Sunday, November 18, 2007


Just across the road from the Stoa cafe stands the church of Agios Lazaros (pronounced "Ayos Lazaro with the accent on the last 'o' in Lazaros). It is the same Lazarus as was raised from the dead by Christ in the Gospel story. However the Bible doesn't seem to elaborate on what happened to him afterwards. Fortunately the Romans were not only a great military people but were very beaurocratic too, - everything was written down. It seems that Lazaros needed to leave Judea rather hurriedly after his resurrection and subsequently settled in Cyprus and established a church in Kition, - modern day Larnaca. He became the first bishop of Cyprus. The Book of Acts in the Bible tell of a meeting between him and St.Barnabas.
Legend has it that St. Lazarus never smiled throughout his 30 years as bishop. He is depicted on ikons with a stern face. His tomb lies in the crypt of his church in Larnaca. You can find out more here.

The building itself is a mixture of early and late Byzantine architechture, had further modifications during the mediaeval Crusades and the the tower is Venetian 16#century.

The studios are closed on Sundays so I would have a coffee at a table looking at this church and listening to the Greek Orthodox chanting being relayed to us via loudspeakers. It is a haunting sound. The Sunday morning ceremonies run continuously from around 6-00am to well after mid-day. Congregation members come and go throughout this. Some in their Sunday best staying for an hour or so while others who have to work, such as those at the cafe, passing policemen and so on will call in for ten minutes or so and perhaps visit again later. Cypriots are a deeply religious people. After coffee I would sit in the cool of the cloister with sketchbook in hand drawing the complex arches of the vaulted ceiling and arcading. It is architecturally and interesting place.


Anonymous said...

I really do wish you would check your scriptures before stating something as fact. Also your (Roman) historical records.
There is NO mention of Lazarus anywhere in Acts. In fact, he is not mentioned again after his resurrection, which is only recorded in John's gospel. Barnabas and Paul certainly sailed to Cyprus, and Acts 13:4 relates them landing at Salamis and 13:6 states they "travelled the whole island until they came to Paphos."
From 13:6 to 13:12 the account relates people they met - not Lazarus. In 13:13 it states they sailed from Paphos.They do not visit Cyprus again.
If they had met Lazarus in Cyprus, don't you think Luke might have mentioned it in Acts? The Roman accounts are not trustworthy either.
All accounts I have found of "St. Lazarus", including from Cyprus itself, states that it is "tradition" that Lazarus fled to Cyprus, not fact. He may have. Or he may not have. The fact is that we do not know as it is not recorded.
As stated earlier, contrary to your assertion, Lazarus is not mentioned in Acts at all. Please let me know where in Acts you saw it recorded if you disagree.
Respectfully, Cath x

Norman said...

I suggest you check other sources such as the gnostic gospels and the Eastern Orthodox scriptures. St'Luke is not that reliable either as he was a disciple of St. Paul and his version is a little shaded to say the least.

Anonymous said...

You stated that there is an account in the book of Acts in the Bible where Barnabus met up with Lazarus in Cyprus.
I ask you again, where? Lazarus is not mentioned in Acts at all, and is only talked of in John where the account of his resurrection by Jesus is given. There is no account in the Bible of Lazarus meeting Barnabus in Cyprus or anywhere else.

Luke was a disciple of Jesus, not Paul. Paul was also a disciple.

The authorship of the gnostic gospels remains in dispute, as does it's accuracy. It is well accepted (worldwide with few dissenters) that Luke wrote an accurate account of the Acts of the Apostles. Even the orthodox churches would agree with this.

Don't the Eastern Orthodox church use the Bible? If so, they will also have the same book of Acts.

In what way is Paul's version "shaded"? Is that opinion or fact?

FACT - Lazarus is not mentioned in Acts, in Cyprus or anywhere else.

"The coming of Saint Lazarus to Kition is indicated by relative local traditions" - quote from . Lazarus The Friend Of Christ And First Bishop Of Kition, Cyprus, compiled by Fr. Demetrios found at NOTE - "indicated by local traditions". Not a fact. A tradition as I stated in my last comment.

Cath x

Norman said...

This is not the place for internincine argument. I report what I have seen and what I have been told. I am not interested in the nit picking of Pharisees.

Anonymous said...

I was not commenting to be destructive (I assume you meant internecine? Typo?). And I certainly am not a 'Pharisee', nor am I nitpicking. I simply wanted to point out that something you had stated as a fact about an entry in the Bible is not a fact. It simply is not there.

I have no issues with differing opinions on whether something happened or not. We can agree to differ. But if you could please tell me where in Acts it mentions Lazarus I would be interested to see it, as I have not seen it anywhere. It is not about looking at "other sources", although I do, to provide balance. I was simply commenting on the source YOU mentioned i.e. the Bible and that the info you say is in the book of Acts is not.

Many people will doubtless read your blog and giving out inaccurate information about a faith that you do not belong to is what prompted the comment, as you are mistaken.

I agree, this is perhaps not the place for such a discussion. It was simply a comment on the contents of the book of Acts (originally) to correct some misinformation in your blog. I am sorry if this has offended.

Cath x

Swearing Mother said...

Crikey, my kids and their Dad just argue about who left the top off the toothpaste. You two are on a totally higher level in more ways than one.

Respect to you both.

Anonymous said...

Thanks SM!

Dad and I often debate. It's very healthy! Especially if I'm right... :0)
Advantage of being a woman - I'm always right.

But I'm still Daddy's girl!

Cool site yours too - I often read (and WITN) just can't comment cos no anon. Keep it up!

Regards, Cath x

Swearing Mother said...

Hi Cath, was wondering where you'd gone, especially when I was wondering about whether your Dad had done a runner and stayed in Cyprus.

Norman, sorry to use your blog as a chat-room, please feel free to delete me!

Norman said...

On the contrary. The more the merrier. Lets face it both yours and WITN become chat-rooms from time to time.