Saint Martha of Bethany

Saint Martha of Bethany


Also known as

Wonder Worker of Southern Gaul

Profile

Sister of Saint Lazarus and Saint Mary of Bethany. Friend of Jesus, and hostess to him in her house. May have been part of an early mission to France.

Died

c.80 of natural causes


Patronage

• butlers • Congregation of Martha and Mary (founded in 1979) • cooks (proclaimed on 1 July 1963 by Pope Paul VI) • dieticians • domestic servants • homemakers • hotel-keepers • housemaids • housewives • innkeepers (proclaimed on 1 July 1963 by Pope Paul VI) • laundry workers • maids • manservants • servants • servers • single laywomen • travellers • Villajoyosa, Spain (chosen after a flash flood saved the village from Moorish invaders on her feast day in 1538)

Representation

• broom (referring to being a home maker) • dragon • keys (referring to keeping the home) • with a holy water sprinkler or holy water pot • ladle (reference to her home-making, cooking, etc.)



Readings

Martha and Mary were sisters, related not only by blood but also by religious aspirations. They stayed close to our Lord and both served him harmoniously when he was among them. Martha welcomed him as travelers are welcomed. But in her case, the maidservant received her Lord, the creature her Creator, to serve him bodily food while she was to be fed by the Spirit. No one of you should say, "Blessed are they who have deserved to receive Christ into their homes!" Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As he says, "Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me." - from a sermon by Saint Augustine

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