Venerable Lazarus the Iconographer, of Constantinople

Commemorated on November 17

Saint Lazarus the Iconographer lived in Constantinople. He was a priest, led a strict ascetic life and painted holy icons. He fought against all heresy, enduring many afflictions from the Nestorians, Eutychians, and iconoclasts. Under the iconoclast emperor Theophilus (829-842), he was arrested and after cruel tortures, thrown into prison. Theophilus ordered horseshoes to be placed in a fire until they glowed red with the heat. Then they were put upon the iconographer’s hands, because he dared to paint icons of Christ and the saints. He was saved from execution by the intervention of the empress Theodora.

Saint Lazarus died in the year 857 while returning from Rome, where he had been sent in a delegation on church matters to Pope Benedict III (855-858). His remains were taken to Constantinople and buried in the church of Saint Evandrus.

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