cross which surrounds the Ordenscollane with jewel carries i.e. the silver sign.

Because the coat of arms being was looked since his forming as a knightly matter and a coat of arms to lead belongs to the most distinguished prerogatives and rights of every knight, it is also quite natural that the order of the saint Lazarus promoted the coat of arms guidance of his members since beginning not only, but also controlled. In the Paris „Bibliothìque national " there are four big, splendid coat of arms books of the order; different Großpriorate (Bohemia, e.g., since 1937) led or lead coat of arms roles of her knights and Affiliés. To belong to the order, it was looked always rightly as a big honour, and this is why the order knights already strove since the 14th century to show this affiliation also in her coats of arms and to stress clearly. In the course of the time the order regulated this use, and the introduced principles were also ascertained in the mentioned arrangement from the 17th of December, 1933. In close future a new-worked on and enlarged separate order publication with explanatory illustrations will appear about that.

All order knights are entitled to accept a silver sign head with the continuous green cross in her coat of arms. Furthermore they put under to the coat of arms sign the 8 pointed, green order cross (legal knight without border, knight of mercy knows bordiert) and surround the shield with the green order tape (or the Ordenscollane) with suitable jewel (either cervical cross or big cross). It is natural to note with the fact that every order knight only those insignia may add which are entitled to him and which he carries in reality also for "in natura". The Affiliiertes and the Compagnons add to the coat of arms sign only her suitable jewels, however, are not entitled to the guidance of the sign head or the cross behind the sign. The Ladys of Right and Ladys of Mercy lead against it the order sign head and also add her order jewel under the sign without putting under, nevertheless, the shield with the 8 pointed cross what is also not entitled to the Chevaliers de Minorité.

The highest dignitaries of the order, namely the Grand Master (or governor, if the dignity of the Grand Master is not taken), the members of the central management and the uppermost advice as well as great prior and great bailiwicks, are entitled to lay her coats of arms with all components being entitled to them, like helmet with crest and covers, or splendour pieces (e.g., to sign holders, election slogans, crowns etc.) and with all badges of her dignity in the order, in addition, on the order coat of arms coat described on top. Also this is banked by the magistral crown. The ecclesiastical protector of the order leads the crown, the coat of arms coat and the dignity badges (behind the sign sloping-crossed queue stick and patriarch's cross) of his office as a patriarch of Jerusalem.

The Grand Master (or the governor) of the order is entitled as an only one to square his family coat of arms with the order coat of arms in his coat of arms at place of the sign head and to itself the in that way quartered sign in the 1st and 4th field the order coat of arms and repeat the family coat of arms in the 2nd and 3rd field. The badge of the Grand Master (or the governor) exists of two staffs sloping-crossed behind the sign. These are white with golden fitting and with 8 pointed green order cross serve sowed. The order foreign exchange is engraved in the lower fitting.


The coat of arms of the 49th Grand Master,
H.E. Don Carlos Gereda de Borbon,
Marquis de Almazan

The great kapitular crosses behind his sign the staff with the oath hand sceptre, the great chancellor the staff with the order sword.

Because the order is international, different local and national traditions are reflected comprehensible-wise in the heraldry of his members. Thus it is almost impossible, e.g. to show the coats of arms of the Central European, Scandinavian or Anglo-Saxon knights without helmet, crest and covers. Of other part one stresses in Romanesque countries where the crest are almost unknown particularly with the low nobility, again rank crowns, sign holders, foreign currency etc. Also special ladies' sign are almost compulsory in some widths, in other countries, however, again practically unknown. All these habits are respected of course by the order, and the regulations of the order also offer enough space to be adapted to local traditions. Also jewels of other approved orders or high honourings with coat of arms may be carried at the same time with the cross of St.-Lazarus.

The order members who have no inherited family coat of arms at the moment of her investiture or lead no The order members who have no inherited family coat of arms at the moment of her investiture or lead no personal coat of arms are allowed to do this which accept heraldic tradition of her native country and the rules and habits of the coat of arms being strictly respecting, freely and present to the great chancellor to the Registration. Such a coat of arms thereby becomes, of course without badges of the order of St. Lazarus which are entitled only to the real order members, in the family of the coat of arms acquirer paled.

The order foreign exchange was up to the 18th century „during the war and in the peace, to country and to water".

All dignitaries and knights of the St. Lazarus order are entitled to combine the order coat of arms with her family coat of arms (or the personal coat of arms). It is worth for it still the arrangement of the Grand Master of the Lazarusordens from the 17th of December, 1933.

Here would be mentioned only in general that the order head leads the order coat of arms together with his family coat of arms in a sign.

The knights of the order of Saint Lazarus are entitled to the guidance of a sign head. Moreover, the guidance of the 8 jagged order cross is also entitled to them behind the coat of arms sign of the Lazarus order.

All order members may also add the order badge (order jewel) her family coat of arms (or personal coat of arms).

Spring: Extract from the work "Memento", author: † Erich Feigl, published by the chancellor's office of the great piorates of Austria of the Ordre Militaire et Hospitalier de Saint-Lazare de Jerusalem, Vienna, in 1978, pages 118 to 121

Last updated 08/13/2015

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