The MonasticMartyress Paraskeva

Commemorated on July 26

      The MonasticMartyress Paraskeva was the only daughter of Christian parents and from the time of her early years she dedicated herself to God. Living in her parental home, she spent much of her time at prayer and the study of the Holy Scriptures. After the death of her parents Saint Paraskeva distributed all of her inheritance to the poor, took on monasticism, and emulating the holy Apostles she began to preach to the pagans about Christ, converting many to Christianity.
      A denunciation about her activity was made to the emperor Antoninus Pius (138‑161), and Saint Paraskeva was brought to trial. She fearlessly confessed herself a Christian. Neither enticements of honours and material blessings, nor threats of torture and death shook the firmness of the saint nor turned her from Christ. She was given over to beastly tortures. On her head they put a red-hot helmet and threw her in a cauldron with boiling tar. But by the power of God the holy martyress remained unharmed. When the emperor peered into the cauldron, Saint Paraskeva threw him in the face a droplet of the red-hot tar, and he was burned. The emperor began to ask her for healing, and the holy martyress healed him. After this the emperor sent Saint Paraskeva free.
      Traveling from one place to another preaching the Gospel, Saint Paraskeva arrived in a city, where the governor was named Asclepius. Here again they tried the saint and sentenced her to death. They took her to an immense serpent living in a cave, so that it would devour her. But Saint Paraskeva made the sign of the Cross over the snake and it died. Asclepius and the citizens in seeing this miracle and believed in Christ and set free the saint. She continued her preaching. In a city, where the governor was a certain Tarasius, Saint Paraskeva received a martyr's death. After fierce tortures they beheaded her.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.