Many of you may be wondering Y my post came so late this evening…
Well, tonight was a treasured event in my family and one that lasts till quite late in the evening.
My Grandfather was a Doctor, who was injured while working at the Hospital one day… He was also a devout Catholic and knew that there was this Saint, known to be a friend of Jesus, who had been revived in a biblical parable and was known to heal the sick.
Legends abound about the life of Lazarus after the death and resurrection of Jesus. He is supposed to have left a written account of what he saw in the next world, before he was called back to life. So basically in Cuban Catholicism, Lazarus, is known as the patron saint of the poor and sick. He is represented as a homeless beggar, who is surrounded by dogs and he shows signs of wounds, for which the dogs are helping him heal, by licking away his pain.
As one of the most popular Saints in Cuba, the Biblical Lazarus, is imagined by many of the islands people as this poor man who cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, hence Jesus raises from the dead.
Lazarus works miracles for the destitute and the infirm.
Per tradition, in Cuba and by Cuban political refugees in the United States, on December 17th many folks of the Cuban Catholic Faith, will make offerings and pray in worship for the miracles received, mainly in terms of health and pray for the welfare of families via St. Lazarus.
Lazarus of Bethany, aka Saint Lazarus or Lazarus of the Four Days, is related to one of the most prominent miracles Jesus made. You see, in the Gospel of John, Jesus restores him to life four days after his death. The Cuban tradition is a compilation of the many detailed accounts of Lazarus throughout the scripture.
My Grandfather promised Saint Lazurus, who is known to help heal the wounded, that if he helped him recover from his injuries, he would honor him every year for the rest of his life.
Although my Grandpa died 27 years ago, we have kept the tradition going in his name.
In fact, in Cuba on December 17, hundreds of Cubans take part in a ritual pilgrimage for the deity of Saint Lazarus, who is known to be powerful enough to bring about good health and/or take it away. According to the Smithsonian “Many people perform these acts of devotion because of a promise—they are keeping their word to the spirit after he granted their petitions. Still others do these things as solemn acts of prayer—gestures designed to solicit the saint’s attention.”
We end the evening by lighting candles at midnight for St. Lazarus and cutting a sweet cake in Thanks!
Good Night & God Bless!