Through two centuries the knights of Saint Lazarus carried a simple green fabric cross on their clothes to indicate their Order At the beginning of the 12th century this was in order to differentiate themselves from the knights of the Temple (red cross), the knights of Saint John (white cross) and of the German (Teutonic) knights (black cross).
Some saw in the selection of the colour green, which is well known as the colour assigned to the Prophet Mohammed, a symbolic challenge, others saw it as the respect and gratitude granted Saladin after the fall of Jerusalem.
Up until approximately 1480 a Latin or Greek cross was used, whose square ends were ever more stylized. With the bull of Pope Innocent VIII in 1489 the Orders of St. Lazarus and of St. John were placed under a common Grand Master. He set the smaller green cross of St. Lazarus upon the larger white cross of St. John, developing a white edged green eight pointed cross. Grand Master François Salviati gave, in 1578 at a chapter in Boigny, to the knights of St. Lazarus the plain eight pointed green cross.
The Cross of the Order of Saint Lazarus
The Cross of the Order of Saint Lazarus is an eight pointed cross, commonly called the Maltese Cross, green of colour.For many centuries the Maltese Cross has been the distinctive emblem of orders of knighthood, established in the Holy Land as the oldest institutions in the world, whose mission is to provide humanitarian assistance in war and peace.
In the year 1120, Raymond du Puy became the first Grand Master of the Hospitaller Order of St. John. One of his first decrees was that all members of the order should wear a white cross, and this has ever since been the badge of the Order, later changed to the eight pointed one. The white colour represents purity and the cross is worn on the left side where the heart is, to indicate love.
The four arms of the cross symbolize the four Christian virtues: prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude. The eight points represent the virtues upheld by the Order: spiritual tranquillity, life without malice, contrition, patience in adversity, love of justice, mercy, sincerity and purity of heart, and endurance under persecution.
Beneath the arms is the motto “ATAVIS ET ARMIS”.The Coat-of-arms of the Order of Saint Lazarus are argent a cross vert, surmounting a cross of eight beatitudes (eight pointed or Maltese cross), encircled by the Grand Collar of the Order, the whole on a mantle sable, with tarsils and ornaments or, on the sinister side bearing the cross of eight beatitudes vert, over all the Eastern Crown of the Order lined sable on which is borne a cross and orb or.
The Flag of the Order of Saint Lazarus is argent (white) a cross vert.
The Flag of the Volunteers Corps of the Order of Saint Lazarus is argent (white) an eight pointed cross vert.
Insignia of the Order
Members wear the Cross of the Order, which may be adorned with ornaments to identify the rank of the holder.
The Cross of the Order consists of four arms, enamelled green, extending to eight points (similar to a Maltese cross). In the centre is a gilded medallion, showing, on the obverse, a representation of the resurrection of Saint Lazarus by our Lord within a border bearing the motto “Atavis et Armis” (For our Ancestors and by our Arms), and, on the reverse, a representation of the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Mount Carmel).
The riband of the Order is green watered silk for all grades except Knight/Dame Commander (see below).
Officers (OLJ) wear the Cross without ornaments, suspended from a ribbon on the left side of the breast. Ladies wear it suspended from a bow.
Commanders (CLJ) wear the Cross without ornaments, suspended from a ribbon at the neck. (Note: The investiture ribbon is usually 38 mm wide and should be replaced by the more practical 16 mm wide ribbon for subsequent wearing.) Ladies wear the insignia suspended from a bow on the left side.
Knights and Dames (K/DLJ) wear the Cross with the cipher SL between the arms, pendant from a trophy of arms for gentlemen, or a wreath of laurel and oak leaves for ladies and ecclesiastical members, suspended from a ribbon at the neck or as a bow as for Commanders.
(Note: The investiture ribbon is usually 38 mm wide and should be replaced by the more practical 16 mm wide ribbon for subsequent wearing.) The insignia for Commander and Knight cannot be worn simultaneously. Knights and Dames may wear the Star of the Order on the left breast. The Star of the Order is an eight pointed radiant star on which the Cross of the Order is placed, adorned between the arms with the cypher SL. Crossed swords are added for those of military rank.
Knights/Dames Commander (K/DCLJ) wear the Cross of the Order as for Knights and Dames, together with the Cross of the Order on the left hip, suspended from a cordon worn over the right shoulder, and the Star of the Order on the left breast. The riband or cordon, to which the Cross is affixed, is of green watered silk, edged in aubergine.
Knights/Dames Grand Cross (GCLJ) wear the Cross of the Order as for Knights and Dames, together with the Cross of the Order on the left hip, suspended from a cordon worn over the right shoulder, and the Star of the Order on the left breast. The cordon for gentlemen is 102 mm wide.
Members who have received a grant of arms, and who hold rank in the Order of St. Lazarus of Knight/Dame or higher, may be admitted by the Principal Armorist to the Category of Justice, and are thereby entitled to wear the Cross of Justice, a green enameled Maltese Cross edged in gold, on the right breast.
Miniatures are worn with evening dress, and are as follows: those for gentlemen are suspended from miniature ribbons and those for ladies from miniature bows. (Note: Only one miniature of the Order should be worn at any time.)
- Officers: A miniature version of the insignia on a plain green ribbon of watered silk.
- Commanders: As above. On the ribbon a green rosette.
