Lazarus of Bethany (Early 1st Century AD) was the brother of Mary and Martha. Four days after his death, Jesus raised him back to life.
Lazarus was one of Jesus’ many disciples and when he fell ill and died, his sisters sent a message to Jesus.
Two days after receiving the information, Jesus travelled to Bethany. He was met by Mary and then Martha. Martha complained that if He had come sooner, her brother Lazarus would not have died. Jesus answered, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, and the one who lives and believes in me will never die”. (John 11:25-26)
Despite Martha’s protestations, Jesus, in the presence of a gathered crowd, had the stone to Lazarus’ tomb removed. He then commanded Lazarus to come out and, still wrapped in his burial clothes, Lazarus got up and walked to the tomb entrance. The crowd were astounded.
Accounts of Lazarus’ life after Jesus’ crucifixion vary. One legend holds that he travelled to France where he was appointed Bishop of Marseilles and died a martyr’s death. A second, that he travelled with his sisters to Cyprus where he was appointed Bishop of Kition or Lamaka.
With one exception, it is said that Lazarus didn’t smile during his additional thirty years of life. The reason, his encounter with the holy souls during his four days in purgatory. The single exception was when he saw a man stealing a pot and he commented, “The clay steals the clay!”
St Lazarus’ Feast Day is 17th December (Western Churches).
St Lazarus of Bethany:
Pray that we will be ready to meet our Creator at the moment of our death.