September 30 (September 17 old calendar).
They lived and suffered in Rome in the time of the Emperor Hadrian. The wise Sophia was left a widow and, as a Christian, steeped herself and her daughters in the Christian faith. At the time the Hadrian's persecuting hand stretched out over the virtuous house of Sophia. Vera was twelve, Nadezda ten and Lubov nine. The four of them were brought before the Emperor, with their arms entwined “like a woven wreath,” humbly but firmly confessing their faith in Christ the Lord and refusing to offer sacrifice to the goddess Artemis. At the moment of their passion, the mother urged her valiant daughters to endure to the end, “Your heavenly Lover, Jesus Christ, is eternal health, inexpressible beauty and life eternal. When your bodies are slain by torture, He will clothe you in incorruption and the wounds on your bodies will shine in heaven like the stars.” The torturers inflicted harsh torture on Vera, Nadezda and Lubov one by one. They beat them, stabbed them and threw them into fire and boiling pitch, and finally beheaded them one after the other. Sophia took the dead bodies of her daughters out of the town and buried them, and stayed by their grave in prayer for three days and nights, then gave her soul to God, hastening to the heavenly company where the blessed souls of her daughters awaited her.
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.
Faith, Hope and Love, holy branches of noble Sophia,/ by grace made Greek wisdom foolishness./ They have contested and won the Victory/ and have been crowned by Christ the Master of all.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church
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