MARCH, 1948. Saint Lazarus in Cyprus By K. N. Vassiliades. « As we learned from the unwritten word of our ancestors so we believe.” — Synexaria”’ ( SENAGEs which in ancient times was called the “City of Tombs’’, is to-day one of the most modern towns in Cyprus. Its long pier, jutting out at right angles, is an ideal resort for promenaders, and the long’ straight line of palm trees has been the scene _ of many romantic memories. Here, after sunset, men and women of every nationality flock to meet and chatter in English Greek, Turkish, French, Italian and even in Arabic, Most of them sit at little tables outside the hotels or cafés and gossip on almost every subject. Only when night falls .do they abandon this fashionable quarter and go into that other interesting part of the town which is picturesque and quiet. Animmense necropolis lay in the past without the walls of Larnaca town, but many from its precious relics have been taken away from the Island and have found a home-in the Museum at Berlin, - THE SALT LAKES Near Larnaca one of the most curious phenomena are the Salt Lakes they are within easy reach of the town, just a pleasant drive on a sunny afternoon. For the first three miles the road is duli and uninviting, then scenery and colouring arouse interest, for, to the left, is the gorgeous blue-green of the sea, arid on the right, divided from it only by banks and a narrow path are the limpid waters of the Salt Lakes, which in summer harden to the semblance of alabaster and are a sub- stantial source of revenue. Their basin lies about ten feet below sea-level, which took a far-reaching semi-circular bite out of the Island in the past that lessens in extent as the years roll on. The salt of these lagoons is wonder- fully free from grit and has embalming and valuable medicinal qualities. Its existence is said to be due to St. Lazarus who, according to Cypriot tradition and French ccclesiastical historians, came to Cyprus after he had been raised from the dead. VINEYARDS TURN TO SALT A Franciscan Friar, who visited Cyprus in 1484, recorded the following narrative ‘ The salines at Larnaca were miraculously made. While the plain was planted with vines, St. Lazarus passed by and asked from those who kept the vineyards a few. grapes for the love of God. The alms was refused him, and he asked what there was in a basket which hung near, They told him it was salt, but it was full of grapes. Then he laid a curse on them and ‘said : May all these vineyards turn to salt. And so it befell, for from that hour the vines dried up.” to * K * : The belief that Lazarus of Bethany spent the after-years of his resurrection in Cyprus is in no wise altered and this is proved by the following story:- ‘Christ went away beyond Jordan where Lazarus, his friend, was sick and died suddenly. He knew of this and He told it to His disciples saying : “ My friends, we go not into Judaea put to Bethany, because our friend Lazarus is dead, and we go there to raise him up from the dead, so that all the world may see a miracle.” Then Christ, seated on an ass, came into Bethany, where even the children of the Jews strewed palm branches before Him as He entered the town. Martha and Mary, the two sisters of Lazarus, approached Christ weeping bitterly and -besought Him to raise their brother from the dead. LAZARUS LIVES . ’ Martha knelt before Christ and kissed His feet. Christ asked Martha St. Lazarus Church in Larnaca. (Photo Mangoian ros) 13 to show him the tomb of Lazarus. When He saw the place where His friend lay dead He was stricken with grief. He entered the tomb and Heaven and Earth were afraid. He called unto Lazarus with a loud voice and he was raised from the dead forthwith. . When the Jews saw this miracle of Christ they counsel how they should kill Lazarus and Christ. The sisters and friends of Lazarus put him into a boat in the sea and left him at the mercy of the wind and the waves. God guided the boat and it came safely to the shores of Larnaca in Cyprus, where Lazarus built a church and. lived thirty years on the earth, but he could neither be happy nor’smile, through thinking always of Hell, for his heart was troubled and his soul was afraid.’ a * 3 * Before the Venetians occupied the Island, Lazarus’ burial place could be seen and on it there was an inscription in Hebrew : “ Lazarus, the four-days dead and friend of Christ, lies dead within.” Now there is nothing but a sacred picture which the faithful may bend to kiss. Nothing left save the legends, which have grown up in the course of centuries around the name of him who was the first to return from the dead...