In Rome in the time of the Emperor Hadrian (from 117-138 a.d.), there lived a virtuous Christian widow named Sophia (Wisdom), with her three daughters: Pistis (Faith), Elpis (Hope), and Agape (Love). This God-pleasing mother instructed her children in Christian virtue from their birth. When the children were twelve, ten, and nine respectively, the whole family was brought before the Emperor for refusing to sacrifice to the Roman idols. Although tender in years, the three sisters remained steadfast in their confession of Christ, and suffered beatings, stabbings, and burning, but remained unharmed until they were at last beheaded.
These blessed daughters of the Heavenly Father awaited their martyrdom as if it were their wedding and they were going to meet their Bridegroom Christ and to live with Him forever. St. Sophia took her daughters’ bodies and buried them outside of Rome, and after three days of mourning at their grave, joined them in the Heavenly Kingdom. This contemporary icon, of the young martyrs who gave up the glories of this life to receive a hundredfold in Heaven and their most-wise mother, is from Greece.