Saint Lazarus was born in 967 AD. He raised well in a village near the state of Magnesia. His parents, Nikitas and Eirini, were two devout Christians. He was properly educated and grew up close to the faith. From an early age he had a rich love for God. When he was only the age of 6, he went to one monastery named Orovon where he stayed for five years. He was instructed in the monastic way from the Elder and he grew spiritually.
Around the age of 11 he went to Jerusalem to pray and fast. He then traveled to Palestine, joining the monastery of Saint Sava. During his time there, he was well respected and adored among his brothers as he was devoted to strict fasts as well as a life of piety. Other monastics saw this within him and loved him for the goodness he shared.
He remained at Saint Sava’s monastery for 10 years. From this he felt a calling to Jerusalem where he was ordained as a priest by the Patriarch. After his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, there was an Arab invasion, so he then traveled to his homeland and resided on Mount Galesius near Ephesus. There he was in solitude and continued to pray ceaselessly and fasting greatly.
Many people discovered Lazarus as word had spread he was a holy man. One monastic named Constantine went to Lazarus and helped him built a church. When it was completed, the church was dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ.
During his time on the mountain, he had a miraculous vision come before him. He gazed into the sky and watched a burning pillar ascend to the heavens while angels flew around it in circles. They were singing with their beautiful voices “Let God risen with glory and may his enemies fall.”
After receiving this powerful revelation, he then began to construct a pillar in the exact location where he beheld the sight of the angels. When the pillar was completed, Lazarus lived on top in a small square as a stylite. Many began to come and listen to the hermit, and soon Lazarus had a great following of those seeking his abundance spiritual grace and wisdom. He also healed many suffered from illness both physically and spiritually.
After he had begun to gain disciples, they established a monastery surrounding the church.
He lived the rest of his years as their Geronda and guided them humbly toward the path of salvation. As he was gifted with the foreknowledge of his death, he prepared his monastic for his departure. They were deeply saddened as they all had grown a deep love for Lazarus.
Because of their affection toward him, through prayers and God’s grace Lazarus then lived another 15 years past the day which he was to die.
In the year 1053 AD, he peacefully reposed at the age of 72 and gave his soul unto the Lord.
The monks then buried his holy body beneath the pillar which he worked so hard to place in constructing the church. From his relic, many beautiful miracles occurred.
We also honor this great saint on July 17.