Great is the merit of the saints before the Lord. Many of them already from an early age aspired to perfection of the Kingdom of Heaven. Such was Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, whose parents tried to educate their daughter in faith and chastity. Taking upon herself the martyr's cross, she with her spiritual feat once again witnessed the incomparable great power of God, who punished idol worshipers and their gods.
Saint Paraskeva Friday was born in the 3rd century AD. e. in the Roman Empire in the city of Iconium (the territory of modern Turkey). At that time Diocletian was the ruler of the state, who persecuted those who preach Christianity. The girl's parents faithfully believed in the One Trinity, living by the Law of God. They always held fasting, honored Wednesday and Friday, remembering in these days the suffering of Jesus Christ, who suffered torment as the atonement for human sins. For fear of God and unshakable faith in Him, the Most High granted his parents a daughter. They called her Paraskeva, which means "Friday", since the girl was born on this day. Unfortunately, the righteous very soon moved to another world, leaving a young girl alone on a sinful land. St. Paraskeva Friday continued the work of her parents, keeping the commandments of God and remaining chaste. Even then she chose for herself the heavenly Bridegroom - Jesus Christ, thinking only of being close to him.
The girl was beautiful both in body and soul. Many rich men were wooing her, but she remained adamant. Paraskevy's parents left their daughters a good inheritance. Received money, the Great Martyr Paraskeva spent Friday not on herself, but on clothes and food for the poor. All the charms of life: an expensive dress, jewelry and entertainment - the girl considered temporary and perishable. Instead of earthly pleasures, Paraskeva prayed and preached faith in Jesus Christ.
Confessor of the Lord
Despite the fact that Christians of those timeswere subjected to terrible persecutions, Paraskeva continued to preach the faith of Christ. Many young men, seeing the holy beauty of the holy, invited her to marry and bow to the idol, in order to preserve her life and not suffer severe cruelties. But the great martyr Paraskeva Friday always answered that the one God is Jesus Christ and He is her only Bridegroom. Some townsfolk, thanks to the saint, converted, while others reproached her for such sermons.
Once Diocletian ordered his subjectsGo to the cities of the Roman Empire in search of Christians, who turn away the rest from idolatry. The eparch of Aetia was given a decree to visit the city of Iconium and find secret believers in the one Lord.
The people met the sovereign with the greathonors. The townspeople, without hiding, told that there is one girl named Paraskeva who confesses Jesus Christ and does not go to the temple to worship idols. Hearing this, Aeti demanded that she be immediately identified and presented to the court. The warriors quickly found the girl and sent her to the eparch. Aetius, seeing the beautiful Paraskeva, was fascinated by her beauty. The saint was not sad, but on the contrary, glowed with joy. Aeti wished to know if people were slandering a beautiful girl. Paraskeva answered without fear and doubt that she was a true Christian and confessor of the Lord. Aetius invited her to bow to the gods in the temple of idols. For this he promised to save her life. A subject of the emperor did not hide that Paraskeva liked him very much, and he offered the saint to marry him. But the virgin was adamant. "My only bridegroom is Jesus," she answered. Aetius threatened Paraskev with the agonizing suffering that the executioners had prepared for her. But the girl was not afraid of this, because she knew that after all the tortures the Lord would take her to him. Enraged Aeti ordered the executioners to take off her clothes and beat the young body with oxen veins. Paraskeva during the terrible torment did not utter a single word of mercy, but she only praised the Lord to herself. Aetius, unable to watch how they destroy the beauty of the girl, ordered the hangmen to stop and once again ordered the saint to bow to idols. Paraskeva, clenching her teeth, was silent. For this Aeti insulted the entire Christian family, after which the girl spat in his face. For the eparch this was the last straw. Beside himself with anger, he ordered the executioners to hang Paraskeva upside down and tear it with iron claws.
The unfortunate prayed, and her blood stained the earth. When the executioner saw that the girl was already dying, he informed Aetia about this. He ordered to throw Paraskeva in prison, so that the destruction of the earth would be more painful for her.
