Orthodox America

   Holy Prince-Martyr Lazar

June 15

p5c.jpg (49754 bytes)

The life of St. Lazar is unlike that of most other Orthodox saints, not in the piety of his life, but in the character of his martyrdom. By his suffering for Christ and His Kingdom, he resembles the Holy New-Martyr Nicholas, the last Orthodox emperor, as well as the Holy Passion-bearers Boris and Gleb, and the Holy King Edward the Martyr In his taking up of arms in defense of the Faith and his people, he reminds us of St Alexander Nevsky. But in the martyrdom of St Lazar we find a unique combination. He was a ruler, slain in armed combat against the Turks ,together with his host of fellow warriors in defense of Holy Orthodoxy and his own Serbian people. Hedied because he was an Orthodox ruler, one who would not surrender either his faith or his people to the infidels After having rejected the kingdom of this world for the Heavenly Kingdom, he laid down his life for his Lord and out of love for his people.

The holy prince Lazar (affectionately known as Tsar to his people) and those who perished with him are numbered among the martyrs of the S e r hi a n Orthodox Church. They gained the Heavenly Kingdom on June 15, 1389, on the feast of the Holy Prophet Amos (St. Lazar's family patron). and of the Holy Martyr Vitus (from which we get the name of tile. day-known in Serbian history as Vidovidon), on the "field of blackbirds" (Kosovo). And though Prince Lazar was betrayed by the of his closest nobles. (arising from a discord sown by the evil one), he and his brave warriors merited the crown of martyrdom. In a way they symbolize the martyrdom of the entire Orthodox people by the impious Turks. Through St. Lazar and those with him on the field of Kosovo, the entire Orthodox Serbian people laid down their lives for their Faith-submitting themselves to continuous martyrdom and slavery for over 500 years, rather than.. give up or compromise their Orthodox. Faith.