To raise children with the wisdom and holiness of Saint Sophia is truly a lofty goal for any mother. The story of Sophia and her three brutally martyred daughters reminds us what the singular goal of Christian parents is: to help one's children get to heaven.
Sophia, a widow in the second century, raised three daughters alone: Faith, Hope and Love, named after the three theological virtues. The three daughters, at ages 12, 10, and nine, were brought before the Roman Emperor for forcible worship of the goddess Artemis. St. Sophia had raised them from the start to love and worship the One Lord, Jesus Christ, and to forsake all others for their bridegroom. The Emperor, in some of the ghastliest ways, tortured each girl, starting with the eldest, in sight of her remaining sisters. Each girl, despite her young age, boldly and fearlessly declared her faithfulness to Jesus Christ before, during, and after her torture. Each was martyred with the sheer joy of knowing that she was on the threshold of her heavenly reward. After the deaths of her three daughters, St. Sophia, her earthly work as a mother completed, died three days later on the gravesite of her beloved martyrs.
St. Sophia is the patron saint of wisdom, and her feast day is August 1 in the Latin rite or September 17 in the Eastern rite.