In the Gospels we hear the story of two different men named Lazarus. One is raised from the dead by Jesus and the other is featured in a narrative concerning poor Lazarus and an un-named rich man.

Concerning the first Lazarus (of Bethany), Jesus was sent word by Martha and Mary to come help for he was sick. Jesus responded the sickness would not end in death, that God’s glory would be shown. Jesus spent several days preaching before her set out, and when he arrived at the house, Lazarus had been dead four days. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. The Feast of Saint Lazarus is celebrated on June 21.

The second Lazarus is the patron of lepers and the patron against leprosy. We meet him in the Gospel narrative of the rich man and Lazarus, where a rich man dined richly while dressed in finery, while outside his very home sat Lazarus starving and covered with sores. After both men died, the rich man was tormented in his suffering and called to Abraham for to send Lazarus to help him, or if not him, his brothers. Abraham said it could not be done because of the chasm between the saved and a damned. A religious community named the Order of Saint Lazarus is named after Saint Lazarus. Their mission is to care for those with leprosy.

Lazarus spoken of in the Gospel story is portrayed as a destitute beggar, covered in sores; with dogs who lick his wounds.