Appearance of the angel
Wounded and without strength, Paraskeva Friday lay onhalf of the prison cell, as if dead. But the Lord, seeing her all-embracing love for the Holy Trinity, directed the Angel to the girl. He came to Paraskeva with a cross, crown of thorns, a spear, a cane and a sponge. Angel consoled the exhausted girl, rubbing her wounds. Christ healed Paraskeva - the body became healthy again, and her face lit up with a radiant beauty. The girl was shining like an angel. Paraskeva in gratitude for the healing began to glorify the Lord.
In the morning of the guard, having appeared in the prison cellParaskeva, found that the girl is completely healthy. Filled with joy, she sang prayers and praised the Lord. Frightened, the guards rushed to Aetia and reported an unprecedented miracle. The eparch summoned Paraskeva and said that her healing is a merit of idols, which the Romans worship. Aetius, taking the girl by the hand, led her to one of the temples. Paraskeva, without resistance, went into the temple. Turning to the heavens, she said a prayer to the Lord, after which a terrible earthquake happened. All the statues of the gods were destroyed and turned to dust. Many who saw this turned to Christianity. And only Aetius regarded it as a ritual of strong magic, ordering to hang the saint to the pillar and burn its sides with lamps. Once again Paraskeva turned to the Lord. According to her prayers, the Almighty turned away the hot fire from the virgin, sending him to the torturers. The people who saw miracles performed by the Lord through Paraskeva believed in Jesus Christ, rejecting paganism. Aeti was afraid that he would lose his power, which was based on the belief in idols. Therefore, he ordered to cut off Paraskeva's head. Finally, the Lord takes the soul of a tormented, fragile girl into the Kingdom of Heaven, where eternal bliss awaited her.
Fate of the Eparch
Having finished the long-suffering Paraskeva, Aeti asin no way did he decide to go hunting. On the way to the forest, his horse, standing on its hind legs, threw the ruler to the ground. He died on the spot, sending his soul to eternal destruction in the underworld.
After this, Christians, many of whom believed in the Lord through Paraskeva, took the body of the maiden and were able to bury her in the house church.
The relics of the saint healed the spiritual and physical illnesses of people according to her prayers before the Lord.
The image of Saint
Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, whose icon is presented inthis article, is portrayed as a Russian-haired girl with a crown of thorns on her head. She is dressed in red maforium and blue cover. In the left hand, the Great Martyr holds a scroll with the text of the Creed, and in the right hand a cross symbolizing faith in Christ and the suffering that Paraskeva suffered Friday. Until the 20th century the icon of the saint was in every peasant house. The farmers especially revered her image, decorating him with elegant ribbons, flowers or a garment. On the day of the memory of the Great Martyr (November 10, according to a new style), peasants necessarily came to the church service and consecrated the fruits that were kept in the house until next year.
Also in Russian villages on the Paraskeva holidayFriday was taken to consecrate a piece of linen cloth, which was hung with the image of a saint. That is why in Orthodoxy you can find another name of the Great Martyr - Paraskeva Linnia. The peasants prayed to the saint about the preservation of cattle, especially cows.
Paraskeva Friday ... What is this saint praying for?
First of all, people come to her help,engaged in agriculture and household life, as well as those who have a livestock. Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, who gave a vow of virginity, prays before the Lord for those who expect a worthy bridegroom. Those who for a long time can not conceive a child can also turn to the Great Martyr in the hope of a miracle of procreation. Paraskeva Pyatnitsa also helps to organize peace in the family, which all Orthodox Christians pray for.
The saint heals the spiritual and physical ailments of believers, especially in cases of unbearable pain, and also during diabolical temptations.
Strangely enough, in the affairs of trade also helps Paraskeva Friday, about which they pray those who are associated with this activity. Hence the tradition to organize fairs on a Friday.
The image of Paraskeva is often put at the sources andwells in order for the water to gain healing power. In Russia, it was also customary to tie flowers to her image, and then make a decoction from them, which was treated not only by physical, but also mental illnesses. The prayer of Paraskeva Pyatnitsa was so powerful that her text was hidden in a piece of cloth that was applied to a sore spot and healed.
Cut me quickly!
In Russia people worshiped Paraskeva Friday asintercession of girls who want to get married. That is why she was prayed even for the Protection, asking for help in the affairs of love. Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, who never thinks about marriage and who vows to virginity, helps chaste girls make a worthy choice in their quest to create a family.
