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Mary and Martha of Bethany 

( Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany were a family and very close friends of Jesus. Mary and Martha were disciples of Jesus who offered him hospitality. Martha provided him food and other courtesies. Mary, who chose the "better part," sat at Jesus' feet and listened to his teaching. The story shows clearly that these two women were disciples of Jesus (see Lk 10:38-42). The Gospel of John (11:1-44) records that Jesus restored Lazarus to life after Lazarus had died and been in the tomb for four days. Prior to this miracle, Martha states her belief that Jesus is "the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world" (Jn 11:27). In some traditions, Mary is identified with Mary Magdalene. Very little is known about the family outside the biblical stories. The Lutheran calendar includes Lazarus in this commemoration. The two sisters are commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on July 29. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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