Our principles, ideals, philosophy and spirituality

Our motivation and aim

"tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum"

Our mission is to further the glory of God and strive with a common effort to foster a more perfect life of our members by devoting ourselves to the apostolate of the Church in works of charity to serve "the poor of our Lord Jesus Christ" extending God's loving care to them under the motto "tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum" (Protection of faith and service to the poor). 

What we want ...

The main aim of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard is to enable and empower people to help themselves, so that they will finally become independent of charity and possibly even become helpers themselves.

A secondary aim is to provide direct aid in cases of emergency and immediate need.

The Blessed Gérard's Centre has developed in response to the problem of AIDS in rural South Africa. The centre is found in KwaZulu-Natal, just over 100 kms north of Durban, in the town of Mandeni, in an area which is said to have the highest rate of AIDS anywhere.Mandeni lies on the trucking route between Durban and Mozambique, a fact that contributed to this high rate of infection. The Blessed Gérard's Centre is named after the founder of the Order of Malta who have contributed greatly to the construction of the centre through the foundation, Brotherhood of Blessed Gerard, first set up in 1992. The building was opened in 1996 and since then has grown in response to the needs of the people. Fr. Gerard Lagleder is a Benedictine missionary and it was he together with a local doctor, who saw that something had to be done to help relieve the suffering of the people in Mandeni. Fr Gerard shared with us about what led him to see the need for the Blessed Gerard Centre.

We are ...

  • a group of more than 2600 idealists with the aim to enable and empower people to help themselves and to provide direct aid in cases of emergency and immediate need.
  • the South African relief organisation of the Order of Malta. The latter had been founded as a nursing brotherhood by Blessed Gérard more than 900 years ago.
  • a faith based organisation (FBO) putting into action what our motto "tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum" means: "Protection of faith and service to the needy".
  • a "Private Association of Christ's Faithful" in the Roman Catholic Church, open to members from all different faiths and cultural backgrounds.
  • a community based (CBO) non-governmental organisation (NGO).
  • a "public benefit organisation" (PBO) operated not for profit (NPO) and dedicated to the welfare of all people.
  • a non-discriminating and non-exclusive organisation, which serves the needy irrespective of their abilities, creed, ethnicity, political affiliation, sexual orientation or social status.
  • a charity which helps within its own capability according to the identified needs of the people.


We help...

  • because every helping hand is urgently needed.
  • because we are convinced and want to convince others that one should not only ask for help, but also offer it oneself.
  • because we believe that whatever we do for the least of our brothers, we do for God (Mt 25:40).
  • because we, as instruments of God's love, want to let the needy experience His loving care.
  • because we are urged by the love of Christ (2 Cor 5:14), which is our mission (Jn 20:21).
  • because we want to work to make the suffering in the world less and the misery of the people more bearable.


May the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard in adopting it's patron's charisma continue the ancient spiritual tradition of its roots to humbly serve the hungry and thirsty, estranged and naked, sick and imprisoned Lord and thus become a sign of Christian faith, cheerful hope and apostolic love to the people.


Our Way of the Cross