Saints Martha, Mary, and Lazarus were siblings. This family lived in Bethany and were close friends of Jesus.
One gospel story tells of a time when Jesus visited this family. While Martha kept busy preparing for their guest, Mary sat and listened to Jesus. When Martha complained that her sister should be helping, Jesus commends Mary for listening to him.
When Lazarus was near death, his sisters sent word to Jesus and asked him to come. When he arrived, Lazarus was already dead. Martha proclaims
Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the worldJohn 11:27
Jesus then raised Lazarus from the dead.
Their feast day is July 29. Originally this was the feast day for St. Martha only, but on January 26, 2021, Pope Francis designated this as a celebration of all three siblings. Read more.
Patron Saint of …
St. Martha is the patron saint of cooks, dietitians, homemakers, hotel keepers, single laywomen, maids, and travelers.
All three saints are the patron saints of siblings.
Daily Mass Readings for the Memorial of Saints Martha, Mary, and Lazarus
The Gospel for this memorial is shown below. The first reading and psalm may be from the weekday readings, the readings below, or from the Common of Holy Men and Women.
- First Reading – 1 John 4:7-16: “In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might have life through him.”
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 34: “I will bless the Lord at all times.”
- Gospel – John 11:19-27: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
- Alternate Gospel – Luke 10:38-42: “You are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. She has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
Homilies and Reflections
From Bishop Robert Barron. Coming to Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus feels the deepest emotions and begins to weep. This is God entering into the darkness, confusion, and agony of the death of sinners. He doesn’t blithely stand above our situation, but rather takes it on and feels it at its deepest level.
Lemonade stands can help us understand these two sisters.
Quote and Social Media Graphic
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”