St. Martha in the BibleFamously depicted in the Bible as getting stuck with all the cooking and cleaning while her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to him teach, St. Martha is the patron saint of servers, cooks, domestic workers, housewives, and those in the hospitality industry – those who are behind the scenes making important things go even when nobody notices.
Her devotees will call on her for intercession when they need steady work, especially in these fields, or when they are having difficulty with their work, for instance if pay is slow in coming or a boss or manager is being unfair. She’s often called on to help with peace in the home, as well, as an extension of her association with the domestic sphere.
St. Martha the DominatorSome legends have her leaving Bethany for France after Christ’s death and resurrection. William Caxton’s 1483 English translation of the Golden Legend tells how she tamed an infamous monster through her confidence in the power of God, her faith in the sign of the cross, and her skill in using the domestic tools with which she was familiar and comfortable.
And this was no garden variety baby dragon. It was really more of a sea monster, half beast and half fish, the offspring of the infamous Leviathan and some Galician beast. It was bigger than an ox and had the strength of a dozen lions (or bears, take your pick). It regularly sank ships and ate people.
Martha, being a badass, made short work of the beast by tying it up with her girdle (which can be understood in context as her belt). She didn’t need a sword or armor.
These extra-scriptural legends account for much of her fame and reputation as a patron saint. She is called on for assistance by those who need to get the upper hand in any kind of relationship in which they find themselves “at the bottom of the totem pole.” In conjure and in the folk traditions of Latin America, she’s earned the title of St. Martha the Dominator, and she’s often called on when women want to dominate a man.
But in this role as dominatrix, she is also petitioned to help employees get better treatment from their employers, for instance, especially if they are household employees like kitchen servants or nannies. So she is a great ally for all types of situations in which you are the underdog, or you might be taken for granted, or there’s a built-in power imbalance in a situation.
In orthodox Roman Catholicism, she is also the patron of dietitians, hemophiliacs, housewives, landlords, waitresses, servants, cooks, and women workers.
I’ve heard folks say she’s helped them with sibling issues in their family, like jealousy, or manipulative attention-grubbing, or rivalry. I’ve also heard her called on by people facing difficulties in managing their households because of strife or poverty; along with St. Joseph, she is a wonderful ally if you have a lot of mouths to feed and you are running short of money and resources to take care of them all.
My St. Martha formula is created from this sort of three-dimensional perspective of St. Martha rather than focusing only on her role as a dominator, and the same is true with this service I’m offering. While it’s suitable to use if you’re asking her help in getting the upper hand with a boss or returning a straying spouse, it’s also suitable to use if you’re setting lights to honor or thank her, if you want to invoke her aid for something specific, or if you’re seeking her help for something more general like patience or pragmatism.