Icon Akimov 102.139 «St.Charity (Love), Holy Martyress. The Guardian Angel»
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"St. Charity, Holy Martyress lived in Italy and suffered in Rome together with her mother Sophia and elder sisters, Faith and Hope. She became one of the first and youngest martyrs for Christ. Charity took the crown of martyrdom in 137 being only nine years old.
According to the legend Charity and her elder sisters, Faith and Hope where brought up by their mother Sophia in Christian piety. Sophia was a widow and devoted all her time to her daughters evangelizing them and edifying in love for God. The family lived openly, making no concealment of belonging to Christians, which was tantamount to a crime in heathen Rome. By order of Emperor Hadrian the pious family was brought to the palace. By luxurious gifts, by promises of comfortable and happy living in his palace the Emperor tried to seduce the girls out of the Christian way and tempt into worshipping Artemis. But nothing could lead them astray: their belief in Christ was robust and abiding. Then the Emperor ordered to subject Sophia’s daughters to brutal tortures. Being the youngest Charity watched her sisters suffering and dying, but remained courageous and unshakeable in her faith. When it was her turn to appear before the executioner she by herself entered the burning stove but remained unharmed there preserved by angel. Then the girl was tied to a wheel and drubbed until her body turned into a sheer bloody wound. Going through inconceivable suffering the girl kept praying and invoking God. Finally she was decapitated as well as her sisters.
The mother was given her children bodies, and she buried them at a high hill. For three days she stayed beside the girls’ grave, until she reposed in the Lord. The believers interred her in the same place together with her daughters. St. Sophia was consecrated a martyress since she anguished for Christ as well even if not by body but in heart. She donated her dearests – three virtuous daughters Faith, Hope and Charity – to the Holy Trinity.
For many centuries the believers are remaining fascinated with the deed of St. Charity, of her sisters and mother. Holy martyresses are loved and hallowed in all the Christendom. In one's hour of need they are asked for patience, firmness, and fortitude; and, of course – for hope, faith and love.
The relics of holy martyresses first stayed in Rome, having been in Alsace since 8th century. They are commemorated on September 30 (17)."
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