Orthodox Hospitallers

Precisely, THE ORDER OF ORTHODOX HOSPITALLERS

Apparently this Order goes back to the year 590. Here are their aims:

(1) FOR THE RELIEF OF POVERTY, HUMAN SUFFERING AND DISTRESS THROUGH A DIACONAL MINISTRY OF SERVICE BY THE WORKS OF MERCY, AS COMMANDED BY THE GOSPEL (MATTHEW 25, 31-46; JAMES 1, 27) AND PROMULGATED BY ST BASIL THE GREAT OF CAESAREA AND ST JOHN THE ALMSGIVER OF ALEXANDRIA; ESPECIALLY THE RELIEF OF SICKNESS AND THE PROVISION MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENT OF HOSPITALS AND LIKE INSTITUTIONS, AND THE RELIEF OF AGED, BLIND, DEAF OR OTHERWISE DISABLED PEOPLE IN THIS JURISDICTION AND PARTICULARLY IN ORTHODOX LANDS OR LANDS WHERE THERE IS A NECESSITOUS ORTHODOX COMMUNITY (2) THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION AND ESPECIALLY THAT FORM OF THE SAME WHICH IS UPHELD BY THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE ORTHODOX CHURCHES IN COMMUNION WITH HIM (3) THE ADVANCEMENT OF EDUCATION UNDER THE AEGIS OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION AS AFORESAID (4) SUCH CHARITABLE PURPOSES GENERALLY BENEFICIAL TO THE COMMUNITY AS THE TRUSTEES IN THEIR ABSOLUTE DISCRETION SHALL THINK FIT, “FOR THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE GOOD OF MANKIND” AS THE MOTTO OF THE ORDER REQUIRES AND PROCLAIMS

Frankly, they are a bit mysterious. There are chapters in Greece, Cyprus, Russia: http://orderstjohn.org/rgp/gpr.htm

and the United Kingdom:  http://orderstjohn.org/osj/osj2.htm

The history is fascinating:

Historical Background The Order of the Orthodox Hospitallers (Deputati) is an historic, International, Indepentend, Legitimate and self governed Panorthodox Order, honored in the name of St. John the Baptist. It was founded by the Byzantine Emperor Mauricius (582 – 602 a.D.) as a military, nursing Order of Knights (Kavallarii) and as an Imperial Class of dignitaries, High rank Officers (Scribons) of the Imperial Excubitors. Their goal was – according to the Emperor Leo VI the Wise – to carry out confidential duties, to follow and guard the Emperor, to save and nurse the wounded of war, the refugees and the sufferers.

The Depotati – Hospitallers as a secular class were Noblemen of the Palatine Glass and as an Ecclesiastical Class were Lords Officials of the Church.

The Class in compliance to its Institutions survived the fall of the Byzantine Empire without any interruption in the framework of the ecclesiastical practice, in the practices of the enslaved Nation to the Ottomans, and those of the free Orthodox Nations as well.

In these areas it worked in the social, the spiritual and the military sector struggling against the conquerors and the prevention of Orthodoxy.

The Byzantine Chivalry, expressed in the person of St. George,( Patron Saint of the Byzantine Army ) served as model for the Christian Chivalry and Orders.

The Order in its contemporary form as a Secular and Religious Order was consecrated, according to the tradition and the Internationally accepted standards, in the year 1972 by the late Ethnarch, Archbishop and President of the Republic of Cyprus Macarios III., as a non State but as an International, Independent Sovereign and Panorthodox Order

Having been instituted by a ruling Head of State who was also Head of the Orthodox Church in the country of foundation, is legitimately qualify under the prerequisites of International Law to be recognized as a lawful Order of Chivalry.

It is significant the participation in the consecrating and administrating procedure of the Order, of H.I.H. the Prince Dimitri Alexandrovich of Russia (Romanoff), Baron Sergei von Bennigsen and other Russian Noblemen, and hereditary Commanders of the Orthodox Grand Priory of Russia of the Order of St. John and the Byzantine Imperial House of Laskaris – Comnenos.

The Order was accredited – according to the traditions – and honored with the secular protection and patronage of Heads of States, International Organizations and with the canonical Benediction and spiritual patronage of Orthodox Patriarchs and Prelates.

The Order as a Sovereign and International entity is governed by the provisions of the International Law.

 


ADMINISTRATION The Order and the Brotherhood function upon a Constitution which defines the functioning of the administrative units and their Organs. The highest authority of the Order consists of 3 Grand Lords, the one of whom – the Lord Grand Prior – governs together with the 4 member Grand Council through the Executive Body and other Organs of the Order.

Spiritual and Sacramental rights are carried out by the Orthodox Hierachs and Priests of the Brotherhood.

 


The Order has a great activity and presence in the Society, through its Dependencies, Institutions and representatives, that exist in many countries of Western and Eastern Europe, as well as in North and South America, Africa and Middle East.
The main Institution of the Order is :

THE “INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL AFFAIRS” The Institute of International Social Affairs (I.I.S.A.) is a Non Governmental Organization of International Cooperation, witch was founded in Greece as a Non Profit Civil Organization, with the initiative of the Orthodox Hospitallers. Has began its activities in 1986 in Africa with the implementation of development programs. The illiteracy, the misery, the diseases, the death and the disdain of the dignity of human life, were daily images in the life of the founding members who were present in Africa for several years. Each one of the founding members and all together the Orthodox Hospitallers, wanted to stop being just observers and were organized to offer solidarity and cooperation for the development of the less privileged fellow-men and societies. After nine years of continuous productive presence AIMS in Africa, the International developments have directed the Institute in the expansion of its activities as well to the East European Countries, which are facing the same Africa; s problems, of wars, collisions, hunger, hunger, health and development.

They seem to be a genuine resource for those in dire need. Here’s another article on the order:

http://orderstjohn.org/sjcross/ooh1.htm

Whatever association the Hospitallers have with the Crusades, which were are not seen as a inspired effort by the Orthodox Church, but rather as a dark chapter of Christian history, largely because of the sack of Constantinople in 1204, can now- it would seem- be put in parentheses in light of their enduring purpose: benevolence. Here is a truly cavernous website on the order (with music): http://orderstjohn.org/osj/osj.htm

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2 Responses to “Orthodox Hospitallers”


  1. 1 dr r gorrara January 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    is it possible to join the order?

  2. 2 Mark Panos Alexandrides September 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

    See the http://www.hoducif.webs.com

    the social health work of the Order in South America,
    about the WHO programm


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