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November 7, 2019

The Birth of Saint Lazarus of Mount Galesion

St. Lazarus the Stylite of Mount Gelasion reposed on November 7, 1053. The following account comes from Gregory the Cellarer, a close disciple of Saint Lazarus as well as his biographer.

2. This man [Lazarus], became a shining, blazing star among those who live as monks, a scion of the Asiatic land, from some rural place named after the Theotokos, situated somewhere near the borders of Magnesia. His parents were not the sort who care very much about wealth or life’s other deceits but rather those who live piously, self-sufficiently, and devoutly, and (to put it like the apostle) provide their nourishment by their own hands. Their names were Niketas and Irene, and they had Lazarus, who was truly a son of Victory and Peace, fifth among the children born to them, just like another Job, who was fifth from Abraham; like him also this great man [Lazarus] really was as hard as steel, as his life thereafter showed.

When Lazarus emerged from his mother’s womb, light at once shone forth miraculously from heaven and filled the whole interior of the house with an indescribable flash of lightning. Indeed, the people who were there could not stand the brilliance of this light and, leaving the mother with the baby, rushed out of the house and stood somewhere nearby in great fear and trembling. They waited for a little while and then, after that terrible light had gone away, went back into the house again. When the midwife approached the woman who had just given birth, she found the baby standing upright; he was facing east and had his hands pressed tightly to his chest in the form of the cross.

The midwife who delivered him recounted this herself; she was the wife of the great Leontios, the monk who, in turn, told me these things and the rest about Lazarus’ childhood and what happened to him up to his departure from his own country for the Holy Land. So, when his parents and those who were there saw these things (as well as what they learned from hearsay), they were filled with wonder and amazement, and from then on began to guess the future well enough and to say that they expected to see something great and auspicious in connection with the child.