Saint Martyr Parasceva of Rome
Commemorated on July 26
Saint Jacob Netsvetov, Enlightener of Alaska
Commemorated on July 26
Born 1802 Atka Island, Alaska
Died July 26, 1864 Sitka, Alaska
And He said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. -2 Cor. 12:9
THE venerable Female martyr Parasceva (Parasceve) by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
Parasceva was born in Rome of Christian parents and from her youth was instructed in the Faith of Christ. With great fervence, St. Parasceva endeavored to fulfill all the commandments of God in her life. Believing strongly and living according to her faith, Parasceva directed others on the path [of salvation] with the help of the True Faith and pious living. When her parents died Parasceva distributed all of her property to the poor and was tonsured a nun. As a nun she preached the Faith of Christ with an even greater zeal, not hiding from anyone, even though at that time the Roman authorities bloodily persecuted the Faith of Christ. First the pernicious Jews accused St. Parasceva of preaching the prohibited Faith. She was brought to trial before Emperor Antoninus. All the flatteries of the emperor did not help in the least to cause her to waver in the Faith. They then subjected her to fiery torments and placed a red-hot helmet on her head. The Lord miraculously saved her and Parasceva was delivered and left Rome. She again traveled from city to city to convert the pagan people there to the True Faith. In two more cities she was brought before princes and judges and was tortured for her Lord, at the same time working great miracles and by the power of God quickly recuperated from her pains and wounds. The pagans, as always, ascribed her miracles to magic and her power of recovery to the mercy of their gods. St. Parasceva once said to the prince who tortured her: “It is not your gods, O prince, who healed me but my Christ the True God.” Finally Prince Tarasius beheaded her. Thus this saint gloriously ended her fruitful life. Her relics were later translated to Constantinople. She suffered honorably for Christ in the second century.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date July 26, and New Calendar date August 8.
Saint Paraskevi the Virgin Martyr
By Saint Kosmas Aitolos
Let us say something about the good earth. St. Paraskevi was a twelve year old maiden from a noble house. Left an orphan, she divided up all her possessions among the poor, and with these she purchased Paradise.
In place of cosmetics, she wore tears, remembering her sins. In place of earings, she kept her ears open to hear the Sacred Scriptures. In place of a necklace, she fasted often, which made her neck shine like the sun. In place of rings, she acquired calluses on her fingers from the many prostrations she made. In place of a golden belt, she had her virginity which she guarded all her life. In place of a dress, she was covered by modesty and fear of God. This is how the Saint decked herself.
If there is any maiden who wishes to adorn herself, let her consider what this Saint did and let her do the same if she wishes to be saved.
In this way, brethren, St. Paraskevi acquired learning and became very wise. Because of her purity, God found her worthy to perform miracles. She cured the blind, the deaf and she raised the dead…. This woman yielded a hundred-fold, according to the Lord’s word.
The Appearance of Saint Paraskevi
“Today is My Feast”
In Koropi, there was a married couple where the husband was very religious and the wife was a non-believer and mocker of the faith. The husband had great respect and devoutness for Saint Paraskevi. And always, on the day before we celebrate her memory, he lit a candle at his house. His wife would never light it herself.
So the next day, he got up very early in the morning, washed and dressed up as quietly as he could so he wouldn’t disturb his sleeping wife and mother-in-law, locked the door (twice) and left to go to church.
When he got back from church he found the two women very scared and in great panic.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
They told him: “As you left this morning, a little later we heard someone unlocking our door. Two times we heard the sound of the door unlocking..klak, klak…We froze!!! Then a woman entered our house with black clothes, tall, very beautiful, and appeared in front of us, looking at us without saying a word. She then went into the room where the candle was. She goes there, takes the candle into the kitchen, adds oil and lit it. Then she takes the candle and puts it back into the room. She comes back to us, she looks at us and says, “Today is my feast”, and she left the house!”
