St. Martha, St. Mary, and St. Lazarus
Friends of Jesus. These siblings resided in the town of Bethany, not far from Jerusalem. In the tenth chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke, we hear about one of Jesus’ visits to the household of these siblings. We hear about how Martha busied herself with matters of serving and hospitality, but was distracted; while Mary was occupied in listening to the Lord. They are also mentioned in the Gospel of St. John. In the eleventh chapter of the Gospel of St John, we hear about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. We also are informed that “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:5, RSV). In John 12, we hear about another dinner hosted by these siblings, not long before Jesus’ Passion. We read that “Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment” (John 12:2-3, RSV). We are also told that some wanted to kill Lazarus because, due to him being raised from the dead, many were coming to believe in Jesus. Certain traditions hold that these siblings ended up on the island of Cyprus, and that Lazarus became a bishop there.
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.