Sophia the Martyr
|Saint Sophia the Martyr|
|Born||no birth date on this page.
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church; Eastern Orthodox Church|
|Feast||May 15 (Catholic Church); September 17 (Orthodox Church)|
|Attributes||A woman accompanied by her three small daughters. Often she or all of them will hold crosses|
Saint Sophia the Martyr (died 137 AD) is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church on September 17. Born in Italy, Sophia had three daughters: Faith (age 12), Hope (age 10) and Love (age 9), who were named after virtues mentioned by Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians 13.
They are said to have been martyred during the reign of Hadrian (117–138). The guards took Sophia's daughters one by one, from the eldest to the youngest and beat and tortured them to death. Sophia buried her daughters' bodies and remained by their graves for three days until she died herself.
The Bulgarian capital city of Sofia is named after the Church of Saint Sophia. The ancient name of Sofia was Serdica or Sardica. In 343 AD, the Council of Sardica was held in the city, in a church located where the current 6th century Church of Saint Sophia was later built. The city, known earlier as Sredets (Средец) in Bulgarian, was renamed Sofia in 1376 after the famous church.
In general, in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, Hagia Sophia (Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, Latin: Sancta Sophia) as the name of a church refers to the "Holy Wisdom", i.e. "The Holy Wisdom of God" which is also the patron name of the Sofia church. Nevertheless, since recent times, due to a misunderstanding of the original name and false attribution to Sophia the Martyr, the city's holiday is on September 17, and there is a 20m-tall statue of the saint in the Bulgarian capital's city centre.
Troparion of St. Sophia and her 3 daughters (Tone 5):
Thou didst blossom in the courts of the Lord as a fruitful olive tree, O holy Martyr Sophia; in thy contest thou didst offer to Christ the sweet fruit of thy womb, Love, Hope and Faith. With them intercede for us all.
- Sophia's name means "wisdom" in Greek. Her daughter's names are rendered in Greek as Pistis, Elpis, and Agape. In Russian, they are called Vera, Nadezhda, and Lyubov. In Bulgarian, they are called Вяра, Надежда и Любов (Vyara, Nadezhda and Lyubov).
- Ekkart Sauser (2000). "Fides, Spes und Charitas: hl. Märtyrerinnen". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German) 17. Herzberg: Bautz. col. 381. ISBN 3-88309-080-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Icons of Sophia with daughters.|
- Martyr Sophia and her three daughters at Rome Orthodox synaxarion (OCA)
- Saint Sophia (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese)
- Martyrs Sophia, Faith, Hope & Love
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