Saint Lazare Holy Land is a non-profit charitable organisation which functions in line with the spirit and concepts of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem (www.saint-lazare.org).
It aims to bring healing of body, mind and spirit to those in need, regardless of political, ethnic or religious boundaries.
Based in Jerusalem, where the Order of Saint Lazarus was first established nine centuries ago, Saint Lazare Holy Land became a registered Amuta in Israel in 2012.
We aspire to bring to a shift in mindset by giving people reasons to enjoy life even in difficult circumstances. We also wish to support the Christian community of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, encouraging people to to stay, have a better life, and be good neighbours to one another in our shared city. We believe that beauty and greenery can inspire, relax and give hope for a better future and a better life together. As it is said, “The one who plants a flower looks to tomorrow; the one who plants a tree looks to the next generation; the one with a family looks to many generations.”
Saint Lazare also promotes the concept and values of ‘green pilgrimage’, according to which we are all responsible for the impact we have on the environment, culture and economy of the holy cities and sites we visit, hence it is our responsibility to make pilgrimage a greener, cleaner and sustainable activity, leaving a positive footprint.
As an ecumenical association we strive to collaborate with Churches, Orders, other organisations and volunteers to advance our initiatives. Since 2012, we have been developing a variety of green projects which improve the local environment and the accessibility of pilgrimage sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as developing hospitality paths and holy sites in the desert.
To know more about our initiatives in the Christian world in the Holy Land, you can follow our blog : christianaffairsoslj.tumblr.com/
Our main initiatives in Jerusalem are:
Saint Lazare Holy Land is striving to make the Old City of Jerusalem a greener and more beautiful place for residents and pilgrims alike. We believe that flowers and plants not only make the city more attractive but also help to create a sense of shared responsibility for the community and the public domain. So far we have planted in Saha Square and Jabshe Street and we have begun greening the arches of Christian Quarter Street (as shown in the pictures below). This project is undertaken in cooperation with the Committee of the Christian Quarter and with local residents who volunteer to support the initiative.
Micro-transport: Accessible Vehicles in the Old City of Jerusalem
Responding proactively to technological advances and the trend towards ecological vehicles which do not harm the environment, Saint Lazare Holy Land has devoted its resources to the study and creation of an innovative new range of electric vehicles to operate in the Old City of Jerusalem. Micro-transport is a flexible service offered to pilgrims and residents with reduced mobility. Our goals in this project are to provide access to holy sites while improving quality of life for residents by reducing air and noise pollution, thus making the Old City of Jerusalem a greener and healthier experience for residents and pilgrims alike.
Count Philippe Piccapietra
Grand Chancellor and Delegate of the Holy Land, Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem,
Vice President of Saint Lazare Holy Land
Count Piccapietra’s family traces its origins to the 15th century in Naples. Living in Switzerland, he has been a member of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem since 1984, becoming Grand Chancellor in 2005 and Delegate and for the Holy Land in 2012.
As Delegate of the Holy Land, Count Piccapietra predicts for Jerusalem, the birthplace of the Order of Saint Lazare of Jerusalem, a prosperous future. For Philippe, partnering Green Pilgrim Jerusalem was a natural step, due to the values they share and in link with the Order’s own history to support the modern concept of green pilgrimage.
The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem
The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem (www.saint-lazare.org) is an international community of Christian knights and dames devoted to ecumenical spirituality, unostentatious charity and chivalric tradition; a centuries-old fellowship bound by noble ideals of caring for the poor and sick.
At the end of the eleventh century, many European noblemen began to see it as their spiritual duty to forsake a comfortable life and travel to the holy city of Jerusalem to defend Christianity in its historical homeland. They bonded together as ‘orders’ of knights in a number of distinct military and religious groups, the most famous of which were the hospitallers and the templars. Those knights who contracted leprosy or were permanently wounded in battle were confined to the ancient Hospital of Jerusalem. This community was dedicated to Saint Lazarus and is the foundation of our Order. In succeeding centuries the Knights of Saint Lazarus benefited from royal and ecclesiastical privileges and established houses all over Europe. As the world’s spiritual and temporal powers evolved, the Order continued to adapt itself from one generation to the next while remaining true to its noble traditions.
The green cross of Saint Lazarus is the origin of the international symbol for healthcare. The unbroken succession since mediaeval times of men and women inspired by it continues today as a charitable confraternity supported by chaplains from all the major Christian Churches. Members of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem undertake a special commitment to love and serve God and their neighbour according to a tradition enshrined in the Constitutional Charter of the Order.
The quiet giving of time and money to help those who cannot help themselves continues to be the core of the Christian chivalry they practise. Under the spiritual protection of a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, the multicultural and ecumenical Order is proceeding with and developing its Saint Lazare humanitarian activities in many countries. The hospices and healthcare of previous ages have recently been augmented by a focus on ‘green issues’. And so the hospitaller vocation continues to evolve, drawing those of noble heart, united in their common baptism, to service with valour in the spirit of our forefathers: ATAVIS ET ARMIS.
The re-establishment of the Order’s Headquarters in the Holy Land (after 825 years)
The return of the Order’s magistral seat to Jerusalem is of great historic importance, as the Holy City is the birthplace of the Order of Saint Lazarus. Count Philippe Piccapietra is the Grand Magistral Delegate for the Holy Land with a mandate to re-establish the headquarters and to oversee the development of the new community of Brothers and Sisters in the region. The installation of the 50th Grand Master in Jerusalem later in 2015 will underscore the mission of the Order to pursue humanitarian and charitable activities across the entire Holy Land.