The Order of Saint Lazarus was originally created by the militarisation of an order of monks, who, as followers of St Basil, had chosen to work amongst those suffering from leprosy. During the time of the crusades all knights of the great military orders found to be suffering from the dreaded disease of leprosy were forced by their own rules to leave their order. As most were warrior monks, and still quite able to fight, they usually joined their confreres under the banner of Saint Lazarus. The early Grand Masters of the Order were themselves amongst those so afflicted. These knights, who classed themselves as "living dead", while never large in number, were ferocious in battle, always choosing to die rather than face surrender.
Today the Order is still heavily involved with the relief of leprosy. In Ireland. the Order works in conjunction with the Leprosy Mission Ireland to provide funds for the care of leprosy patients The World Health Organisation currently estimates that there are fifteen million sufferers today, of whom only three and a half million are receiving any form of treatment.
In addition to our work with the Leprosy Mission Ireland, the Grand Priory of Ireland may choose to support a local or International charity, such as a hospice or one benefitting children or the aged, or occasionally make a donation to an international charity with which its members may have a specific link.
The Christian foundation of the Order requires members to pray for its work and those it supports.
Projects Supported by St Lazarus Ireland Fund Raising 2018-2020
Alzheimer Society of Ireland:
Therapeutic Garden for sufferers of Alzheimers/dementia at the Orchard Day Care Centre, Temple Road, Blackrock, County Dublin
Extension of school based dance programme currently provided in seven primary schools in disadvantaged areas in Dublin to other DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) schools
Crosscare Community Food Banks:
Establishment of new Community Food Banks in areas of identified need such as Finglas Ballymun and Tallaght.
Global Emergency Care Skills:
An Irish charity, who help to train doctors and nurses from the developing world in the latest emergency techniques and how to use ultra sound equipment in place of X-Ray equipment for speedy diagnosis, GECS have older Ultra Sound equipment which St Lazarus Ireland is funding to repair to perfect working condition of two ultrasound machines donated to the charity by an Irish hospital for use in the field.