Saint Love the Great Martyr

Feast Day: September 17th


The Life of Saint Love: When she heard that she was to be beheaded, she rejoiced and said, “I sing to Thee, and I bless Thy much-hymned Name, O Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast loved Thy handmaiden Love! Number me together with my sisters, and count me worthy to suffer for Thy Name, even as they suffered.”…

+


Prayers

Akathist Hymn to Saint Love, her sisters Saint Faith, Saint Hope and their mother Saint Sophia

Troparion: The Church celebrates and rejoices in the feast of the three daughters: Faith, Hope, and Love and their Mother Sophia, named for her wisdom: for in them she gave birth to the three Godly virtues. Now they Eternally behold their Bridegroom, God the Word. Let us rejoice Spiritually in their memory and cry: O our three Heavenly Protectors, establish, confirm and strengthen us in Faith, Hope and Love.

Troparion: You blossomed in the courts of the Lord as a fruitful olive tree, Holy Martyr Sophia; in your contest you offered to Christ the sweet fruit of your womb, your daughters Faith, Hope, and Love. Together with them intercede for us all.

Hymn of Praise by Saint Nikolai Velimirovich: Sophia, all-wise, aglorified the Lord; as a sacrifice to Him, she offered three most-beautiful daughters. To her daughters she said: “Be not afraid, my daughters; strengthen yourselves in Christ; endure in the Faith; and be not afraid of torture or bitter misfortunes. Do not grieve over your bodies – it is better in Heaven: God will give you wonderful bodies in Heaven. Do not grieve over your beauty – with Divine beauty you will shine among the Angels in the Kingdom of God, as the daughters of the King of kings! Do not grieve over life – what is this Earthly life worth? Its span is at most a hundred years. In Heaven, life without end awaits you: life without end, life without beginning. Do not grieve for the company of Earthly friends, for the company of wonderful Saints awaits you there. Nor should the company of worldly kinsmen cause you grief – for your kin in the Heavens are the Glorious Martyrs.” Thus the Saintly mother instructed her Holy daughters, as, one by one, they flew off to Heaven: three white doves, innocent and pure, flew swiftly to the bosom of Christ. And with her Soul uplifted, their mother flew after them, and joined her glorious daughters in Paradise; and Our Merciful God receives their Prayers.


Her mother Saint Sophia did not cease Praying to God for her third daughter, that He grant her patience to the end. She said to Love, “My third offspring, my beloved child: endure to the end! You are traveling along the path which is good, and a Crown has already been woven for you. The Bridal Chamber has been prepared and stands open for you. The Bridegroom awaits you, looking down from on high on your contest so that when you have bent your head beneath the sword, He might receive and embrace your pure and immaculate Soul and grant you repose together with your sisters. Remember me, your mother, in the Kingdom of your Bridegroom, that He might be merciful to me and not deprive me of an inheritance and portion with you in His Holy Glory.”

+


After Praying and bowing down before God, all four Martyrs, the mother and her daughters, took one another by the hand, forming as it were a plaited garland. They went forth, frequently looking up to the Heavens, committing themselves with sighs and silent Prayers to the help of Him Who commanded us to fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the Soul.

+

Thus the most wise Sophia wisely finished her course, having brought as a gift to the Trinity her three virtuous daughters, Faith, Hope, and Love.