Posts tagged ‘Fernando Martínez Larrañaga’

Heraldic privileges of Knights of the Order of St. Lazarus of the Grand Priory of Spain

Learning from the excellent publication of the Grand Priory of Spain of the Order of St. Lazarus I wrote about the other day, I decided to publish a concise list of heraldic privileges of the knights of the Order.

There are specific regulations that are applicable based on the rank as well as the specific office held by the knight.

Before going into the details, there are some rules that are applicable to all:

All knights may display the arms of the Order in either a chief or a canton. The arms of the Order are: Argent a cross Vert.

All knights may lay their shield on the cross of the order (a maltese cross vert).

Specific to the rank of the knight, the rules are:

  • Knights: May suspend the insignia of the order from the bottom of their shield
  • Commanders: May suspend the insignia from the flanks of their shield
  • Grand Crosses: May have their shield encircled with the insignia
  • Collared: Those who are either Grand Collars or have a collar of office may encircled their shield with the collar they are entitled too.

Specific to the office the knight may hold, the rules are:

  • Grand Masters: May quarter the arms of the Order with their personal arms. They may display two scepters in saltire behind their shield
  • Chancellors: May display a sword in pale behind their shield
  • Heads of a Grand Chapter: May display a scepter in pale behind their shield
  • Judges of Arms: May display a baton of office in pale and surmount their shield with the coronet of a king of arms
  • Grand Marshals: May display two batons of office in saltire behind their shields
  • Grand Auditors: May display a gold key in pale behind their shields
  • Grand Treasurers: May display two gold keys in saltire behind their shields
  • Grand Referendaries: May display a sword and a baton of office in saltire behind their shields
  • Coadjutors: May display a scepter and baton office in saltire behind their shields

All high dignitaries and members of the Council have the additional right to display their arms in the pavillion of the Order. The pavillion is black, to denote the loss of the holy land to the muslims, and is charged with the cross of the order on the sinister side. The pavillion is surmounted with a closed eastern crown, showing the founding of the Order in the east.



  • Images by Fernando Martínez Larrañaga and Wikipedia
  • I am not affiliated in any way with the Order of St. Lazarus

Armorial of the Order of St. Lazarus

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:


Note: Image by Fernando Martínez Larrañaga

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with the Order of St. Lazarus

Link to an article where I write about my personal opinion on the group