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Saint Paraskeva the New, who have her holy relics in Iasi, Romania

Iasi, the capital of the province of Moldavia, has a population of about 400,000 and is situated in the north-eastern part of Romania.

The city has many historical and architectural monuments and harbors the second largest university in the country, with and a student population of about 30,000.

The Metropolitan Cathedral "Saint Parascheva" was founded by Veniamin Costachi, a Romanian educator and school organizer of the early 19th century.

The building was completed and consecrated in 1839, after 6 years of considerable efforts. Between 1880-1887 King Carol I of Romania (1866-1914) renovated, expanded, and redecorated the edifice, which is now the largest and the most beautiful metropolitan cathedral in Romania.

Inside the cathedral, in a silver coffin, lie the relics of Saint Parascheva. She is considered the Patron Saint and Protector of Moldavia and each year, on October the 14th, on the Saint’s Day, hundreds of thousands of people from al over the county and abroad come on a pilgrimage to Iasi to pray by her relics, and to ask the saint to intercede for them and their families. Her holy relics were brought to Iasi in 1641 by Prince Vasile Lupu.

In the Eastern Orthodox tradition there are three different saints known as St. Parascheva.

The first one was born in Rome, in the 2nd century, and is considered a healer and a protector of cattle and crops. She is commemorated on August the 8th. The second one was born in Iconia and she died during the reign of the emperor Diocletian in the 3rd century. Her feast day, October 27th, is observed mostly in Dalmatia. The third one, the one whose relics are sheltered in the metropolitan cathedral in Iasi, Romania, lived around the year 1000 A.D. and is the best known and the most widely revered by Eastern Orthodox Christians. Variations of her name include St. Parascheva of Tirnovo, St. Parascheva the Serbian, St. Parascheva of Belgrade, St. Parascheva the New, St. Parascheva the Young, and St. Parascheva of the Balkans.

St. Parascheva was born at the beginning of the 11th century A.D. into a wealthy, noble, and pious Christian family in the town of Epivat (now in Turkey) on the shores of the Marmara Sea. At the age of ten, while attending the liturgy in the "Church of the Holy Theotokos", she heard the words, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me.” The words of the Lord had a profound effect on the young girl, and they became the subject of her meditations. The future St. Parascheva began to dress poor people in her expensive clothes - her good deeds later earning her recognition as a patron saint of such trades as spinning, sewing, weaving, and knitting – but her parents objected, finding the girl's charity more than they could understand or support, and trying to get her to stop. To follow her calling, Parascheva abandoned her wealth and privileges, left her parents, and ran away to Constantinople. There, near relics of saints, she spent her time in prayer, meditating on the words of Christ.

To elude her parents, who were traveling from city to city trying to find her, she moved to Chalcedon, and then to the "Church of the Most Holy Theotokos", in Heraclea Pontica, near the Black Sea. She spent the next five years there, living an austere life of continuous prayer and devotion. During her prayers she received visions of the Holy Virgin Mary and in one of the visions, she was instructed to go to Jerusalem. After spending some time in the city, she joined a convent in the Jordanian desert. A few years later, she returned to Constantinople and then, at the age of twenty-five, moved to the village of Katikratia where, at the "Church of the Holy Apostles", she lived the remaining two years of her life.

Legend has it that many years later an old sinner was buried near her grave. Parascheva appeared in a dream to a local monk, showed him the place of her burial, and asked him to “take that stinky corpse away from me. I am light and sun, and I cannot bear to have near me darkness and stench.“ The monk, with some local help, began to dig out the place he had seen in his dream and when they found the remains of the Saint, her uncorrupted body was emitting spiritual fragrances. Then they interred the Saint in the "Church of the Holy Apostles", where she had spent the last years of her earthly existence.

Later on her relics were moved to Tirnovo, in Bulgaria, then to Belgrade, in Serbia, and finally to Constantinople. In 1641, they were given as a gift to the Prince of Moldavia, Vasile Lupu, in recognition of his support for the Ecumenical Patriarchy of Constantinople. Her intact relics have remained in Iasi ever since. She is venerated as the Protector of Iasi and all of Moldavia and each year, hundreds of thousands of Orthodox faithful and hierarchs from many countries gather in Iasi to celebrate her feast day and venerate her holy relics, which continue to work miracles.


Coffin with the holy relics of St. Paraskeva, Iasi, Romania ... Coffin with the holy relics of St. Paraskeva, Iasi, Romania ... Coffin with the holy relics of St. Paraskeva, Iasi, Romania ... Coffin with the holy relics of St. Paraskeva, Iasi, Romania ... Coffin with the holy relics of St. Paraskeva, Iasi, Romania ...
Coffin with the holy relics of St. Paraskeva, Iasi, Romania ... Coffin with the holy relics of St. Paraskeva, Iasi, Romania ... Coffin with the holy relics of St. Paraskeva, Iasi, Romania ... People praying to St. Paraskeva in front of her holy relics ... People praying to St. Paraskeva in front of her holy relics ...
People praying to St. Paraskeva in front of her holy relics ... People praying to St. Paraskeva in front of her holy relics ... People praying to St. Paraskeva in front of her holy relics ... People praying to St. Paraskeva in front of her holy relics ...





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