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Saint Paraskeva

Martyr Paraskeva

Troparion of St Paraskeva Tone 1


Ready for godliness, O namesake of preparedness, thou didst inherit as a dwelling a faith worthy of thy name. O prize-winning Paraskeva, thou dost pour forth healings and art interceding for our souls.

Martyr Paraskeva of



Rome Commemorated July 26



Living in Rome, the devout Christian couple, Politea and Agathon, prayed fervently for a child and God finally blessed them with a child.  They gave great honour to Friday, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ’s suffering.  When their daughter was born on that day, therefore, they named her Paraskeva, which translated from the Greek means “Friday.” In addition to a good education, she received a thorough religious training. When her parents died, she gave away her goods to the poor and, following the example of the holy apostles, began walking about the countryside preaching the Gospel and converting many people to Christ.  This took considerable courage, because at that time both Jews and Romans were persecuting Christians.


With her learning and strong faith, Paraskeva spoke persuasively and brought many people to forsake their pagan idols and commit themselves to the true God.  Her success as a missionary eventually brought her to the attention of the Emperor, Antoninus Pius.  He summoned Paraskeva to the palace, and when, in spite of various threats and coaxing, she refused to denounce her faith in Jesus Christ, she was put to the cruelest tortures. Finally she was thrown into a vat of boiling oil and pitch.  Seeing her standing in the vat as though it were a bath of fresh water, the Emperor asked if she had employed some magic to cool the oil.  In response, Paraskeva scooped up some of the boiling oil and tossed it towards the Emperor, telling him to test it himself. Some of the burning liquid splashed into his eyes and blinded them.  Screaming out in pain, the Emperor begged the servant of God to heal him. Paraskeva called aloud upon the name of the Lord, and instantly the Emperor regained his sight.  This miracle moved Antoninus to put a stop to the persecution of Christians throughout the empire, and Paraskeva resumed her preaching unhindered. Antoninus died in 161.  Under his successor, Marcus Aurelius, a plague broke out.  The Romans took it as a sign that their gods were angered by the soft treatment of the Christians, and another wave of persecution was unleashed against them. 


Paraskeva was heedless of any danger and continued her missionary labours, everywhere spreading the holy Gospel. In one city, the governor Asclepius threw her into a pit with a poisonous serpent, convinced the beast would kill her.  Instead, Paraskeva made the sign of the Cross over the serpent and he stiffened and split in two, as if slain by a sword.  As a result, Asclepius and those with him came to believe in the true God.

Again at liberty, the Saint resumed her preaching. In one city, she was brought to trial before the ruler, Tarasios, and began telling him about Jesus Christ.  Tarasios subjected her to various tortures, but when he saw that nothing would persuade her to deny Christ, he ordered that the saint's head be cut off with a sword.  She received her martyr's wreath in about the year 180.  The martyr's holy remains were later taken to Constantinople, where they were venerated by the faithful. Saint Paraskeva is venerated as a healer of the blind.



"Never knowing the story of St. Paraskeva, before today and reading it left me in awe. Blessed with her strong faith and love for the Lord, she spoke his words to believers and non-believers alike. When she was tested of her faith though many sick and cruel tortures, she stood by our lord Jesus Christ without hesitation. With the Lord by her side she over came the persecutions and inspired those to believe. To me this amazing story is a reminder of how our faith in Christ will guide and protect us though out our lives and how denying Christ, will never be the right answer. St. Paraskeva’s story will always be in my heart."


Teena Khoury

St. Antonios, Halifax

Can-Am Region