Saints of The Greek Orthodox Church


Saint Lazarus    
St. Lazarus' memory is celebrated on the Saturday prior to the Palm Sunday.
   
 St. Lazarus was  born in Bethany, a small town near Jerusalem. Jesus knew his father Simon and used to visit their home every time he was in the area. He developed so a close friendship with Lazarus, who followed his teaching and ideals.

At the age of thirty Lazarus became very ill. His sisters Martha and Maria informed Jesus of the seriousness of his condition but he did not seem to be concerned. By the time Jesus arrived at Bethany, Lazarus was dead and buried for four days. Jesus went straight to his grave, he prayed and then raised his voice: "Lazarus, come out", he shouted.  And indeed, in a while Lazarus came out of the grave wrapped with his burial cloth. He was un-wrapped  and returned with Jesus to his house, accompanied by the crowd. Following this miracle even more people believed in Christ and followed  his teachings. This was the reason why the leaders of the Jews decided to assassinate him. When Lazarus learnt about their plans he found refused at Kition (Larnaca) of Cyprus. There he was met by the apostles Paul and Barnabas, who ordained him as the first bishop of Kition. Lazarus became an example of a Christian. His physical presence was an indication of God's love for his people while his spiritual activity symbolized  the love of man for God. 

Lazarus died at the age of sixty and was buried in a sarcophagus at Kition with an inscription "The four-day Lazarus, friend of Christ". In 890 AD the emperor of Byzantium Leon VI Sophos transferred Lazarus' remains to Constantinople and in return he built a church at Larnaca devoted to St. Lazarus. The church survives to this date. 

 

   

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