A little history on the real Order of Lazarus - One of the oldest and most deeply respected confraternities of chivalry in Christendom, the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem was established at the Infirmary of Saint Lazarus in the year 1098, during the First Crusade. A leprosarium, the infirmary was located outside the walls of Jerusalem -near the legendary home of Saint Lazarus, where it had been long maintained by an ancient hospitaller brotherhood according to tradition founded by Saint Basil the Great in the 4th century.The Order of Saint Lazarus was the only chivalric organization caring for the needs of lepers, outcasts who roamed the Near East and Europe throughout the Middle Ages. Known as Lazarists or Lazarites, members of the Order specialized in caring for lepers and ministering to those afflicted with other contagious diseases, as well. In order to protect these victims of disease from maltreatment and to defend their leper hospices against the infidels, the Order assumed a military role. During the Middle Ages, the Order of Saint Lazarus fulfilled a dual mission. As a military power, it operated a flotilla of warships in the Mediterranean to protect important sea routes against pirates and marauders. At the same time, the Hospitallers of Saint Lazarus protected and treated the victims of Europe's most dreaded scourge.
The order still exists today and is still out doing good in the world. If you want to learn more about them check out here The REAL Order of St. Lazarus's web site
A number of the pictures see here were taken by and reposted here with permission of Cathus. Thanks Cathus! See Cathusís great pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cathus/sets/72157618763366141/