Guardian of Friday
Saint Paraskeva was introduced to our ancestorsstrict woman, who commanded them to strictly observe the post on Wednesday and Friday, namely not to do household chores and not to bear strife with the people. She also forbade them to eat fast food these days. The saint came to many peasants in visions, so no one doubted that it was the Great Martyr herself. That is why in some parts of our country the custom to save sewing, washing clothes and other things on the day of Paraskeva Friday is still preserved.
Our ancestors also told us that
In ancient Russia the image of Paraskeva Fridays is oftenmixed with the pagan goddess Mokosha, who was revered as the keeper of the family hearth. Therefore, the Orthodox saint is credited with the protection of agriculture and domestic life.
Some believe that the veneration of Paraskeva by traders is due to the fact that since ancient times Friday was a fair day.
Similar disputes about the patronage of the saint weredebunked by the Holy Synod, who forbade mixing the image of the Great Martyr with a pagan goddess. But the tradition of consecration of fruits and sources has survived to this day.
At the crossroads of the roads of Russia,Special pillars or logs, in which the pedestrian had to make a sacrifice. With the adoption of Christianity, such buildings were removed, and in their place towers and chapels were built. Many of them are built in honor of Paraskeva Friday.
For example, one of the famous buildingsis the chapel of Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, located in Krasnoyarsk on the Guard mountain. This tower is considered a symbol of the city. Her image can be found on the ten-ruble note of 1997. Similar chapels are also erected in other cities of Russia.
Temples and churches in honor of the saint
In memory of the martyr built setOrthodox complexes, the central figure of which was Paraskeva Friday. In Butovo, a church was built, which dates from the 16th century. The wooden temple was burned during the invasion of the Lithuanians. Stone version was built by the end of the XVII century. The church was restored in the XX century. Paraskeva Pyatnitsa temple is built in the form of a ship - a spiritual guidebook for the Orthodox. Crowned with golden domes, it seems as if he is calling people on a long and difficult, but worthy sailing along the river of life and faith.
The church of Paraskeva Pyatnitsa is also built inYaroslavl. Its official name is Pyatnitsko-Tugovsky temple. It was built in the late 17th century. One of its chapels is dedicated to the feast of the Annunciation. Paraskeva Pyatnitsa experienced special hardships in the 30s of the XX century. Then, on the orders of the Soviet authorities, the bell tower and one of the domes were demolished. The church of Paraskeva Pyatnitsa was only restored by the end of the 20th century, when the church was transferred to the Yaroslavl diocese.
How to address a saint?
Read with all my heart the prayer of ParaskevaFriday is very effective. After all, all saints are mediators between the Lord and people. The petitions of martyrs and saints in the face of the Most High are always fulfilled. Therefore, prayer is an obligatory component of the life of an Orthodox person. In affairs domestic, as well as love, the assistant of Russian people became Paraskeva Friday. What do young girls pray for and what do they ask? Of course, about a worthy groom. For such cases, there is a special prayer addressed to Paraskeva. In her, the virgins ask the saint to help them find their husband, just as the great martyr acquired her Bridegroom.
Many churches dedicated to Paraskeva Friday,are in small villages and cities. One such is the church in Khvoshchevatke, Voronezh region. In this relatively small village (population not more than 300 people), people are trying to build a temple that was once destroyed during the bombings of the Great Patriotic War. Not far from this church there is a holy spring called "Seven streams", known for its healing power not only in the Voronezh region, but throughout Russia.
You can also visit the Pyatnitsky temple in Suzdal,the official name of which is the St. Nicholas Church. On the site of the now standing stone building was a wooden complex, named after Paraskeva Pyatnitsa. And although in 1772 it was consecrated in honor of Nicholas the Wonderworker, the locals still call him Pyatnitsky. Originally, the church was intended for winter worship. That is why it was built in the style of the town's architecture. This type of temples is characterized by elongated forms along the "east-west" axis and semicircular apses. A distinctive feature of the Suzdal Pyatnitsky temple is the octagon located in the middle of the structure, placed on a quadrilateral and crowned with a dome in the form of a vase. Such a structure is not typical for Suzdal architecture.
Thus, St. Paraskeva Friday for herspiritual deeds were honored and will be honored by Orthodox Christians. For many of them, this martyr is an example of great spiritual strength and courage, unshakable faith and all-embracing love for the Lord, as well as the main intercessor of the people before the Most High.