Saint Lazarus Church

St Lazarus Church Larnaca

Saint Lazarus Church Larnaca

The Church of Saint Lazarus (Agios Lasarus) is located in the center of the historic city of Larnaca. It is one of the centers of Christian pilgrimage, as the relics of Saint Lazarus, “the friend of Christ”, were found at this place in the 9th century.
The story of Saint Lazarus was described in the Gospels. A godly man Lazarus (Elazari from Hebron) and his sisters Martha and Mary lived in Bethany, near Jerusalem. The gospel notes that “Jesus loved Martha and her sister Mary and their brother Lazarus.” Several times he stayed at their home during his travels in Judea.

Once the sisters met Jesus Christ with the words “Lord, here is the one, who you love, is sick,” but he answered them: “This disease is not for death, but for the Glory of God.” After that, Jesus went to their home in Bethany, although Lazarus had already died. As recorded in the gospel of John: “Lazarus lay dead in the tomb for four days and already stank”, but Jesus Christ raised him up.

In honor of the Resurrection of Lazarus, Christians around the world celebrate Lazarus Saturday. It is celebrated on Saturday two weeks before Easter. So Jesus Christ showed that all the dead will rise before the Last Judgment. Before the resurrection, he said to Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.”

The Pharisees, seeing this miracle, decided to kill Lazarus, and in 33, he was forced to flee from Galilee to Cyprus, to the city of Kition (an ancient settlement on the site of Larnaca). According to Christian traditions, Lazarus lived in Cyprus for another 30 years and died in 63. The apostles Paul and Barnabas, during their stay in Cyprus in 45, ordained him Bishop of Kition.

The relics of Saint Lazarus were discovered in 890 in a small Church that stood on the site of the present Church. On the sarcophagus was written: “Lazarus, who was dead four days, a Friend of Christ.” The Byzantine Emperor Leo VI the Wise ordered the relics to be moved to Constantinople, and sent money and craftsmen to Larnaca to build a magnificent temple on this site.
By the beginning of the 10th century, the construction of the temple was completed. It has a classical cross-domed structure with three naves for Byzantine churches. There were three domes above it, but they were destroyed during the Turkish rule. The Church is similar to the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev and St. Sophia Cathedral in Veliky Novgorod, which were built around the same time.

St Lazarus Church Larnaca



Loving the many times I have spent in Cyprus, so I started a blog for everyone who feels the same to contribute to. First came here in the military back in 1984.

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