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St. Lazarus

Saint Lazarus of Bethany


Lazarus was the brother of Ss. Martha and Mary Magdalen, renowned for his resurrection from the dead at the command of Our Lord, who considered Lazarus a beloved friend. After the Resurrection of Christ, Lazarus and his sisters, like their fellow Christians, became targets of the High Priests and the Pharisees, who searched for a legal way to dispose of the three siblings. Frustrated, the Pharisees finally settled for casting the three saints adrift in an old, decrepit boat without oars or sails, hoping that the seas would complete their demise. Yet the grace of God instead carried the vessel across the Mediterranean to what is now the port of Marseilles, in France. The apparently miraculous arrival of the three saints aided the swift conversion of the pagans residing there, and Lazarus, having been made bishop by the Apostles, established his see where they had landed. Mary Magdalen departed to do penance alone in the wilderness, and Martha led an early congregation of women in a contemplative life. Lazarus led his diocese with great zeal and vigor until his death, which some accounts say was a holy martyrdom by decapitation at the hands of the Romans.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for December 17th

AT Eleutheropolis, in Palestine, the holy martyrs Florian, Calanicus and their fifty-eight companions, who were massacred by the Saracens for the faith of Christ, in the time of the emperor Heraclius.

At Marseilles, in France, blessed Lazarus, bishop, who was raised from the dead by our Lord, as we read in the Gospel.

At Rome, St. John de Matha, founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives. His festival is observed on the 8th of February, according to the decree of Innocent XI.

In the monastery of Fulda, the holy abbot Sturmius, abbot and apostle of Saxony, who was ranked among the saints by Innocent II, in the second Council of Lateran.

At Bigarden, near Brussels, St. Vivina, virgin, whose eminent sanctity is attested by frequent miracles.

At Constantinople, St. Olympiades, widow.

At Andenne, at the Seven Churches, St. Begga, widow, sister of St. Gertrude.

The same day, the translation of St. Ignatius, bishop and martyr, who, the third after the blessed apostle Peter, governed the Church of Antioch. His body was conveyed from Rome, where he had suffered under Trajan, to Antioch, and deposited in the church cemetery beyond the gate of Daphnis. St. John Chrysostom, on that solemn occasion, delivered a discourse to his people. But afterwards his relics were carried back to Rome, and placed with the highest reverence in the church of St. Clement, together with the body of that blessed pope and martyr.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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