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Martha

mary jesus jesus’ lazarus

Martha and Mary were the sisters of Lazarus who summoned Jesus when their brother became ill and who were present at the miracle of the *Raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45). Martha is credited with pointing out the potentially foul odor of the dead body , and her practicality (as well as her tendency to complain) are also described in *Luke 10:38-42. This passage recounts Jesus’ visit to their house (assumed to be the home of Lazarus, although he is not mentioned here by Luke), during which Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to him while Martha busied herself with food preparations. When she asked Jesus to tell her sister to assist her, Jesus replied that Mary had “chosen the good part.” The scene of Jesus’ visit to the two women appears infrequently in art, although some examples can be found in Ottonian manuscript illustration depicting a centrally positioned and seated Jesus gesturing toward Martha, who approaches with outstretched hands; Mary is shown seated at Jesus’ feet. Martha and Mary also appear as symbols for the *active and *contemplative lives. Martha, representing the active life, may hold a ladle, broom, or keys. Later legends also have her conquering a dragon in southern France and performing missionary work after she, her sister Mary, and brother Lazarus had sailed there in a leaky boat from Joppa. These stories (retold also in the * Golden Legend ) are found illustrated primarily in French Romanesque and Gothic sculpture and stained glass.
Martin, Archer (John Porter) [next] [back] Marsot, Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid (1933–) - Middle Eastern History

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