Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus

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This article is about the dynastic chivalric order established in 1572. For the history of the medieval Catholic military order, see Order of Saint Lazarus. For the National Infantry Association award in the United States, see Order of Saint Maurice (United States).
Order of Saints Maurice
and Lazarus
Pyhän Mauritiuksen ja Lasaruksen ritarikunnan rintatähti.png
Grand cross of the
Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
Awarded by Italy House of Savoy
Type Dynastic order of knighthood
Royal house House of Savoy
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Ribbon Green
Motto FERT
Eligibility Military, civilian
Awarded for Distinguished merits
Status Active in exile
First Grand Master Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy (1528–1580)
Grand Master Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples (disputed)
Chancellor Johannes Theo Niederhauser
Established 16 September 1572
(Order of Saint Maurice: 1434)
(Order of Saint Lazarus: 1119)
Precedence
Next (higher) Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
Next (lower) Military Order of Savoy
Cavaliere SSML BAR.svg
Ribbon bar of the
Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus

The Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (Italian: Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro) is a Roman Catholic dynastic order of knighthood bestowed by the House of Savoy, founded in 1572 by Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, through amalgation approved by Pope Gregory XIII of the Order of Saint Maurice, founded in 1434, with the medieval Order of Saint Lazarus, founded circa 1119, considered its sole legitimate successor. Its headquarters are situated at the Lierna Castle in Lombardy, Italy. Its current Grand Master is Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, since 1983, albeit contested by his cousin and throne rival Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta.

The Church of Saints Maurice and Lazarus at the Roman Age Castle of Lierna
The Castle of Lierna on Lake Como, where he founded the House of Savoy dynastic Order in 1573

The order was formerly awarded by the Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) with the heads of the House of Savoy as the Kings of Italy. Originally a chivalric order of noble nature, it was restricted to subjects of noble families with proofs of at least eight noble great-grandparents. The order's military and noble nature was and is still combined with a Roman Catholic character.

After the abolishment of the monarchy and the foundation of the Italian Republic in 1946, the legacy of the order is maintained by the pretenders of the House of Savoy and the Italian throne in exile.

The order is estimated to include around 2,000 members around the world.

History[edit]

The green-enameled Maltese Cross of the Order of Saint Lazarus, founded in circa 1119.
The white-enameled cross bottony of the Order of Saint Maurice, founded in 1434.
Combined Maltese Cross and cross bottony,
of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy (1528–1580), founder and first Grand Master of the amalgated Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus in recognition by Pope Gregory XIII.

The undisputed continuation of the Order of St. Lazarus is in the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, which continues under the pretenders to the Italian Crown.

— Michael Foster[1]

Both crosses from its two forerunners are still existent in the insignia of their subsequent successor, today's Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, founded by amalgation in 1572.

Order of Saint Lazarus (1119)[edit]

The Order of Saint Lazarus, founded in circa 1119, can be traced to the establishment around 1100, of a hospital for leprosy in Jerusalem, Kingdom of Jerusalem, by a group of crusaders who called themselves "Brothers of Saint Lazarus".[2] From its inception, the order was concerned with the relief of leprosy, and many of its members were lepers who had been knights in other orders. It became rich, its practices dubious, and its funds eventually abused. With the fall of Acre in 1291, the Knights of Saint Lazarus emigrated from the Holy Land and Egypt and settled in France and, in 1311, in Naples. In the 16th century, the order declined in credibility and wealth. With papal support, the Duke of Savoy became Grand Master in 1572. Before its transfer to the House of Savoy, the Order of Saint Lazarus maintained a number of leper hospitals, including an institution in the Italian city of Capua.

Order of Saint Maurice (1434)[edit]

The Order of Saint Maurice was established in 1434 by Amedeo VIII of Savoy, during his stay in the Ripaglia hermitage near Thonon, named after Saint Maurice of the Theban Legion. From its beginning, it was a military order.[2] The order declined, but in 1572 was reestablished by Pope Pius V at the instigation of the then-Duke of Savoy.

Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (1572)[edit]

King and Grand Master Charles Felix of Sardinia in ceremonial robe of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.
King Charles Albert of Sardinia in ceremonial robe.

In 1572, Pope Gregory XIII united the Order of Saint Lazarus in perpetuity with the Crown of Savoy. Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, merged it with the Savoyan Order of Saint Maurice, and thenceforth the title of Grand Master of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus was hereditary in that house. The pope gave him authority over the vacant commanderies everywhere, except in the states of the King of Spain, which included the greater part of Italy. In England and Germany, these commanderies were suppressed by the Protestant reformation.

The new organisation was charged to defend the Holy See as well as continue to assist lepers. The war galleys of the order fought against the Ottoman Empire and the Barbary pirates. When leprosy again broke out, the order founded a hospital in Aosta in 1773.

Kingdom Italy (1861–1946)[edit]

King and Grand Master Umberto II of Italy visiting Cairo, Egypt.

With the Italian unification (1860-1871), the order became a de facto Italian state order for military and civilian merits, consisting of five classes: Knight Grand Cross, Knight Grand Officer, Knight Commander, Knight Officer and Knight.

The formerly related Maurician medal for Military Merit of fifty years, established in 1839, was one of the few medals not suppressed by the Italian republic, becoming the Maurician medal of Merit for 50 years military career in 1954.[3]

Brought back in favour by King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, the order was sparingly conferred for distinguished service in military and civilian affairs as an exclusive award compared with the more common Order of the Crown of Italy.[2]

Dynastic chivalric order bestowed in exile (1946-)[edit]

After Italy became a republic in 1946, the order was effectively replaced by the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. Since 1951 it has not been officially recognised by the Italian state.

