Mary, Martha and Lazarus of Bethany were siblings and friends of Jesus, taking part in several of the Gospel stories: it was Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead in John 11; there is the famous story of Mary sitting listening to Jesus' teaching, while Martha busied herself working; according to John's Gospel, it was Mary who anointed Jesus with expensive perfume during a meal held in his honour. The Golden Legend claims that the three together settled in France after the Ascension, while Orthodox tradition says that they moved to Cyprus, after the persecution against the Jerusalem Church that followed the martyrdom of Saint Stephen, where Lazarus is said to have been appointed as the first bishop of Kittim by Paul and Barnabas.
God our Father,
whose Son enjoyed the love of his friends,
Mary, Martha and Lazarus,
in learning, argument and hospitality:
may we so rejoice in your love
that the world may come to know
the depths of your wisdom, the wonder of your compassion,
and your power to bring life out of death;
through the merits of Jesus Christ,
our friend and brother,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.