Church of Vera, Nadezhda, Liubov’ and Sofia in Altufyevo

The name of the temple in honor of the martyrs of Vera, Nadezhda and Lyubov and their mother Sophia was not chosen by chance, because the virtues contained in the sense of the names of these martyrs constitute the entirety of Christianity. The Holy Martyrs Vera, Nadezhda and Lyubov were born in Italy. Their mother, Saint Sophia, was a pious Christian widow. Having named her daughters after three Christian virtues, Sofia brought them up in love with the Lord Jesus Christ. They did not hide their faith in Christ and openly confessed it in front of everyone. The governor Antiochus reported this to the Emperor Hadrian, and he ordered them to be brought to Rome. Understanding why they were being taken to the emperor, the holy virgins fervently prayed to the Lord, asking Him to send them strength not to be afraid of the upcoming torments and death. When the holy virgins and their mother appeared before the emperor, all those present were amazed at their calmness: it seemed that they were invited to a bright celebration and not to torture. Summoning the sisters in turn, Adrian urged them to sacrifice to the goddess Artemis. The young virgins (Vera was 12, Nadezhda was 10 and Lyubov was 9) remained adamant. Then the emperor ordered them to be cruelly tortured: the holy virgins were burned on an iron grate, thrown into a red-hot furnace and into a cauldron with boiling resin, but the Lord kept them by His Invisible Power. The youngest, Lyubov, was tied to a wheel and beaten with sticks until her body turned into a continuous bloody wound. Enduring unprecedented torments, the holy virgins remained steadfast in faith. Saint Sophia was subjected to a different, most severe, torture: the mother was forced to look at the suffering of her daughters. But she showed extraordinary courage and all the time urged the girls to endure torment to the end. All three girls were happy to meet their martyrdom. Finally, they were beheaded. To prolong the mental suffering of Saint Sophia, the emperor allowed her to take the bodies of her daughters. Sofia put their remains in the ark and took them with honors on a chariot outside the city, where she buried them in a high place. For three days Saint Sophia sat at the grave of her daughters without leaving, and finally gave her soul to the Lord there. Believers buried her body in the same place. The relics of the holy martyrs have been resting since 777 in the north-east of France in Alsace, in the church of Esho.

Address: Moscow, Altufyevskoe sh., 147, building 1