5.5” x 8”
St. Paraskevi was brought up in the third century in the City of Iconium in Phrygia near Ankara in central Anatolia, Asia Minor, now Turkey. When her rich parents died, she distributed their wealth among the poor, and was thus notoriously known in those pagan times as a Christian. She was therefore one of the first to be arrested in the terrible persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Diocletian (a.d. 284-305). When asked about her name by the governor, she answered simply, “I am a Christian.”
Undaunted, the governor had St. Paraskevi harshly tortured for a long period of time, yet the Lord sent an angel to comfort and heal her of her wounds. By her prayers all of the idols in the pagan temples were destroyed in that area. She then died a martyr, which is represented by the cross that she holds in this icon.
Paraskevi in Greek means “preparation,” and refers to Friday, the day of preparation for Saturday’s Sabbath. St. Paraskevi was born on Friday, which is the day commemorating the Passion of Christ. In spiritual terms, the Passion always precedes the Resurrection, both of Christ, and also of us so named after Him.