St. Sophia of Thrace
St. Sophia was born in Aenus, Rhodope, and was the mother of six children. Though she was occupied with worldly cares and responsibilities, she still kept the commandments of God and lived a virtuous life.
After her children died, she became a mother to orphans, and gave assistance to widows. She sold her property and gave the money to the poor. She led an austere life, eating bread and water. The Psalms of the Prophet-King David were always on her lips, and tears flowed continuously from her eyes. She would do without the necessities of life herself rather than allow a poor person to leave her home with empty hands.
Because of her humility and her love for the poor, God blessed her in the following way. In her home was a container of wine which she reserved for the poor. She noticed that no matter how much she took from the container, it remained full. However, as soon as she told someone about the miracle and glorified God, the container became empty. St. Sophia became sorrowful, believing that the wine diminished because of her unworthiness. Therefore, she increased her ascetical efforts until her health suffered.
Sensing that the end of her life was near, she received the monastic tonsure. St. Sophia fell asleep in the Lord at the age of fifty-three.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)