July 29: Sts. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus (of Bethany)

A little over a year ago, Pope Francis added the Memorial of Sts. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus to the General Roman Calendar, giving these siblings the combined feast day of July 29. A decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship said that Pope Francis had included the three saints in the General Roman Calendar “considering the important Evangelical witness they offered in welcoming the Lord Jesus into their home, in listening to Him attentively, and in believing that He is the Resurrection and the Life.” [The General Roman Calendar is the liturgical calendar of the Universal Church, which denotes the dates of holy days and the feast days of saints commemorated annually.]

So, we remember today that, in their household in Bethany, the Lord Jesus experienced the family spirit and friendship of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and for this reason, the Gospel of John states that “He loved them.” Martha generously offered Jesus hospitality, Mary listened attentively to His words, and Lazarus promptly emerged from the tomb at the command of the One who has the power to overcome death.

Let us pray. “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 words and their deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever. Amen.”

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