For the Glory of God and the good of mankind
590A.D.- 1998A.D. 14 centuries of service

The Order of the Orthodox Hospitallers

  1. Historical Background
  2. Administration
  3. Photo Archive
  4. Hot Links
  5. Bibliography
  6. Contact Address
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.  


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 (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. 










1. The mankinds and societies service in the frame of the international relations, without discrimination of race, nationality, social class, and religion. Principles which are originating from the Orthodox Christian Tradition and Faith, for Peace, Justice. Freedom and Development and social evolution. 

 2. the diffusion of information, the mobilization and cooperation with institutions in Greece as well as abroad, for the problems and needs of the developing countries. 

 3. The offer of solidarity and cooperation to developing countries and Organizations for the development in the fields of health education, agriculture, productive occupation and environmental protection. 

 4. The cooperation for the refugee problems, the assistance to the war and natural calamities victims and the protection of the human rights. 



The activities of I.I.S.A. are accomplishing by: 

The Board of Directors 

  The Administration Council 

  The Board of Scientific Counselors 

  The Departments of:  



  International Cooperation and 

  Public Relation 

  The Voluntaries of the Orthodox Hospitallers  


IISA is : 

  Affiliated to several Universities and other Institutions of high Education  

Member of the " Liaison Committee of the Development Non Governmental Organization, with the Committee of the European Communities" 

  Partner to the Commission of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) 

  Accredited to: 

 - The United Nations Organization, Non Governmental Liaison Service Council of Europe, North - South Center 

 - Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -OECD (Development Center) 

 - Governments and Ecclesiastical Authorities of whos jurisdiction I.I.S.A. has presents.  

Cooperates with: Governmental, Ecclesiastical Departments, public and privet Organizations and Institutions in Greece and abroad. 



Programs which has already accomplished and maintaining in developing countries and in Eastern Europe  


 1. Hospitals 

 2. Policlinics 

 3. Medical Centers 

 4. Preventing Medicine 

 5. Programs against Aids 

 6. Vaccinations 

 7. Health education 


 1. Medical aid and supplies for Hospitals and Medical Centers 

 2. Food aid, supply and distribution.  


 Establishing and supporting of: 

 1. Nursery Schools 

 2. Primary Schools 

 3. Secondary Schools 

 4. Vocational Schools 

 5. Vocational Training  


 1. Experimental cultivation 

 2. Participation in tropical field cultivation 

 3. Cattle raising and farming  


 1. Family planing 

 2. Medical demagraphy 

 3. Ethnology/Ethnography 

 4. Cultural 


 1. Seminars 

 2. Events 

 3. Forums 

 4. International conferences 

 5. Working groups 

 Countries in which the IISA, haw already accomplished projects: 

 AFRICA: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Liberia. 

 EASTERN EUROPE: Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, ex. Yugoslavia, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Albania. 

 Some of the major projects, which I.I.S.A. implements this year with a budget of approx. 3.500.000 US $ :  

1. Food Aid project in Albania, for Korcas population ( Finance by ECHO) 

 2. Food Aid project in Albania, for Korca s district population (Co finance by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs)  

3. Medical project in Albania ( Rehabilitation, supplies, equip) of 3 Hospitals & 16 Medical Centers ( Finance by ECHO) 

 4. Supplementary Medical project in Albania (Finance by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs)  

5. Training for 150 journalist in Democratization of Mass Media, in Georgia ( Finance by E.U.) 

 6. Religious and Ethnic minorities in Caucasus. Differences and Dialog ( Finance by I.I.S.A.) 

 7. Old peoples House in Georgia (Finance by I.I.S.A.) 8. Hospital and training in Preventing Medicine in Kenya ( Co finance by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and I.I.S.A.) 

 9. Cattle raising and farming in Tanzania ( Co finance by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and I.I.S.A.) 

 10. Seminars, 

 11. Forums,  

12. Events in Greece and Europe. 



due to which the I.I.S.A. materialize its aims for the mankinds and societies service, are from: 

  The Orthodox Hospitallers 

  Contribution of members  

European Union  

Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other Governmental Institutions 

  Public sector 

  Privet sector 


The I.I.S.A. officials: 

President : 

 The Very Rev. Protopresbyter Nicholas Psarombas G.C.O.H., M.A 

 Secretary General: 

 Mr. Dimitris Ghizelis B. O.H., M Sc. 

 General Manager: 

 Mrs Sophie Dima M.A. 

 President of the Board of Scientific Counselors: 

His Eminence Metropolitan of Peloussion Dr. Ireneos, Patriarchal Vicar General 

 International Relation: 

 Baron Sergei von Bennigsen G.C.O.H., M.A.PhD. 

 Project Manager: 

 Prof. Spyridon Alevizakos B.O.H. 

 Financial Counsellor: 

Mr. Thanos Tachmintzis O.H. 

 Legal Counsellor: 

 Lic.Jur. Emmanuel Gerakios K.O.H.



Visit the Orders PHOTO ARCHIVE
The Bible Gateway
Bibles and Commentaries 
Knights of St.Andrew
Institute of International Social Affairs
What is an Archon?
Agio Oros
Mediaeval Knights History
Hospitaller Organisations
Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria

Under construction
Headquarters :  6 Tzireon Str. 11742 Athens Greece.

Comments by Peter Bander van Duren:

The Order of Orthodox   Hospitallers is the only one(Of the Orthodox Orders)  which can  legitimately claim recognition under international law, and   its Badges of Religion are lawful badges under international law.  
This is, however, not the case   with the other Orthodox decorations and orders.  

The Order of the Orthodox Hospitallers is not a  self styled order, nor is it in any way attempting to imitate other lawful Order of St. John of  Jerusalem or of Malta. have found nothing in the documentation to support such a claim.  

The Order of the Orthodox Hospitallers was founded by Archbishop Macarios III when he was     Head  of State of the Republic of Cyprus, and domiciled by him in  Cyprus. Thus the Order meets the required prerequisites for any Order to be recognized under international law.  

There is, to the best of my knowledge, no other Order extant which enjoys a similar status. It     gave me pleasure to be able to include the Order of Orthodox Hospitallers in CROSS SWORD, and also add some photographs in this authoritative work which, like ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD, AWARDS    D HOLY SEE, reflects the Holy See' s views and attitudes. However, having said that, stress  that neither recognition nor approval by the Holy See are necessary for the continued existence of the  Order of the Orthodox Hospitallers which does not fall within the sphere of interest or influence   of the Holy See.  

But is must be a matter of great pride and satisfaction to yourself, and even more to the  Orthodox Church in the Diaspora, that the Order of Orthodox Hospitallers is now listed and, indeed,  well documented among the legitimate Orders of Hospitallers and those of Knighthood.  

The unique    extraterritorial position of the Order makes it a natural vehicle for ecumenical work.