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St Lazarus of Bethany

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Saint Of The Day

Brother of Martha and Mary. The account of Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus, led to his widespread veneration in Jerusalem, which was witnessed by the Spanish pilgrim Etheria in 390.

Nothing more is written about him in the New Testament. According to tradition however, the Jews of Jaffa placed Lazarus and his sisters in a leaky boat in which they somehow sailed safely to Cyprus. He said to have become a bishop on the island and died there peacefully 30 years later.

Another legend tells how he was placed in a boat which did not have oars or a rudder. Nevertheless, together with his sisters, he landed safely in Gaul. That story claims he was martyred under Domitian and buried in a cave under the Abbey church in Marseilles.

The Order of Lazarists founded by St Vincent de Paul took its name from the church in Paris dedicated to Saint Lazare.

Chichester Cathedral has an 11th century sculpture depicting the Raising of Lazarus.

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