Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Tracking Down St. Martha

In the post about statues bought during my retreat at Aylesford Priory, I mentioned that St. Martha appeared to be accompanied by a crocodile...

Having done a little digging (God bless Google and all who search on her!) I discovered that the beast is not, as I first thought, a representation of her faults and failings in asking Jesus to rebuke her sister Mary.

The legend associated with her is that she went off to Provence with Lazarus and Mary. The banks of the river Rhone were being plagued by a dragon, and St. Martha's aid was implored by the local populace. She showed the dragon a cross, and sprinkled it with holy water, and then chained the creature to her belt, after which the locals were able to kill it. This explains why, in my statue of her, she seems to be carrying a bucket and club... it's actually an aspergil (for the holy water, see...!)

I was delighted to note that, as well as being the patron of all in the hospitality business, housekeepers and cooks, St. Martha is also a patron of all single laywomen.

4 comments:

Andrew said...

Wow. Truly informative. I really didn't know that.

Wonder what else those saints were up to in their free time...

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

The creature looks a bit similar to the image i had on Good Friday at the Veneration of the Cross...more of a serpent..what do you think?

Stephen Wikner said...

Poor dragon. Didn't stand a chance.

Anne said...

I have only just discovered your blog, it seems we have a lot in common.

I thought you might like to watch this. FSSP fathers are erecting an alter.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1o9as_la-metamorphose-dun-autel

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