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Royal Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
""OSSML Commandeur.jpg
Insignia of a "Commander of the order
Awarded by "Italy "House of Savoy
Type "Dynastic "order of chivalry
Established 16 September 1572
("Order of Saint Maurice: 1434)
("Order of Saint Lazarus: 1119)
Royal house "House of Savoy
Religious affiliation "Catholic
Motto "FERT
Eligibility "Military, "civilian
Awarded for Distinguished merits
Status Currently Constituted
Grand Master "Prince Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples
Chairman of the Council "Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, Prince of Venice
Grades Grand Cordon, Special Class
Grand Cordon
Grand Officer
Total inductees Circa 2,000
Next (higher) "Royal Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
Next (lower) "Royal Order of the Crown
""Cavaliere SSML BAR.svg
"Ribbon bar

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 amalgamation 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. The "Grand Master is "Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, since 1983.

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 about 2,000 members around the world.



"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 still exist 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 c. 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.


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.
"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.

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



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.








See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Orders connected to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem". www.orderstjohn.org. 
  2. ^ a b c "ITALY". www.haileybury.com. 
  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 Archived 2010-01-20 at "WebCite Corpo della Nobiltà Italiana (retrieved 10 September 2009)
  5. ^ Senato della Repubblica: biographical summary
  6. ^ Collezione delle Leggi e de'Decreti Reali del Regno delle Due Sicilie, Stamperia reale, 1846, p.85
  7. ^ Papel Periódico Ilustrado Volúmen 1 año I Número 1 al 14 Archived 2013-12-03 at the "Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Latest intelligence - The King of Italy in Berlin". The Times (36859). London. 29 August 1902. p. 3. 
  9. ^ Lab, Missouri Historical Society. "Missouri Historical Society - Find Yourself Here". The Missouri Historical Society is ... Missouri Historical Society and was founded in 1866. 
  10. ^ "Events: 2001". "House of Savoy. Retrieved April 1, 2009. 

External links[edit]

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