Saint Lazarus of Bethany

Saint Lazarus of Bethany

Patron of Lazarus House
Feast Day: June 21

Lazarus’ stories took place long ago. There are two accounts of Lazarus in The Bible, one from the Gospel of John (John 11: 1-44) and another from Luke (Luke 16: 19-31), which is sometimes called the “Parable of Dives and Lazarus.” Lazarus is portrayed as being a poor beggar suffering from many sores. There is also a rich man who is well clothed and nourished each day. Lazarus was so poor and hungry he fed himself from the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Eventually, Lazarus died as did the rich man. But Luke’s Gospel states that after his death, Lazarus was taken by the Angels to a place near Abraham in Heaven while the rich man, upon his death, went to Hell. The rich man called out to Abraham to send Lazarus to help cool him off from the flames of Hell. Abraham reminded the rich man that he had received great rewards on Earth while Lazarus had suffered greatly. It was Lazarus who then received the comforts of Heaven. Lazarus is depicted in art standing on crutches with dogs at this feet, as he is in the SfS medal. It is said that the dogs licked Lazarus’ sores while he suffered on Earth, including while he scrounged scraps from the rich man’s table. Lazarus is closely associated with the Patronages surrounding Saint Vincent de Paul and other generous givers known as the Patron Saints of Charity. One local Charity in New Orleans called “Halloween’s in New Orleans” holds a yearly benefit for Lazarus House, a Louisiana Hospice providing care and housing to men and women Living With AIDS. Over the several years, over a million dollars has been raised by the committee members who volunteer their time, money and effort to raise needed funds. Another hospice “Belle Reve” in New Orleans also provides much needed hospice care. The name Lazarus comes from the word Eleazer which means “whom God helps” and it is important for all of us to follow the charitable example and help these hospices ourselves as they faithfully aid and care for those less fortunate. ©2002

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“The Saints are the Sinners who keep on trying”
-Robert Louis Stevenson


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