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Among the large number of icons there is one that embodies the three most important Christian virtues. It is an icon of Faith, Hope, Love and their mother Sophia. To understand the meaning of the icon of Faith, Hope and Love, it is necessary to get acquainted with the life of the martyrs depicted on it.
The history of martyrs of Faith, Hope, Love and Sophia
The holy righteous are revered throughout the Orthodox world as a personification of holiness and purity, devotion to the Lord and courage in serving Him.
In the II century, during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 gg.), In Rome lived the pious widow Sophia (the name Sophia means "wisdom"). She had three daughters who bore the names of the main Christian virtues: Faith, Hope and Love. Being a deeply Christian believer, Sophia raised daughters in love of God, teaching not to become attached to earthly goods. The rumor about belonging to the Christianity of this family reached the emperor, and he wished personally to see the three sisters and the mother who raised them.
All four appeared before the emperor and fearlessly confessed the faith in Christ, who rose from the dead and gives eternal life to all who believe in Him. Surprised by the courage of young Christians, the emperor sent them to one pagan, who was ordered to persuade them to renounce their faith. However, all the arguments and eloquence of the pagan mentor were in vain, and the Christian sisters who were flaming with faith did not change their convictions. Then they were brought back to the emperor Adrian, and he insisted that they sacrifice the pagan gods. But the girls indignantly rejected his order.
"We have a Heavenly God," they answered, "we want to stay with his children, but we do not fear your gods and your threats." We are ready to suffer and even die for the sake of our dear Lord Jesus Christ. "
Then the angry Adrian ordered the children to be tortured. The executioners began with Vera. In front of their mother and sisters, they began to ruthlessly beat her and tear off pieces from her body, put her on a red-hot iron grate. By the power of God, fire did no harm to the body of the holy martyr. Distraught from cruelty, Adrian was not inspired by the miracle of God and ordered to throw the girl in a cauldron with boiling tar. But by the will of the Lord, the cauldron cooled and did no harm to the confessor. Then she was sentenced to a trench with a sword. "I will gladly go to my beloved Lord Savior," said Saint Vera. She bravely bowed her head to the sword and so betrayed her spirit to God.
The younger sisters Hope and Love, inspired by the courage of the elder sister, suffered similar torments. The fire did them no harm, then they cut off the head with a sword. St. Sophia was not subjected to physical torment, but she was condemned to an even more violent mental suffering from separation from tortured children. The martyr buried the honest remains of his daughters and did not depart from their grave for two days. On the third day, the Lord sent her a quiet death and took her long-suffering soul to the heavenly abodes.
Saint Sofia, having endured great spiritual torments for Christ, was counted among the daughters by the Church together with her daughters. They suffered in 137. The elder, Vera, then there were 12 years, Hope - 10, and the youngest Lubov - only 9 years. So the three girls and their mother showed that for people strengthened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, the lack of bodily strength does not at all serve as an obstacle to the manifestation of the forces of spirit and courage. By their holy prayers, the Lord may strengthen us in the Christian faith and in virtuous life.
Icon Faith, Hope, Love and their mother Sophia appeared in Kievan Rus soon after her baptism. For many centuries, the names of saints were considered symbols of the main virtues of Christians, so it was not customary for them to be given to newborn girls. Later these names began to gradually come into use. Therefore, the family icon, on which were depicted the martyrs Sophia, Vera, Nadezhda, Lyubov, became widely known. In honor of the saints, a holiday was proclaimed, which falls on September 30.
Prayer and meaning of the icon Faith, Hope, Love and their mother Sofia
If you are interested in what the personal icon Vera, Hope, Love and their mother Sofia is helping, notice that she is the patroness of the family hearth. Prayer before the image will help to save the marriage, strengthen the family hearth, protect the family from the evil intentions of detractors. Married women pray with a personal icon about the return to the family of harmony, love and peace, unmarried - about a successful marriage and child, the sick - about the management of ills and good health. Buy a personal icon of the holy martyrs of the Faith, Hope, Love and their mother Sophia can at the best price in the studio of Vladimir Mikhailov. Unique pendants from precious metals amaze with refinement and beauty. Today the icon of Faith, Hope, Love and their mother Sophia is more than relevant as an affirmation of spiritual values over material values.