Faith, Hope and Charity Charm, France


Transferred from the Wellcome Institute in 1985; 1985.52.844
The turquoise beaded cross, anchor and heart on this charm from Brittany symbolise the Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity, which are mentioned in Paul the Apostle’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, the seventh book of the New Testament of the Bible. 
According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, Faith, Hope and Charity were also the names of three noble sisters who lived in Italy during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (AD 117–138). Raised by their mother Sophia (meaning Wisdom) to be pious and devout Christians, Pistis, Elpis and Agape (Faith, Hope and Charity in Greek) were brought before the Emperor when they were just twelve, ten and nine years old. They were tortured and killed for their faith, and their bodies were buried on the Via Aurelia, a Roman road that ran from Rome to Pisa. Sophia wept over their graves for three days, before joining them in death. The memories of these child martyrs and their mother are celebrated on 17 September in the Eastern Orthodox Church. 

Artisans of Memory

Behind the scenes of an amulets project

This series of short films follows the progress and practices of those connected with the Small Blessings project as they unravel the stories surrounding these curious objects.

The full series of films may be viewed here.


Amulets Competition

The competition is now closed and a winner has been announced. Find out more here.

Designated Outstanding Collection LogoArts Council England LogoprmvcEmail us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright 2012 The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford