I had the honor of receiving the other day a preview version of the book “Libro de Armería de la Orden Militar y Hospitalaria de San Lázaro de Jerusalén” or “Armorial of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem”, of the Grand Priory of Spain.
This is a book of exquisite quality with a great deal of research having put into it by its authors: José María de Montells y Galán and Alfredo Escudero y Díaz-Madroñero, both heraldists of the highest caliber with a long array of publications each.
Montells y Galán is the Chief Herald of the Order of St. Lazarus for the Grand Priory of Spain. He has published a multitud of books on heraldry, orders of knighthood and historical research making him something of a “household name” of heraldry in the hispanic world.
Escudero y Díaz-Madroñero is the Chancellor of Valencia under the Grand Priory of Spain. He too has a long and enviable list of publications that has landed him at the top of the list of heraldic experts of the Spanish speaking world.
Both together, have come to create a book that looks at the heraldic history of the Order of St. Lazarus, demonstrate the richness of the institution and display an armorial of knights of the Grand Priory. The armorial also includes the arms of the supernumerary Royal knights of the Order, namely HM King Kigeli V of Rwanda, HIH Zera Yacob Amha Selassie, Crown Prince of Ethiopia, HH Abune Paulos Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and HRH the Infante Miguel of Portugal, Duke of Viseu.
Moreover, throughout the text one finds heraldic examples of what the text refers with displays of the arms or achievements of Grand Cross knights or Grand Masters.
Coincidentally, just like there are two authors of the text, there are two artists.
The heraldic emblazons were completed by the very talented heraldic artis Carlos Navarro Gazapo. His work is widely known in Spain and is considered by many to be at the top of his field in his country.
The designs were done by one of the well known Spanish heraldists, Fernando Martínez Larrañaga. He has been written about extensively by experts in Spain and has lent his expertise to many in his country.
For anyone who has a passion for heraldry, this would be a great addition to their library. For those who are members of the Order of St. Lazarus, I would consider this a must.
Many of the emblazons found in this publication can also be seen on the excellent site maintained by Navarro Gazapo.
Unfortunately, the Grand Priory of Spain does not have a web site therefore I cannot share a link to them. However, the two artists mentioned above do:
- Carlos Navarro Gazapo: http://heraldicahispanica.blogspot.com/
- Fernando Martínez Larrañaga: http://heraldistas.blogspot.com/
Note: Image by Fernando Martínez Larrañaga
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with the Order of St. Lazarus