Jul 09, 2015 / Written by: America Needs Fatima
Feast July 29
Martha, named in the Gospels of St. Luke and St. John, was the sister of Lazarus, the friend of Jesus whom the Lord resurrected. She was also the sister of Mary Magdalen, the repentant sinner whom the Lord converted from a life of sin. They lived in Bethany, thought to be the town al-Eizariya, two miles from Jerusalem.
The Gospels speak of Martha as a dutiful housekeeper, serving the Lord hospitably when He visited: “but Martha was busy about much serving…” (Luke 10:40)
Complaining that her sister Mary was listening to Him instead of helping, Our Lord sweetly rebuked: “Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42) – words from the Master which established the priority of prayer for all time.
When her brother, Lazarus, fell ill, she sent for the Lord, but He delayed and when He arrived, Lazarus had been four days in the tomb. She complained to Jesus about His delay, but He assured her: “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live.” (John 11:25) And he proceeded to call Lazarus forth from the tomb before a crowd of astonished witnesses.
After the martyrdom of St. James in Jerusalem, as persecution intensified, tradition says that Lazarus and his two sisters, along with others, were placed in a boat and set out to sea. This boat landed on the southern shore of France. While Lazarus and Martha went on to evangelize Provence, a fact recorded in French history, Mary retired to a cave in a mountain, to do penance for the rest of her life.
Martha is said to have died about the year 84. Her tomb is located in the crypt of the Collegiate Church of Tarrascon, France.