- Knight or Dame: As above. On the ribbon a green rosette on a silver bar.
- Knight or Dame Commander: As above. On the ribbon a green rosette on a bar half gold and half silver.
- Knight or Dame Grand Cross; As above. On the ribbon a green rosette on a gold bar.
Companionate of Merit
The purpose of the Companion of Merit is to recognise people who have rendered outstanding service to the Order of St Lazarus or for significant activities or efforts rendered towards the Aims of the Order. It may be awarded to both members and non-members of the Order. Members of the Companionate do not bear the title of Knight or equivalent.
Grades within the Companionate are, in ascending order, Member of Merit, Officer of Merit, Commander of Merit, Grand Officer of Merit, and Grand Cross of Merit.
The Cross of Merit is a green enameled cross with four arms, rounded off at the ends (a “cross fleury”), with a white medallion in the center showing a Maltese Cross surrounded by the letters “Pour le Merite” (For Merit). The reverse of medallion has a plain green cross with the inscription “Ordo Sancti Lazari“. The cross for Members and Officers is 46 mm wide. The cross worn by higher grades is 69 mm wide and, for military holders of the award, may be worn with crossed swords between the limbs. The Star of Merit is an eight-pointed star, on which a representation of the medal is placed. The riband is of green watered silk edged in aubergine.
Members of Merit (MMLJ) wear the Cross, edged in silver, suspended by a ribbon (or bow) on the left breast.
Officers of Merit (OMLJ) wear the Cross, edged in gold, as above.
Commanders of Merit (CMLJ) wear the Cross, edged in silver, suspended from a ribbon at the neck or a bow, as appropriate. Commanders of Merit may, if they wish, purchase a Star of Merit (optional), in silver, to be worn on the left breast.
Grand Officers of Merit (GOMLJ) wear the Cross, in the appropriate configuration, edged in gold, suspended from a ribbon at the neck or a bow, as appropriate, together with Star of Merit in gold on the left breast.
Grand Cross of Merit (GCMLJ) wear the Cross suspended from a closed ancient crown, on the left hip, suspended from a cordon worn over the right shoulder, together with the Star, in gold, on the left breast.
Miniatures are worn with evening dress, and are as follows: those for gentlemen are suspended from miniature ribbons and those for ladies from miniature bows. (Note: Only one miniature of the Companionate should be worn at any time.)
- Members of Merit: A miniature version of the medal on a plain ribbon of watered silk.
- Officers of Merit: As above. On the ribbon is placed a rosette.
- Commanders of Merit: As above. On the ribbon is placed a rosette on a silver bar.
- Grand Officer of Merit: As above. On the ribbon is placed a rosette on a bar half gold and half silver.
- Grand Cross of Merit: As above. On the ribbon is placed a rosette on a gold bar.
The 25th Anniversary Medal 1963-1988
To commemorate the 25th year of St Lazarus in South Africa. Ribbon Blue, white, orange with thin green stripe down centre.
The St Michaels St Lazarus Chapel 2008 Medal
During 2008 the Parish of St. Michaels and All Angels, Observatory, with whom we have been associated for a number of years, generously consented to become the permanent home of the Order. Commemorative medals were struck to mark this occasion. These may be worn by members who attended the dedication service, or who had close ties with the Church at the time.
The medal symbolises both our spiritual and secular homes, depicting symbols proper to the Church of St. Michael and All Angels, and the Cape Town Club. The obverse depicts St Michael, suspended from a civic crown and surrounded by the Inscription, St. Michaels St Lazarus Chapel 2008. (The civic crown symbolises The Cape Town Club with which we also have close ties.)
The worldwide church honours St Michael with four main titles.
He is the angel of death, carrying the souls of all the deceased to heaven, where they are weighed in his perfectly balanced scales (and Michael is often depicted holding scales). At the hour of death, Michael descends and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing, to the consternation of the devil and his minions. Michael is the special patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament and is guardian of the Church. Finally, he is the supreme defender of God, and enemy of Satan and the fallen angels.
Ribbon, 32mm wide, crimson with yellow centre stripe edged with thin gold Lurex stripe, representing respectively the yellow of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and the red of The Cape Town Club.
|Knight Grand Cross||GCLJ|
|Dame Grand Cross||DGCLJ|
|Ecclesiastical Grand Cross||EGCLJ|
|Members of Merit Member, Companionate of Merit||MMLJ|
|Officer, Companionate of Merit||OMLJ|
|Commander, Companionate of Merit||CMLJ|
|Knight / Dame of Merit||KMLJ / DMLJ|
|Ecclesiastical Grand Cross of Merit||EGCMLJ|
|Knight / Dame Grand Cross of Merit||GCMLJ / DGCMLJ|
|Honors & Achievements (by precedence) Grand Collar of the Order of Saint Lazarus||GClrLJ|
|Gold Cross of Merit||GCrLJ|
|Silver Cross of Merit||SCrLJ|
|Bronze Cross of Merit||BCrLJ|
|Gold Medal of Merit||GMLJ|
|Silver Medal of Merit||SMLJ|
|Bronze Medal of Merit||BMLJ|
|Donat Cross 1st Class||DC/1st cl|
|Donat Cross 2nd Class||DC/2nd cl|
|Donat Cross 3rd Class||DC/3rd cl|
|20 Year Meritorious Service Decoration||MSLJ (proposed)|