015230 paraskevotive

Icon of Saint Paraskevi (considered to be a healer of the blind and therefore shown holding a plate with two eyeballs) with votive offerings.

Paraskeva (15th c, Vologda museum)

Russian icon of Paraskeva-Pyatnitsa

Agia Paraskevi by Michael Damaskenos (16th c.)

Icon of the martyrdom of St. Paraskevi (16th century, Michael Damaskenos).

Paraskevi, Greek: Παρασκευή ("(Good) Friday" in Greek) is a female name. Variations include Pascha, Petka, Paraskeva, Praskovia, Praskovie, Pyatnitsa, Pyetka, Paraskevoula, Paraschiva and Voula.

There are many glorified saints by this name (Greek: Αγία Παρασκευή, Aghia Paraskevi; Bulgarian: Света Петка Параскева; Macedonian: Света Петка; Romanian: Sfânta Cuvioasă Parascheva; Russian: Святая Параскева-Пятница; Serbian: Света Петка Параскева). Among them:

  • A second-century martyr of Rome, especially venerated among the Greeks. The Athens suburb of Agia Paraskevi is named after her. She is considered to be a healer of the blind, because of the miracle she performed in restoring the sight of Antonius Pius, who had earlier tortured her. Then Antonius Pius, humbled by the miracle, freed the Saint and ended all persecutions against the Christians throughout the Roman Empire. She was martyred during the rule of Marcus Aurelius after the persecution of Christians resumed. Her feast day is July 26 for Christians following the Gregorian and August 8 for Christians following the Julian calendar.
  • The sister of St. Photina the Samaritan Woman. She was martyred when Nero was the Roman emperor. Feast day is March 20[1].
  • A third-century martyr from Iconium, a favorite of Russians, who consider her the patron saint of traders and guardian of family happiness. Her feast day is October 28, nicknamed Paraskeva-"Pyatnitsa" (that means "Friday").
  • An eleventh-century ascetic. She was born in the town of Epibatos on the shore of the Sea of Marmara, near the imperial city of Constantinople. She became an ascetic and lived in the wilderness many years, returning to Epibata two years before her death. She is beloved particularly in the Balkans. Her relics were kept in Tarnovo, the capital of the Bulgarian Empire since 1238 until the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman domination. Her incorrupt relics were placed in the Church of the Three Holy Hierarchs and later in the Metropolitan Cathedral, Iaşi, Romania and her feast day is October 14. Alternate forms of her name include:
    • Petka Paraskeva
    • Petca Parasceva the New of Bulgaria
    • Petka Beogradska (as her relics remained in Belgrade for sometime)
    • Paraskeva the Younger
    • Paraskeva Pyatnitsa
    • Sfânta Cuvioasă Parascheva

They are recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Both Russian and Balkan Paraskevas were merged with old slavic pagan female deity of Friday[1]. Her name was Pyatnitsa, Petka and other slavic forms of word "Friday" (with root "p-t" — "five"). Goddess Pyatnitsa was similar to Mokosh.

See also

Significant churches dedicated to St. Paraskevi

People named Paraskevi

External links




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