Saint of the Day ~ July 29

SAINT MARTHA (?-c.80), holy woman – Patron saint of housewives, waiters, waitresses and cooks

Today, the universal Church honors Saint Martha, the sister of Saints Mary and Lazarus from the town of Bethany.

In Martha’s over-anxiousness in serving the needs of Jesus and His followers while visiting at her home, Jesus responds by placing her labor into the proper context by emphasizing the importance of contemplating God before all things.

And when her faith in God was tested during her grief over her brother’s death, she never lost confidence in Jesus’ ability to effect wonders far beyond what mortal man could conceive, “But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you” (John 11:22). And she is credited with this faith by her proclamation, which has been recorded for all future generations to read and contemplate, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God…” (John 11:27bc). And Jesus raised Lazarus from the tomb.

Scripture commentators point out that in writing his account of the raising of Lazarus, Saint John intended that we should see in Martha’s faith our own calling to believe in the power of God’s Love. For Jesus is calling each one of us to our own personal resurrection – in living our baptismal calling here in this life today, and forever in sharing, in His Kingdom, our Lord’s victory over death.

Tradition tells us that Martha died about the year 80, and her remains are in Tarascon, France, since it is believed that, sometime after the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, she, together with her brother and sister, traveled to and evangelized in the region known today as Marseilles, France. The tomb of Saint Martha is found in the Collegiate Church of Saint Martha.

We commemorate her feastday on July 29.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org, tarascon.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saint Martha)

“Father, Your Son honored Saint Martha by coming to her home as a guest. By her prayers, may we serve Christ in our brothers and sisters and be welcomed by You into Heaven, our true Home.

“We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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