On the feast of St. Martha, Anna Maria De Guid recalls her lifelong devotion to the patron saint of cooks.
Taco Tuesdays is a pretty good marketing slogan. So is T-Mobile Tuesdays for the deals the phone service carrier has for its customers. Good as they are, I still forget them. But I don't forget my St. Martha Tuesdays: my novena to this wonderful saint.
I do not remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I will never forget the day I got my St. Martha novena.
I was in high school when I visited the Church of the Immaculate Conception after school. Upon kneeling, I noticed a small folded white paper on the pew in front of me. I picked it up and saw that it was a novena to St. Martha. Even before I finished reading the novena, I was lightly tapped by an elderly lady who seemed to appear from nowhere. She smiled and nodded at me. I understood right then that she was the one who placed the novena on the pew.
She whispered to me, “That novena is very powerful,” to which I answered with a question, “Is it effective?” There’s not much substance one can expect from my 15-year-old self.
She smiled a lovely smile and left.
As often as I needed help with school exams, projects, and grades, I would start the novena and sure enough, St. Martha would intercede for me, and my prayers would always be answered on a Tuesday. Those prayers began in the '70s and went on for decades -- and counting.
I continued to pray the novena while managing a household of three little boys plus one. Every day like any other seemed to be filled with cleaning, laundering, tutoring, and driving. The busyness of my schedule did not leave me much time for anything else other than mostly cooking, something that I pretty much enjoyed doing anyway.
Cook and bake I did! I made Asian, American, Mexican, and even California-fusion cuisine! The stresses of daily living became much lighter whenever I cooked or baked for family and friends. For years, I experimented on various ethnic cuisines and invited people to the house to celebrate occasions and no-occasion meals.
Meanwhile I continued my prayers to St. Martha. This time it was for help with my sons’ school work.
After four decades, it was only about a year ago when I realized that I knew little about St. Martha. Off to Google and I was able to confirm what I already knew – that she was the sister of Mary and Lazarus, and a very close friend of Jesus. She was the sister who was busy with things in the kitchen and preparing things for company, mostly Jesus. The Lord lightly rebuked St. Martha for choosing that busyness part, unlike Mary who chose to spend time to listen at His feet.
Can you believe what else I learned after reading the article about her? At the end of the article, it mentioned that she is the patron saint of cooks! All these years I was doing what she did during her time, and I did not even have a clue! Most of all, as I write this today, I also learned that it is her feast day, July 29!
Isn’t that really something that after all these years of busyness and cooking, St. Martha has always been with me!
About the Author
Anna Maria is a Catholic wife and mom of 3 young adults. For decades, she nourished tummies with her cooking and baking. Now, she nourishes souls! She has minute reflections in TouchedByGrace.today blogs and stories in her Touched by Grace books. Her mission is to evangelize through sharing stories of God’s graces in our everyday lives.