Friday, July 29, 2016
Feast of St. Martha
Christ in the House of Mary and Martha by Jan Vermeer, ca. 1655.
Today is the feast of St. Martha, a disciple of Christ, and famous for her asking Our Lord to send Mary to help her in the kitchen, this from the Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 10: "38 In one of the villages he entered during his journey, a woman called Martha entertained him in her house. 39 She had a sister called Mary; and Mary took her place at the Lord’s feet, and listened to his words. 40 Martha was distracted by waiting on many needs; so she came to his side, and asked, Lord, art thou content that my sister should leave me to do the serving alone? Come, bid her help me. 41 Jesus answered her, Martha, Martha, how many cares and troubles thou hast! 42 But only one thing is necessary; and Mary has chosen for herself the best part of all, that which shall never be taken away from her. "
St. Martha should be much more famous for her words of Faith in John 11:27: "Yes, Lord, she told him, I have learned to believe that thou art the Christ; thou art the Son of the living God; it is for thy coming the world has waited."
By longstanding tradition, St. Martha is the sister of St. Lazarus, and the Mary mentioned above is St. Mary Magdalene, whose feast we celebrated a week ago.
As you might expect, St. Martha is a patroness and example to those who cook and keep house!
St. Martha pictured in the Flemish Isabella Breviary, 1497AD.
The Golden Legend of Blessed Jacobus de Voragine (+1298AD), Dominican Archbishop of Genoa, presents details of the later life of St. Martha as expressed by some Provencal traditions:
Golden Legend: St. Martha
There are some splendid customs associated with the Feast of St. Martha, about which you may read here: Fisheaters: Feast of St. Martha
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Martha
Catholic Saints Info: St. Martha