Feast Day of St. Martha
July 29th is the Feast Day of St. Martha. She is the patron saint of servants and cooks.
She is also listed in more detail under the categories of being the patron saint of butlers, maids, innkeepers, hotel-keepers, servers, homemakers, dieticians, domestic servants, housemaids, housewives, laundry workers, manservants, single laywomen, travelers.
She only appears briefly in the Bible. Along with her sister Mary and Lazarus, who raised from the dead. At first she is anxious and busy with work. Jesus teaches her to slow down and enjoy serving others. The last thing that is mentioned about Martha in the Bible is, “Martha served.”
Dorothy Day said: “If everyone were holy and handsome, it would be easy to see Christ in everyone. But it was not Christ’s way for himself. Ask honestly what you would do when a beggar asked at your house for food. Would you give it on an old cracked plate, thinking that was good enough? Do you think that Martha and Mary thought that the old and chipped dish was good enough for their guest? It is not a duty to help Christ — it is a privilege."
St. Martha had direct contact with Jesus during her lifetime. Something that is a rarity among Saints. The quote, "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus" is evidence of a very close relationship between them. Martha invites Jesus into her home. When Jesus was inside Martha's home she served him. She was obviously passionate about cooking for others and the Bible clearly says that is how she served Jesus. This intimate hospitality around a table sharing a meal is one that only a few of the Saints were honored with. She believed in serving the Lord and did so with radical hospitality. This gives us reason to call upon her in those moments when our function is to serve. She did so with great delight in her heart. We can follow this example as well.
O blessed St. Martha, your faith led Jesus to proclaim, "I am the resurrection and the life"; and faith let you see beyond his humanity when you cried out, "Lord I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God." With firm hope you said, I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him, and Jesus called your brother Lazarus back from the dead. With pure love for Jesus you welcomed him into your home. Friend and servant of our Savior, I too am "troubled about many things." (Pause for silent prayer.) Pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love, and that Jesus, who sat at your table, will hear me and grant me a place at the banquet of eternal life. Amen