Saint Sophia the Martyr, Mother of Saint Faith, Saint Hope & Saint Love

Feast Day: September 17th


The Life of Saint Sophia: She sat by their grave, Praying with compunction to God for three days, after which she slept the sleep of death in the Lord and was buried by the faithful in that same place, together with her daughters. She was deprived neither of an inheritance with them in the Heavenly Kingdom nor of a Martyr’s Crown, inasmuch as she suffered for Christ, not in the flesh but rather in her heart….

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Prayers

Akathist Hymn to Saint Sophia and her daughters Saint Faith, Saint Hope and Saint Love

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.


She confirmed them in the faith day and night, teaching them with words inspired by God and saying, “My beloved daughters… the hour has arrived for you to be Betrothed unto your Immortal Bridegroom. In accordance with your names, may you display firm Faith, undoubting Hope, and unfeigned and never failing Love… My sweet children, do not allow yourselves to be deceived by the enemy’s allurements, for the Emperor will entice you greatly and promise you rich presents, offering you glory, wealth, honour, and all the beautiful and sweet things of this corruptible and vain world. But love none of these things, for they all vanish like smoke and are scattered like dust by the wind and like a flower or grass wither and return to the Earth. Neither be daunted by the prospect of grievous tortures, for having suffered them but a short while and having overcome the foe, you will rejoice forever. I believe that my God, Jesus Christ, will not forsake you…”

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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.

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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.