St. Paraskeva’s name means preparation, or Friday, the day of preparation before Saturday, and comes from Biblical times. There are three St. Paraskevas?one from Rome in the second century, one from Iconium in the fourth century, and one from the Balkans in the eleventh century. This St. Paraskeva was born in Epivat on the shore of the Sea of Marmara in Asia Minor at the beginning of the 11th c. to noble and wealthy pious Christians. When she was ten, she heard in Divine Liturgy, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mk 8:34). This changed her to live more in poverty, help those in need, and ultimately leave, fleeing to Constantinople.
She lived a life of prayer, and moved first to Chalcedon, then Heraclea Pontica, evading her parents who were seeking her. She went to Jerusalem, then lived in a convent near the Jordan, finally living in Katikratia for two years, and died at the age of 27. Her incorrupt relics were discovered years later, then moved to Tirnovo, Belgrade, Constantinople, and finally to Iasi in Rumania, where she is now visited by thousands each year at her church.