Friday, August 12, 2022

The Great Cloud of Witnesses

Saints Faith, Hope, and Charity
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M.

Saints Faith, Hope, and Charity

August 1

Saints Faith, Hope and Charity are a group of Christian martyred saints, venerated together with their mother, Sophia ("Wisdom"). According to the Passio, Sophia was a widow of Milan who gave away her possessions and moved to Rome with her daughters. Her daughters were martyred before her and she buried them at Via Appia. She died a natural death three days later while praying at the grave of her daughters. Their tomb in a crypt beneath the church afterwards erected to Saint Pancratius was long a place of resort for pilgrims. Saxer (2000) notes that early Christians from the 4th century indeed often took in baptism mystical names indicative of Christian virtues, and Sophia, Sapientia, Fides are attested as names of Christian women in Catacomb inscriptions. The veneration of the three saints named for the three theological virtues probably arose in the 6th century based on such inscriptions. Their feast is kept on August 1.

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