Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Seven Sleepers, Martyrs; Martha, Sister of Lazarus, Saint

Today we commemorate the Seven Sleepers and Martha. The Seven Sleepers were a group of Christian youths who hid inside a cave outside the city of Ephesus around 250 AD, to escape a persecution of Christians during the reign of the Roman emperor Decius. They fell asleep and awoke 150-200 years later during the reign of Theodosius II, following which they were reportedly seen by the people of the now-Christian city before dying.

Martha was the sister of Lazarus. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus visits the home of Mary and Martha. Martha works while Mary sits and receives the teaching of Jesus. When Martha beomes angry with Mary, Jesus tells Martha that Mary had chosen the better part. In John 11, Martha confesses her belief in the resurrection. Jesus replies that He is the resurrection.

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