St. Sophia’s Nutshell Biography
Ss. Faith, Hope, and Love PictureSt. Sophia was born in the first century into a rich and devout Italian family. She and her husband had three daughters whom they named Pistis (Faith), Elpis (Hope), and Agape (Love) in reminiscence of 1 Corinthians 13. When word later reached Emperor Hadrian about the pious Christian widow and her daughters, he summoned them to appear before him.
The guards first took 12-yr-old Faith in front of the emperor who promised her riches and wealth in exchange for denouncing her Christian faith. When she resolutely refused his advances, the emperor had her savagely beaten and tortured. She accepted the suffering and was martyred in front of her mother.
Hope, who was 10-years-old, was next brought before the emperor. She stood firm in her faith and refused to sacrifice to a pagan idol. Her boldness in continuing to confess Christ infuriated the emperor who also beat and tortured her before her martyrdom.
Nine-year-old Love was then brought before the emperor who pleaded with her to not suffer the same fate as her sisters. He thought she would surely give in to his threats or coercions considering her age; he went into a rage when he was proven wrong. After horrendous suffering, she was also martyred in front of her mother.
St. Sophia rejoiced in her daughters’ courage and faith as she wept over their graves. After three days, she gave her soul over to God. She, too, is recognized as a martyr and their memory is celebrated on September 17 every year. May we all have the courage to proclaim Christ and to give everything we have to Him as did St. Sophia and her daughters, Faith, Hope, and Love!