Saint Paraskeva the New was born into a pious family, living during the eleventh century in the village of Epivato, between Silistra and Constantinople. Her older brother Euthymius became a monk, and later he was consecrated as Bishop of Matidia. One day, while attending the divine services, the words of the Lord pierced her heart like an arrow, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves” (Matthew 16:24). From that time she began to distribute her clothing to the needy, for which reason she endured much grief from her family.
Upon the death of her parents, the saint was tonsured into monasticism at the age of fifteen. She withdrew to the Jordanian desert where she lived the ascetic life until she reached the age of twenty-five. An angel of the Lord ordered her to return to her homeland, so she stayed at Epivato for two years.
Saint Paraskeva departed to the Lord at the age of twenty-seven, and was buried near the sea. Because of the many miracles which took place at her grave, her relics were uncovered and found to be incorrupt. They were placed in the church of the Holy Apostles at Epivato, where they remained for about 175 years.
Saint Paraskeva’s relics were moved to Trnovo, Bulgaria in 1223 and placed in the cathedral. Patriarch Euthymius wrote her Life and established the day of her commemoration as October 27. The Turks occupied Bulgaria in 1391, and her relics were given to Mircea the Elder, Prince of the Romanian Land (one of the districts of Romania). In 1394 the relics were given to Princess Angelina of Serbia, who brought them to Belgrade. For 120 years Saint Paraskeva’s relics rested in Constantinople in the patriarchal cathedral.
On June 13, 1641, her incorrupt relics were transferred to the monastery of the Three Hierarchs at Jassy in Romania, where many healings took place. On December 26, 1888, after being rescued from a fire, Saint Parasceva’s relics were moved again. This time they were placed in the new cathedral at Jassy, where they remain until the present day.
You are worthy of praise, O Paraskeva.
You loved the ascetic and hesychast life.
You ran with longing to your Bridegroom, Christ.
You accepted His good yoke in your tender years, marking yourself with the sign of the Cross.
You fought against impure thoughts, through fasting, prayer and the shedding of tears you quenched the burning coal of the passions.
Now in the heavenly bridal chamber of Christ,
as you stand together with the wise virgins
intercede for us who honor your precious memory.
Let us all piously praise most honorable Paraskeva,
the intercessor for the afflicted.
She gave up her earthly life,
and received eternal incorruption.
Therefore, she has been granted the grace to work wonders
by the command of God.