Lazarus is a person mentioned several times in the four Gospel books of the New Testament. According to the New Testament, Lazarus lived in the town of Bethany with his sisters Mary and Martha. He is best known for being raised from the grave four days after his death by Jesus Christ, according to Chapter 11 of the Gospel of John. Again according to this gospel, many Jews visited Lazarus after this and believed in Jesus in part because of Lazarus' resurrection, and some of the Jewish leaders made plans to kill him.
According to Christian tradition, Lazarus was a Jewish Pharisee, but because of the rumoured plots fled for his life to Cyprus, where he later became a Christian bishop and lived another thirty years. Stories say that he would always include something sweet in every meal, but that he was only known to laugh once in that time. That was when he observed someone stealing a clay pot, causing him to smile and say with a laugh, "clay stealing clay".
Today Lazarus is honored as a saint by all Christians who honor saints. The transfer of his relics from Cyprus to Constantinople in 898 is remembered each year on October 17. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Saturday before Palm Sunday is remembered as "Lazarus Saturday", and the scripture readings and hymns focus on Lazarus as a promise of the resurrection of all.