Sophia of Milan

● Orthodox Remembrance Day: September 17
● Name means: the wisdom (Greek)
● Widow, Martyr
● Patron: the widows; in need and distress
● Born in Milan, Italy
● Died around 130 in Rome
Legend has it that after the death of her wealthy husband, the Christian widow distributed her
property to the poor and then left Milan. With the intention of suffering martyrdom, she went
to Rome with her daughters Fides, Spes and Caritas. Accused under Emperor Hadrian, the
daughters were executed after many tortures and buried on September 30 by their mother in
the catacombs of Callistus; three days later, she herself was beheaded. The legend thus explains
what Paul explains in the High Song of Love (1 Corinthians 13:12-13): in eternity I will fully know
(Sophia, the wisdom) … But now there remains faith (Agenzia Fides), hope (Spes), love (Caritas),
these three. The legend has no historical value whatsoever, but has been translated into many
languages and widely handed down. Sophia’s cult is attested in Rome in the 6th century. It is
often associated with the largest early Christian-Byzantine church, the Hagia Sophia in
Constantinople – today’s Ístanbul; in reality, the predecessor building existed even before the
veneration of Sophia, it is the Church of Holy Wisdom, not of Saint Sophia, which is nevertheless
venerated in many Orthodox Churches – out of ignorance.