+ Martha, along with her sister, Mary, and brother, Lazarus, were close friends who Jesus and welcomed him into their home.
+ Martha and Mary felt free to call on Jesus when Lazarus died and the Gospel of John records Jesus’ emotional response to the news of Lazarus’ death.
+ Martha showed her faith when she declared to Jesus, “Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, he who is to come into the world” (John 11:27).
+ Although we know nothing about the lives of these saints outside of what is contained in Scripture, ancient tradition relates that Martha, Mary, and Lazarus left Judea and settled in France.
+ On January 26, 2021, Pope Francis inscribed the obligatory memorial of Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus into the Universal Calendar of the Church, replacing the former liturgical celebration which only honored Saint Martha.
+ Saint Martha is honored as the patron saint of homemakers, innkeepers, and domestic servants.
For prayer and reflection
“Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.”—John 12:1-2
On this day we also remember Blessed Beatrix (Beatrice) of Valfleury. A member of the Beguine movement, she later became a Cistercian nun in Valfleury, France. A mystic and visionary, she later founded the monastery of Our Lady of Nazareth near Lier, Belgium. Blessed Beatrice died in 1269.
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the example of your Saints may spur us on to a better life, so that we, who celebrate the memory of Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus, may also imitate without ceasing their deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.