In the Bible, it is mentioned that Lazarus was a close friend of Jesus who lived in Bethany, and that he was resurrected from the dead by Christ the day before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. There are numerous scriptural references to Jesus visiting Bethany and spending time with the sisters and possibly the father of Lazarus. Lazarus Saturday marks the end of Great Lent.
What is less well-known is his history as a Christian bishop in Cyprus for 30 years after his resurrection.
Upon receiving news of Lazarus’ miraculous resurrection, the High Priests conspired to have Lazarus murdered, to cover up the evidence of Christ’s miraculous powers. Lazarus was forewarned and fled to Cyprus after Christ’s Resurrection, where he worked with the Apostles Paul and Barnabas, and eventually was ordained as Bishop of Citium in Cyprus.
Bishop Lazarus was reported to be a stern and morose person who never smiled. This was attributed to his experience of four days in Hell between his death and resurrection which affected him profoundly.
Cyprus has a special significance for the Georgian Church, as Georgian monasteries were built there between the 10th and 13th centuries, which are currently under excavation.