Thursday, October 25, 2007

October 25: Saint Tabitha of Joppa

Saint Tabitha, the widow raised from the dead by the Apostle Peter, was a virtuous and kindly woman who belonged to the Christian community in Joppa. Being grievously ill, she suddenly died. At that time, the Apostle Peter was preaching at Lydda, not far from Joppa. Messengers were sent to him with an urgent request for help. When the Apostle arrived at Joppa, Tabitha was already dead. On bended knee, St Peter made a fervent prayer to the Lord. Then he went to the bed and called out, "Tabitha, get up!" She arose, completely healed (Acts 9:36).

St Tabitha is considered the patron saint of tailors and seamstresses, since she was known for sewing coats and other garments (Acts 9:39).

A hymn commemorating Saint Tabitha from the Prologue of Ochrid:

Tabitha died, not that she might no longer live,
But that the world might be astonished at the miracle which came to pass.
Beside her deathbed Peter humbly knelt,
And uttered fervent prayer unto the Lord.
She was resurrected in body! And the unbelievers heard
How the Lord hearkened to the apostle's prayer
And returned the living soul to the dead body.
And Peter turned the unbelievers to the Faith.
O wondrous miracle, of a kind unknown in the world!
By the name of Christ, death was conquered.
Death was conquered, and life rejoices.
The young Tabitha rejoices in life;
And, more than in her own life,
She rejoices that she served as a wonder to the unbelieving world.
She was resurrected in body! The unbelievers heard,
And their own souls were raised from the dead.
O great Peter, servant of Christ,
Pray to our Savior for us;
Resurrect our souls, buried in the mud-
You, who revived Tabitha by the power of God