February 23, 2020

Holy New Hieromartyr Lazarus of Tripoli (+ 1605)

St. Lazarus of Tripoli (Feast Day - February 23)


Lazarus was burned in the furnace,
By the mighty crowd on behalf of the Master.
On the twenty-third Lazarus the Martyr burned in the flames.

Saint Lazarus was a priest from Tripoli in Peloponessos. His pious parents, Nicholas and Alexandra, raised him in the admonition and education of the Lord, leading him to the perfect measure of virtue. When he was ordained a priest, he instructed the pious in the precepts of the Gospel, while others he taught to not be unjust to the poor.

There was a man from Tripoli named Seletos, who daily committed injustices. Father Lazarus would often advise him to not be unjust towards others. When Seletos was condemned to death for his injustices, he denied Christ before the Turkish authorities and became a Muslim in order to escape punishment.

Having become a Muslim and escaped danger, he along with other Turks now wanted to persuade the priest Lazarus to also deny his faith and become a Muslim. To do this they slandered him many times before the judge, and in the courtroom the Saint was offered many good things if he converted, otherwise he would be condemned to die.

The Saint refused the offer of the Muslims, and for this he was tortured without mercy to get him to deny his faith by force. They scourged him, twisted his limbs, cut off members of his body, and many other things. His blessed mother, seeing her son endure such torment, did not dissuade him, but instead persuaded and encouraged him to endure till the end, saying that it would be better to suffer in temporary fire here on earth rather than the eternal fire of hell, and thus inherit a place in the Kingdom of God with all the martyrs and angels and saints.

In the end, seeing that he was steadfast in his faith and could not be persuaded, they burned Lazarus alive and he delivered his soul into the hands of the Lord, with prayer on his lips. This took place on February 23, 1605. Witnesses of this event, both believers and unbelievers testified as to having seen a bright light from heaven over the place of his burnt body for three days afterward, causing fear and awe. What remained of his body as well as his ashes were buried by the faithful, and his sacred relics became a source of healing to those who hastened to them with faith.

The original Life and Divine Office to this Saint are preserved in Codex no. 797 of the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi. The translated hymns below were composed by Haralambos Boussias.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone
Sacred athlete and martyr of the Most-High, O Lazarus, who quenched the fire of the furnace with streams of your precious tears, in these last days, as the bright light of Mantineias, and the super-bright lamp of Tripoli, we seek your grace, we who are burning with the fire of passions.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
From the dogmas of your words, O Lazarus, do utterly conquer those against us, for rule was give to you by God, and you confirm the faith in all things, for us you are truly a support.

Rejoice O wondrous sacred athlete, who in Tripoli quenched fire precipitously and the faithless were crowned with shame by your steadfastness, O boast of martyrs, Lazarus.