Vera | Fides

  • Orthodox Remembrance Day: September 17
  • Name means: the true (Latin.)
  • Martyr
  • Born in Milan, Italy
  • Died around 130 in Rome

According to legend, a Christian widow named Sophia embarked on a remarkable journey following the passing of her wealthy husband. Moved by her deep faith and compassion, she selflessly distributed her possessions to the needy before departing from Milan. Alongside her three daughters named Fides, Spes, and Caritas, Sophia traveled to Rome with the purpose of embracing martyrdom.

Accused during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, Sophia’s daughters faced excruciating tortures before meeting their ultimate fate. After burying her beloved daughters on September 30 in the catacombs of Callistus, Sophia herself was beheaded. Alternative accounts of martyrdom sites suggest that the four saints rest under Greek names along the Via Aurelia, within the catacombs beneath the present-day church of San Pancrazio. Interestingly, there exists an actual grave of a Sophia in that location, though otherwise unknown. The legend seeks to illuminate the profound truth conveyed by Paul in the renowned passage from the First Corinthians (13:12-13), affirming the eternal understanding embodied by Sophia, which transcends our current limited perception. Meanwhile, faith (Fides), hope (Spes), and love (Caritas) remain as abiding virtues for us in the present.

It is important to note that the legend lacks historical substantiation, yet it has been translated into numerous languages and widely perpetuated. As tradition dictates, certain relics were purportedly transferred to the convent of Eschau in Alsace in 778, sparking the spread of veneration and devotion in Germany and beyond.

Source: © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved. AO: “Das Synaxarion. Die Leben der Heiligen der Orthodoxen Kirche.” ( and Joachim Schäfer: Artikel Aaron, aus dem Ökumenischen Heiligenlexikon –