Gospel Desk

St. Mary of Bethany

The twice-praised

St. Mary of Bethany, the twice-praised - first drawing

First drawing of a new icon of St. Mary of Bethany, by Federico Aguirre.

In the Gospels

Mark 14:3-9

While he was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster jar of ointment of pure nard—very costly. She broke the jar, and poured it over his head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, saying, Why has this ointment been wasted? For this might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and given to the poor. They grumbled against her.

But Jesus said, Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want to, you can do them good, but you will not always have me. She has done what she could. She has anointed my body beforehand for the burying. Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News may be preached throughout the whole world, that which this woman has done will also be spoken of for a memorial of her.

Matthew 26:6-13

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when his disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying, Why this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

However, knowing this, Jesus said to them, Why do you trouble the woman? Because she has done a good work for me. For you always have the poor with you, but you don’t always have me. For in pouring this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of as a memorial of her.

John 12:1-8

Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. So they made him a supper there. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with him. Mary, therefore, took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. Then Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, one of his disciples, who would betray him, said, Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor? Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the money box, used to steal what was put into it. But Jesus said, Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of my burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you don’t always have me.


Luke 10:38-42

It happened as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she came up to him, and said, Lord, don’t you care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her therefore to help me.

Jesus answered her, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.

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