Moscow, June 13, Interfax, – A delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church led by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia brought part of the relics of St. Lazarus given to Russia by the Church of Cyprus to the Vnukovo-3 airport on Monday evening.
The Patriarch and the clergy served a prayer service near the arc containing the holy relics at the airport.
The holy relics were then given to Archbishop of Istra Arseniy, who will take them to the Moscow Zachatyesky Monastery, where they will be put up for worship.
The holy relics were given to Patriarch Kirill during his four-days visit to Cyprus. The ceremony was held in the St. Lazarus Church in Larnaca.
St. Lazarus was resurrected by Christ. Pharisees later wanted to kill St. Lazarus, but he fled them. Believers pray for healing at his relics.
The St. Lazarus Church in Larnaca was built in the late 9th or early tenth century A.D. on the grave of the saint, who, according to the legend, was appointed by Apostles Paul and Varnava as first bishop of Kitium (old name for Larnaca). His grave was found in 890 A.D.
In the period between the thirteenth century through the sixteenth century, the church was owned by a Catholic community. It was used as a mosque for a short time during the Ottoman rule. It was bought by an Orthodox community in 1589.
The church has 19th century silver icon setting, which was given to the church by Russian pilgrims, and the church museum has a lot of church implements, which was also received as a gift. The 1970 fire destroyed almost all of the internal furnishings of the church. Human remains that were later identified as St. Lazarus’ relics were found inside the church.