Mary and Martha and their brother, Lazarus, lived in Bethany and were close friends of Jesus. He often went to their home and happily received their hospitality. There he raised Lazarus from the dead. There Mary anointed Jesus’s feet with fragrant ointment to prepare him for his death and burial. Another time when Jesus was there for dinner, Martha busied herself with all the details of preparing the meal while Mary sat at Jesus’s feet. From this Martha has become the symbol of the active Christian life and Mary the symbol of the contemplative life.