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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Saint Martha, the Mother of Saint Symeon Stylites the Younger

Saint Martha (Feast Day - July 4)

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Martha was the mother of St. Symeon of the Wonderful Mountain (May 24). Dedicated with all her soul to the Faith, she did not think of marriage. When her parents betrothed her to a young man, Martha thought of leaving the home of her parents and to withdrew from the world. But, St. John the Baptist appeared to Martha and counseled her to fulfill the will of her parents and to enter into marriage, which she did. From this marital union, the glorious saint, Symeon of the Wonderful Mountain was born. She had the regular habit of rising at midnight for prayer. With great charity, she helped the needy and misfortunate, visited the poor, the orphaned and attended the sick. A year before her death she saw many angels with candles in their hands and, from them, learned the time of her death. Learning of this, Martha with even greater zeal dedicated herself to prayer and good works. She died peacefully in the year 551 A.D. and was buried in the proximity of her son, Symeon the Stylite. After her death, she appeared many times for the purpose of instructing mankind and for the sake of healing the sick. Recorded as her most significant appearance was the one to the abbot of Simeon's monastery. Following the burial of St. Martha, the abbot placed a votive candle on her grave with the understanding that it should never be extinguished. Then the abbot became ill and the saintly Martha appeared to him and said: "Why do you not burn a votive candle on my grave? Know that I am not in need of the light from your candle since I have been made worthy before God, the Eternal Heavenly Light, but it is needed for you. So when you burn a light on my grave, you entreat me to pray to the Lord for you." It is obvious from this that the goal of our veneration for the saints is to entreat them as those worthier than us to pray to God for us and for our salvation.

In His Divine Providence, miraculous is the Lord,
To Andrew, the mute, He gave a clear voice
And the mute, His audible trumpet made
As one time Saul (Paul), the pillar of the Church.
In vain from marriage did holy Martha shun
To the will of God must bow down,
To marriage the Providence of God led Martha
That for God and the world, of a saint to give birth
Whoever himself gives to God, himself he gave to the Best,
And his will, he overcame by God's will
My child, without the Lord, do not plan anything,
That your plans without fruit do not be.
Of life, all the threads and all your desires
In the hands of the Creator Almighty stand.
His are the fields; His are the slopes,
His are the basic elements, the foundations and the threads.
His is the soul; His is the body,
And of everything and its attire, the spirit
In his field with His tools
Whose shall we fulfill, except His will.

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