Our Holy Mother, the Martyr Paraskeva.

Commemorated July 26 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

Born in Rome of Christian parents, she was brought up from her earliest youth in the Christian faith and gave herself wholeheartedly to the fulfilling of God's commandments in her life. She brought others to the Way by means of her true and deep faith and devout life. When her parents died, Paraskeva gave all her goods away to the poor and received the monastic habit. As a nun, she preached the truth of Christ with ever more burning zeal, not hiding from anyone, even though the Christian faith was at that time subject to bloody persecution by the Roman authorities. Wicked Jews denounced Paraskeva for preaching a forbidden faith, and she was brought to trial before the Emperor Antoninus. All the Emperor's flattery was unavailing in shaking the faith of this servant of God. She was then put to torture by fire, and a white-hot helmet was placed on her head, but God saved her miraculously and she escaped and left Rome. She again began to go from city to city, there to bring the pagan people to the true Faith. In two more cities she was brought before princes and judges, and tortured for her Lord, performing on these occasions great miracles by the power of God and quickly recovering from her wounds. The pagans, as ever, called her miracles magic, and ascribed her recovery to the power and mercy of their gods. St Paraskeva once said to a prince who was torturing her: 'it is not your gods, O Prince, who heal me, but my Christ, the true God.' She was finally beheaded by a Prince Tarasius. Thus gloriously ended the fruitful life of this holy woman. Her relics were later taken to Constantinople. She suffered for Christ in the second century.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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