Peace be with you my friends! The summer so far and been stiflingly hot and I have been doing little more than going to work, doing my spell work at home and then relaxing with the air conditioner turned on full blast! My goals for later in the summer and into fall are to get back to a normal writing discipline both for my blog and a book on psychic vampires and how to rid ourselves of them that I have been intending to write for quite some time now. I also plan on making Voodoo related pieces of art. Today I wanted to share a little about Saint Martha, one of my personal favorites, on whose help I have called several times with tremendous results. I have blogged briefly about her in the past, but wish to do so again since she has been incredibly helpful to me and I want to spread devotion to her as much as possible.
There are two versions of Saint Martha found in Voodoo and other Afro-Caribbean religious systems.
There are two versions of Saint Martha found in Voodoo and other Afro-Caribbean religious systems, mainly espiritismo and Las 21 Divisiones from the Dominican Republic. It is important to remember that they are not separate entities, but just different manifestations of the same spiritual being which vary due to people’s culture perceptions.
According to biblical tradition, Saint Martha was the sister of Mary of Bethany and Saint Lazarus, whom Christ raised from the dead. In one story from the gospel of Luke, Martha receives Jesus into her home and serves him food while he preaches to her sister Mary who sits at his feet. After the crucifixion, according to medieval legend, Martha, Mary and Lazarus travel to the south of France where they preach the Gospel and help spread Jesus’s message of peace and love. She was also recorded as having rebuked and tamed a dragon-like monster called the Tarasque by sprinkling holy water on it and invoking the name of God. I personally love Saint Martha because her example shows us that we can receive greatness by doing simple things as long as they are done with love and faith.
Another version of Saint Martha that appears quite often in Afro-Caribbean iconography is that of a light skinned African woman with two large snakes wrapped around her body. The snakes could be a new world version of the Tarasque from medieval French imagery. In Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, her devotees believe that she ends her snakes out on your behalf to eat away negativity and obstacles that hold you back in life. She is also invoked quite often in love spells so much so that she has come to be called Santa Marta Dominadora “The Dominator” due to her ability to make people do your will in matters of love. Again, I believe that the European and African Saint Marthas are one in the same, but she has just taken on a different form to endear herself to her devotees who themselves are largely of mixed African and European descent.
There is an old tradition of lighting a candle and reciting a prayer to Saint Martha on nine consecutive Tuesdays. This devotion is known as the Nine Tuesdays of Saint Martha. I have used this novena on several occasions and have never been let down. I have not always gotten what I’ve asked for, but each time my request was refused, something better came along! I can say from personal experience that Saint Martha does look after her devotees! I am happy to share the prayer I’ve used to invoke Saint Martha and I hope you put it use as well. When your petition is granted, it is customary to thank her by making a small donation to charity or a church and of course spreading devotion to her by telling others about her. Here is the prayer:
I resort to thy aid and protection.
As proof of my affection and faith,
I offer thee this light,
which I shall burn every Tuesday.
Comfort me in all my difficulties
and through the great favors thou didst enjoy
when the Savior was lodged in thy house,
intercede for my family,
that we be provided for in our necessities.
I ask of thee, Saint Martha,
to overcome all difficulties
as thou didst overcome the dragon
which thou hadst at thy feet.
In the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
I do hope you try this prayer to Saint Martha and if you do, please share your experiences with me! Until next time I wish you peace, love and blessings!