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After death - to Cyprus: the last miracle of Lent

After death - to Cyprus: the last miracle of Lent

01.04.2018
Tags: Cyprus, Religion, Orthodoxy

Another thirty years after the resurrection and ascension of Christ on the island of Cyprus, he lived his closest friend - Lazarus, whom he brought back to life literally from the grave. "Here lies a friend of Christ," - is written on his tomb in the island capital of Larnaca. Today, the Orthodox Church recalls one of the main miracles of Christianity. What is the meaning of Lazareva's Saturday and what delicacies this day are allowed for believers at dinner - in the material of RIA Novosti.

Making God cry

"Go forth," said Christ to a friend who died four days ago and was already lying in the tomb. "See how he loved him," the Jews said, noticing the tears in Jesus' eyes. According to the theologians and historians of the church, the miraculous resurrection of the already decaying corpse was to convince the ancient Jews that Christ would also rise again, and modern man - to remind that a universal resurrection from the dead awaits him.

"He also wanted to encourage the apostles to face the terrible trials ahead, to show them that he is going to suffer voluntarily, and not necessarily to suffer the evil human will." You imagine, to resurrect a man who lies in a cave for four days in a hot climate, his body began to decay, - explains the rector of the church of St. Seraphim of Sarov in the Moscow City, a well-known publicist and theologian, Archpriest Maxim Kozlov.

According to him, in other miracles of this kind - and the Gospels describe the resurrection of Christ and the son of a native widow, and the daughter of Jairus, the head of the synagogue in Capernaum, - "atheistically minded writers" later saw almost a withdrawal from the coma. But here the return to life of Lazarus is called upon to finally convince all doubters - before them is God.

"The peculiarity of the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus - he returned from the place of" no return. "If he rose on the day of death, then his death could be taken for a dream.If it happened within three days after death, one could say that "the soul returned to the body after wandering on the surface of the earth." But after three days, the soul of the deceased, according to legend, had to go to court to God, and the fate of it on the fourth day was already entirely in the hands of God. He could only, "- says the teacher Sretensky spiritual Seminary Hieromonk Irenaeus (Pikovsky).

The first bishop of the island of Aphrodite

The resurrected Lazarus soon sailed to Cyprus to escape the plan of killing his Pharisees. Until now, the day of his memory on the island is almost a national holiday, celebrated with orchestras and a military parade. Several years ago, a patriarch Cyril brought a piece of relics of the saint from the Greek island to Russia, now she is in the capital's Zachatievsky monastery. But the tradition of erecting temples in honor of Lazar Chetverdnevnogo in our country has not developed, in Moscow there are only two small cemetery churches consecrated in his honor.


At the Church of St. Lazarus the Four-Horned, Larnaca, Cyprus

"In the worldview of the current generation of Orthodox believers, this event, like some others, is not experienced and not perceived with the intensity, as implied by the church charter and the meaning of these holidays." I can relate this to the fact that a large proportion of our flock are people who have recently come They are not rooted in the tradition of church life, they are only going to acquire the necessary understanding of meanings, and this is the lack of our in-church education. "We know about this," complains Father Maxim.

But in Russia there was a national tradition - on this day they went to cut a willow to decorate churches for the Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. In Greece, they bake special biscuits, which are called "lazarchiki", resembling small men wrapped in funeral veils.


Palm Sunday in the regions of Russia

Existential gloom

However, in enlightened France, this story acquired other meanings. Resurrected Lazarus as a symbol of the horror of knowing the afterlife for the first time introduced into the world of European literature the "Prince of French Poets" Leon Dierx. In the poem Lazare, he portrayed an ominous madman, with whom no one dared speak, and from which, as from the plague, the whole of Jerusalem flinched. In Russia this image inspired Leonid Andreev: at the beginning of the 20th century he created the apology of the betrayed Christ Judas Iscariot and the novel "The Diary of Satan". The devil is being tortured by Roman townsfolk, and he looks like a loser who needs sympathy.

"The miracle of Sunday, accomplished over Eleazar, is not a joyous gospel vow, but some kind of diabolic force that restored the life force to the corpse, but could not instill into it the departed spirit." The horror of the story was born in the anatomical theater, and not in the tragedy of the human spirit ", The poet Maximilian Voloshin spoke of Andreev's bestseller.


Participants of the literary association "Wednesday"

Part of him agrees with Protopriest Maxim Kozlov. "To learn all the horror of the soul's journey into a certain area separated from God (after all, until the Resurrection of Christ, the souls of all, even the prophets and the righteous, were in hell after death), to learn this abyss of anguish and return to the world - can even the most ridiculous and touching in him to blot out the knowledge that Lazarus, the only person on earth, reliably received? " - the priest reflects.

But hundreds of Cypriots come to Larnaca every year to remember the man on whose tomb is inscribed: "Friend of Christ." And in Russia in Lazarev Saturday, the final Lent, the believers are allowed to pamper themselves with fish caviar.


The Tomb of St. Lazarus the Four-Legged in Larnaca

Aleksei Mikheev
RIA News
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