"Ready for godliness, O namesake of preparedness, thou didst inherit as a dwelling a faith worthy of thy name. O prize-winning Paraskeva, thou dost pour forth healing and art interceding for our souls."
~Troparion of St. Paraskeva, tone 1
Friday belongs to Paraskeva, whose name refers to that day - the day of Christ's death. She is a Lenten saint, one who reminds us to hold to the fast in preperation for the coming of the Lord.
In old Eastern Catholic tradition, she was the saint of women, and the home. It was said she blessed those who kept her day by fasting or by abstaining from common "women's work" such as spinning, sewing, and weaving. Those who did not honor her day were punish by the neglected "Mother Friday" with damaged eyes or swollen fingers, which kept them from working until they repented.
While I am not too concerned that she will come to afflict my recently perfected eyes, I do keep her day with fasting. I'm attracted to St. Paraskeva, the common women's saint, who aids in daily life and keeps us focused on the coming Christ. She is the saint who gives generously in little things, like my own busia, who would scrub the stove while visiting, or make a huge pot of soups just to have avaliable. She is decidedly female saint as well - Blessed Mary is the Mother of all, but Paraskeva belongs especially to the women, it is on them she lavishes her attention.
Tomorrow her day falls on the Feast of St. Joseph, whom I love, and I will have to balance the fasting and the feasting. There is an evening liturgy though, which we will attend, and until the end of the Liturgy, I will keep Paraskeva's fast; afterwards, we will celebrate St. Joseph, who I'm sure won't mind a late supper in his honor.