Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Martha, Patron Saint of Housewives

Martha
Also known as
Wonder Worker of Southern Gaul
Memorial
29 July
Profile
Sister of Saints Lazarus and Mary of Bethany. Friend of Jesus, hostess to him in her house. May have been part of an early mission to France.
Died
c.80
Patronage
butlers; cooks; dietitians; domestic servants; homemakers; hotel-keepers; housemaids; housewives; innkeepers; laundry workers; maids; manservants; servants; servers; single laywomen; travellers
Representation
broom; keys; ladle

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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