June 15 Right-believing Prince Lazar(us) the Great Martyr of Serbia

Read the Life of St. Lazar here

The Holy Prince Lazar of Serbia lived during the fourteenth century at a time when the Turks, having conquered neighboring lands, were preparing to invade Serbia.

At the time of the Battle of Kosovo, the wounded king was taken prisoner. On the orders of Sultan Bayazet, he was beheaded with a sword on June 15, 1389. The body of the holy King Lazar was buried at a nearby church. In 1391 his incorrupt relics were transferred to the Ravanica monastery.

 In the year 1371 he was chosen King of all Serbia and he toiled much at strengthening the condition of the country. He pacified neighboring princes, who had wronged or plundered Serbian settlements. He was concerned also for the Christian enlightenment of the nation, he built churches, supported the monasteries and charitable establishments.

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of St. Lazarus from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

Ever joining chorus with the assemblies of the angels at the divine throne, and being filled with radiant beams, O Lazarus, beseech Him to illumine my darkened soul, that I may be able to hymn thy memory.

Even though we who honor thee are unable to praise thee as is meet, yet, as far as our strength permitteth, we fashion hymnody to thy glorious memory, proclaiming thy manner of life and thine end. In that thou art solicitous of thy children, accept this laudation, even though it is not worthy of its task.

The fear of the Lord, the beginning of thy virtuous life, didst thou take up from thy youth, O Lazarus, and thou didst have it guiding thee to the straight path, treading which thou didst enter into the courts of the Lord.

Thou wast full of understanding and divine grace from thine earliest days, replete with every virtue; and thou didst distribute thy wealth to the poor and needy. Wherefore, Christ hath enriched thee with great riches in the heavens.

Thou wast shown to be a temple fit for God, for thou didst build for Him a magnificent church, sparing no cost, which moved all to amazement; and therein thou didst gather choirs of monastics.

Imitating the purity and godly way of life of the chaste Joseph, thou wast a distributor of grain and one merciful to the poor; and since thou didst sow it in the furrows of those desiccated by poverty, thou didst therefore in time reap sheaves of grain in gladness.

Thy homeland and flock have thee as one living even after death: a most precious gift, riches which cannot be stolen, a great helper, a mighty and right loving ally. Wherefore, on the day of thy repose we offer thee right laudatory hymns and, magnifying thee, we cry out to thee such things as these: Rejoice, scion of a devout father; rejoice, child of a reverent mother! Rejoice, for from thy youth thou didst follow the commandments of God; rejoice unshakable pillar of Orthodoxy! Rejoice, builder and adorner of holy churches; rejoice, abundant alms for the poor! Rejoice, good shepherd who didst lay down thy life for the people of God; rejoice, for thou didst shed thy precious blood! Rejoice, for their sake thou hast been reckoned among the martyrs and hast received a dwelling-place with them; rejoice, for in thee are the Orthodox adorned! Rejoice, for thy glory hath spread throughout the whole world; rejoice, O our helper and deliverer! These things do we offer thee, O saint, as is meet; and we beseech thee: Grant reward unto those who glorify thee, and deliver us from all oppression, that we may cry out to thee: Rejoice, O ever-memorable Lazarus!

Coming together on the feast of thy holy memorial, O Lazarus, the choirs are filled with gladness, and with them we also honor thee with hymns. Come thou, O holy one, and commence the festivities, and deliver us from all affliction, for we are thy flock.