One of the famous 16th century Stavronikita Festal set of icons, this icon depicts the Raising of Lazarus, the Friend of God, from his four days in his tomb while Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, fall down before Christ and the crowd of Jews and His Disciples look on. This was a great miracle as normally Lazarus would have already begun to decompose by this time from being dead those four days, so Christ reversed this process while raising him up. Lazarus lived for many years as one of the Seventy Holy Apostles, and was the first bishop of Crete before he died again.
The monk Theophanes the Cretan painted this set of icons on the iconostasis, or icon screen which separates the Bema, or sacred Altar, from the body of the Church, or Nave, where the Faithful stand for Divine Liturgy and other liturgical services. The set shows many of the most important events in the life of Jesus and the Church in its early and formative stage. This icon is the sixth in that set. Theophanes’ icons are considered masterpieces of iconographic art, still adorn the church at Stavronikita Monastery on Mount Athos, and show marvelous Cretan post-Byzantine form.