St Sophia was from Italy, and was martyred in the second century. Her daughters were ages 12, 10 and 9 when they we brought with their mother before the Emporer Hadrian for the crime of being Christians. Sophia was tortured by being made to watch each of her daughters being questioned, tortured, then beheaded, from oldest to youngest.
Sophia and her daughters could have avoided their totures by renouncing Christ, but they knew that an eternity with Christ is not worth sacrificing for anything here on earth. Therefore, the girls endured with radiant faith and the mother offered them encouragement, knowing that God’s love for them is greater by far than even a mother’s love.
Sophia buried her daughters outside the city and mourned and prayed at their Graves for three days. She fell asleep in the Lord at their graves.
The girls names were Pistis (Faith), Elpis (Hope) and Agape (Love). The name Sophia means “wisdom”.
The daughters bravely endured physical torture and death, numbering them among the many Christian martyrs. Their mother’s torture may not have shed her own blood, but her torture was immense, having her heart ripped from her chest by watching the deaths of all three of her young children.
St Sophia, teach me to love Christ as you do. Teach me to love my children as you do, not with the selfish love of this life, but with the immeasurable Godly love that will lead them always to Christ.
St Sophia and her daughters are commemorated on September 17th in the Orthodox Christian Church.