St. Paraskeve (Friday) icon (1)
Orthodox Icon of the Great Martyr Paraskeve of Rome, Paraskevi, Friday, Παρασκευή.
Commemorated July 26.
Her life 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.Two Jews, sons of the devil, seeing the Saint perform miracles, envied her and betrayed her to King Antoninus as a Christian.
So the King summoned her and asked her to deny Christ and to worship the gods and she would become queen.The Saint replied: "I am not foolish like you to deny my Christ and to go to the devil; to leave life and go to death. May you leave the darkness and come to the light."Do you hear, my brethren, how outspoken a young girl was before a king?Whoever has Christ in his heart fears nothing in the world. If we too wish not to fear either people or demons, let us have God in our hearts.
The King said to the Saint: "I'll give you three days to obey; if you don't I'll put you to death."The Saint replied: "O King, what you wish to do in three days time, do it now, for I will not deny my Christ."The King then ordered a big fire to be lighted and over it a large pot was placed, filled with tar and sulfar. Seeing the pot, the Saint rejoiced, for she was to depart from this false world and to go to that which is real and eternal.The King ordered the Saint to be put into the pot to be boiled. The Saint made the sign of the Cross and got in the pot.
The king waited two, three hours and seeing she was not being boiled, he said: "Paraskevi, why aren't you burning?"The Saint said: "Because Christ cooled the water and I don't burn."The King replied: "Sprinkle me with the water so I can see whether it burns or not."The Saint took some water in her two hands and threw it into his face, and immediately behold the miracle - he became blind and his face was flayed.The King then shouted: "Great is the God of the Christians.
In him I also believe. Come out and baptize me."The Saint got out and baptized him and his entire kingdom. Later another king beheaded her and she went to Paradise to rejoice forever.This woman yielded a hundred-fold, according to the Lord's word.