The women were in shock, but he man was touched by this miracle of Saint Paraskevi to his wife, who was a non-believer and mocker of the Faith.
A Contemporary Miracle of Saint Paraskevi Healing An eye Ailment
The following account comes from a woman named Georgia from Corinth, Greece.
From the age of two I suffered from a severe form of being cross-eyed, and according to the doctors who examined me in Athens and Corinth, I had to wear glasses for the rest of my life. It became customary for my parents to bring me every year, on the eve of the feast of Saint Paraskevi, to a small chapel of Saint Paraskevi which is found in Ancient Corinth. It was there, from the age of three, that I would make this small but serious prayer: “My Saint Paraskevi, make my eyes well.” I would light my candle and I had much hope in her.
At the age of eight, Saint Paraskevi eventually worked her miracle outside her small chapel. A thought came into my head, like lightning, that urged me to remove my glasses and I was assured that I would not need them again. I removed my glasses and believed that I truly did not have the slightest problem. I could see very well, and I did not have the slightest problem of being cross-eyed. I gave the glasses to my mother and told her I will never wear them again. Initially my parents believed I was displaying child-like enthusiasm, but over the next few days they believed in the truth of the miracle.
Today I am a mature woman with excellent vision. I never ceased to visit that chapel every year to thank Saint Paraskevi for her miraculous intervention, and for hearing my humble child-like prayer. The Saints are always near us. It is enough to invoke them with faith, and they are ready to rush to our aid. (Source: Orthodox Wiki and Mystagogy Resource Center).
The Miracle at Foufas
In 1932 a pious woman from Foufas named Chrysa Kypti had a son named Tryphon who was blind. She was told that there was a spring of Holy Water nearby, though did not know its origins or the Saint associated with it. Upon receiving some Holy Water from the friend who told her about it, she had her son wash his face with it. When he did, the son received his sight back. That night Chrysa saw Saint Paraskevi in her sleep, who pointed out to her where she was buried and asked her to dig her out. After telling the villagers, they did not believe her. Saint Paraskevi appeared again in her sleep and told her to seek the help of the residents of Milochori. The president of the village responded and helped her dig at the place indicated with other villagers: “Among the brambles where a rose bush is.” There they discovered the foundations of an old church, a roofing tile, the icon of Saint Paraskevi and some Roman coins. The finding confirmed the word of Saint Paraskevi that this was an ancient church. Under the order of the bishop of Ptolemaida, a small church had been built Chrysa Kypti stayed next to the church in cells that had been constructed until April of 1959, when she died on Good Friday.Saint Parasceva of Rome appearing to a young Elder Iakovos (Tsalikis) of Evia
Saint Martyr Parasceva of Rome by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
Dismissal Hymn Saint Paraskevi the Righteous Martyr of Rome (First Tone)
Appropriate to your calling, O Champion Paraskevi, you worshipped with the readiness your name bears. For an abode you obtained faith, which is your namesake. Wherefore, you pour forth healing and intercede for our souls.
Apolytikion of St. Paraskevi the Great Martyr (Mode 1)
Your diligence corresponded to your name, Paraskevi, which denotes preparedness. Through faith you inherited the promised dwelling that was prepared for you, O prize-winning Martyr. Therefore you pour out cures and healings, and you intercede on behalf of our souls.
Prosomoia of the Praises – 1st Tone. For the celestial orders.
Dancing in chorus in heaven and in the courts of the Lord * with those renowned wise virgins, O devout holy Martyr, * most wise Paraskevi, you were given the grace * from the Lord to cure illnesses, * and to expel the unclean spirits and to heal * those who come to you for this with faith.
You dashed the might of the godless impious kings to the ground, * and unto God, O Virgin, * you directed your footsteps. * Therefore you were not frightened by the lead * hammers pounding you, nor the fire, * nor by the scraping of your body, nor by the heat * of the cauldron, nor the death by sword.