The Nun Martha

Commemorated on July 4

      The Nun Martha, mother of Saint Simeon of the Wondrous-Mount (Divnogorets; his account is located under 24 May), lived during the VI Century and was a native of Antioch. From her early years she yearned for monasticism, but her parents persuaded her to marry. Her husband, John, soon died, and righteous Martha with all her strength devoted herself to the raising of her son. She was for her son an example of high Christian temperament: often she visited the temple of God, attentively and with piety she hearkened to the church services, and frequently she communed the Holy Mysteries of Christ. Righteous Martha each night rose up to pray, and her prayers she made with heartfelt warmth and tears. She particularly venerated the Baptist of the Lord Saint John the Precursor, who was for her a protector frequently appearing to her in visions. The Nun Martha was charitable towards the poor, she fed and clothed them, she visited the convalescent and she attended to the sick, she buried the dead, and for those preparing to receive holy Baptism she with her own hands reading the clothing.
      The Nun Martha was reserved, and no one heard from her a frivolous, false or vain word, no one saw her angry, nor fighting with anyone nor bitter. She was a model of chaste and pious life and by her example she guided many on the pathway to salvation. When her son, Saint Simeon, had become a reknown ascetic, she in visiting him urged him not to exalt himself by his efforts, but in everything to add in an act of thankfulness to God.
      It was made known beforehand to the Nun Martha about her approaching end: she beheld Angels with candles saying, that they would come for her in another year's time. The saint was likewise granted visions of the abode of paradise, and the All-Pure Virgin Herself showed to her the Heavenly habitation, prepared for the righteous.
      The end of Saint Martha was peaceful (+ 551), and her body was buried on the Wondrous-Mount, at the place of the ascetic deeds of her son, the Monk Simeon the Pillar-Dweller.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

Close window

                            

Close window