Organisation[edit]

Great coat of arms of the royal family of Italy, including the insignia of the order.
Insignia of the grades.
Insignia of the order.
Insignia of a Commander of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.
The headquarters at Lierna Castle on the eastern side of Lake Como in Lombardy, Italy.
Basilica Mauriziana in Turin, Italy, associated with the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.

The House of Savoy in exile continues to bestow the order on recipients eminent in the public service, science, art, letters, trade, and charitable works. While the continued use of those decorations conferred prior to 1951 is permitted in Italy, the crowns on the ribbons issued before 1946 must be substituted for as many five pointed stars on military uniforms.[4] Eventually, it became a requirement for a person to have already received the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus before receiving the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation.

The generally accepted Grand Master of the order is Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, the current head of the House of Savoy. However, some of Vittorio Emanule's policies as Grand Master have generated controversy. All three of his sisters have resigned from their positions as Dames of the order. Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy has criticised her brother for instituting "the payment of membership fees [and] activities such as the sale of objects with the Savoy coat of arms and credit cards of the order".[5]

In 2006, Vittorio Emanuele's third cousin, Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta (b. 1943), declared himself head of the Savoy dynasty and thus Grand Master de jure. For this reason, the grand magistry is now contested.

Grades[edit]

Gentlemen[edit]

  • Knight Grand Cross, who wears the badge on a sash on the right shoulder, plus the star on the left chest;
  • Grand Officer, who wears the badge on a necklet, plus the star on the left chest;
  • Commander "jus patronato", who wears the badge on a necklet, plus the breast cross on the left chest;
  • Commander, who wears the badge on a necklet;
  • Officer, who wears the badge on a ribbon on the left chest;
  • Knight, who wears the badge without crown on a ribbon on the left chest;

Ladies[edit]

  • Dame Grand Cross, who wears the badge on a bow with golden embroidery on the left shoulder;
  • Dame Commander, who wears the badge on a bow on the left shoulder;
  • Dame, who wears the badge without crown on a bow on the left shoulder.

Insignia[edit]

  • The badge of the order is in gilt, consists of a white-enameled cross bottony of the Order of Saint Maurice, with a green-enameled Maltese Cross, the Cross of the Order of Saint Lazarus, placed in saltire between the arms of the cross botonny. The badge of each class except that of Knight and Dame is topped by a gilt crown.
  • The star of the Order is a silver faceted star, with eight points for Grand Cross and four points for Grand Officer, and with the badge (minus the crown) superimposed upon it.
  • The breast cross for the Commander "jus patronato" class is identical to the badge, minus the crown.
  • The ribbon of the Order is apple green, with slight variations for the several classes:
Ribbon Class (English) Full title in Italian
Cavaliere di gran Croce Regno SSML BAR.svg 1st Class / Knight Grand Cross Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell'Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro
Grande ufficiale SSML Regno BAR.svg 2nd Class / Commander First Class (from 1865 Grand Officer) Commendatore di prima classe (dal 1865 Grande Ufficiale) dell'Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro
Commendatore SSML Regno BAR.svg 3rd Class / Commander Commendatore dell'Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro
Ufficiale SSML Regno BAR.svg 4th Class / Officer Ufficiale dell'Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro
Cavaliere SSML BAR.svg 5th Class / Knight Cavaliere dell'Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro
Mauriziana BAR.svg Maurizian Medal (not members of the order) Medaglia Mauriziana pel Merito Militare di dieci lustri

List of Grand Masters[edit]

  1. Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy (1572-1580)
  2. Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy (1580-1630)
  3. Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy (1630-1637)
  4. Francis Hyacinth, Duke of Savoy (1637-1638)
  5. Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy (1638-1675)
  6. Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia (1675-1731)
  7. Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia (1732-1773)
  8. Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia (1773-1796)
  9. Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia (1796-1802)
  10. Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia (1802-1824)
  11. Charles Felix of Sardinia (1824-1831)
  12. Charles Albert of Sardinia (1831-1849)
  13. Victor Emmanuel II of Italy (1849-1878)
  14. Umberto I of Italy (1878-1900)
  15. Victor Emmanuel III of Italy (1900-1946)
  16. Umberto II of Italy (1946-1983)
  17. Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples (1983-) (contested by Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta 1983-)

Recipients in selection[edit]

Portrait d'un gonfalonier (1622) painted by Artemisia Gentileschi, carrying the cross on the breast and the ribbon around the chest.
General Giovanni Battista Cacherano di Bricherasio, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.

Royalties[edit]

Military[edit]

Politics[edit]

Culture[edit]

Ecclesials[edit]

Sciences[edit]

Philanthropy[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Foster, Michael. "Orders Connected to he Order off S. John of Jerusalem", The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller
  2. ^ a b c "Italy", Haileybury
  3. ^ Established by Royal Magistral Patent dated 19 July 1839, approved by Royal Decree of 21 December 1924 and renewed by Law No. 203(1) of 7 March 1954 Medaglia Mauriziana al Merito di dieci lustri di carriera militare, published in Gazzetta Ufficiale, No. 116, 21 May 1954, as amended by Law No. 1327 of 8 November 1956
  4. ^ Ordini Cavallereschi del Regno d'Italia Corpo della Nobiltà Italiana (retrieved 10 September 2009)
  5. ^ "The Fall of the House of Savoy", The Guardian, June 23, 2006.
  6. ^ Senato della Repubblica: biographical summary
  7. ^ Collezione delle Leggi e de'Decreti Reali del Regno delle Due Sicilie, Stamperia reale, 1846, p.85
  8. ^ Papel Periódico Ilustrado Volúmen 1 año I Número 1 al 14
  9. ^ "Events: 2001". House of Savoy. Retrieved April 1, 2009. 

External links[edit]