Saint Lazarus He is one of the most revered deities in Cuba and the center of myths and legends, of miraculous healings and incredible stories, called among his devotees as "blessed" and "miraculous", or affectionately as the old man Lázaro.
Elements that define Saint Lazarus:
1. Confluence of two characters
En Saint Lazarus there is the confluence of two different characters, say Saint Lazarus, friend of Jesus and canonized by the Roman Catholic Church and Lazarus, a poor beggar represented as an old man who wears rags and uses a pair of crutches, with his legs covered in sores and surrounded by dogs.
In the Bible it is said that Lazarus was a poor man who lived in Bethany near Jerusalem. He was the brother of Maria and Martha and a friend of Jesus.
Jesus brought him back to life four days after his death, which is considered one of the greatest miracles of Jesus Christ.
Thus, the veneration of the Saint is so old that it is described from the third century, when a great procession to the tomb of Saint Lazarus in Jerusalem.
3. Miracle cures
Saint Lazarus Bendito He is the holy protector of the sick, the worker of miracles. He is attended by all those who need, above all, to implore him for health.
4. Worship in Cuba
In Cuba, the cult spans centuries and devotees offer the saint great offerings and sacrifices, every December 17, a day in which many keep promises and wear sackcloth in his honor.
Every year the pilgrimage to Sanctuary of San Lázaro to pay tribute to him, there are more than 15 believers who go there to thank, pray, meditate and implore his miracles.
In Cuba, Saint Lazarus is syncretized in Santeria with the Orisha Babalu Aye, African deity of the Yoruba religion, healer of leprosy, smallpox, venereal diseases, skin and in general of pests and misery.
6. Promises to the saint
As a saint venerated by the Cuban people, there are many who make promises to him in exchange for the return of health or the healing of a loved one.
And that is why the pilgrimage to pay tribute in the Sanctuary of San Lázaro, it is not only limited to the month of December.
Months before, faith and devotion have already passed through Cuban roads, people who have prayed to the deity of the Catholic religion and representative of Afro-Cuban culture.
Those who carry promises walk barefoot, crawl, carry a weight on their shoulders, carry thousands of offerings ... all will fulfill their mission to Saint Lazarus. Thousands of people travel many kilometers, from all over Cuba.
7. Sanctuary of San Lázaro Bendito in Cuba
El Sanctuary of San Lázaro, is located west of the capital city of Santiago de las Vegas, precisely in the town "El Rincón" and is today one of the most revered places in the country, with its Catholic church with altars and chapels that are also dedicated to other deities venerated by Cubans as Caridad del Cobre and Santa Bárbara.
On December 17, the day of Saint Lazarus and Babalú Ayé, thousands of believers flock to the place to thank and ask the saint and the Orisha for help.
8. Symbols blessed by the saint
In the Sanctuary located in El Rincón, the effigy is placed on the outskirts of the church, as by rule the institution does not recognize the Saint Lazarus that the devotees venerate.
Near the statue, a fountain emanates a stream of water that, according to popular legends, was blessed by the deity.
The water from the miraculous spring grants blessings to those who wash with it, so many devotees, after praying to the saint, go there to clean their illnesses, diseases and ailments.
9. Secret miracles
It is said that Saint Lazarus does not reveal his miracles. For this reason, believers keep the help of the Saint and the orisha Babalú Ayé a secret, but there are thousands of stories and legends about cures for deadly diseases.
The fact is that, although believers keep the miracles of this adored Saint and Orisha secret, so great is the devotion that families are known to bring immense offerings to the deity and great sacrifices are made every year to implore health and to give thanks. the blessings received.
10. Adoration of his devotees
Crowds flock to pay devotion to Saint Lazarus dressed in jute and purple, elements that characterize it, in syncretism with Babalú Ayé.
They arrive at the Sanctuary loaded with flowers, candles and offerings and fall on their knees to pray to the most miraculous of all saints, for health and prosperity.