Tuesday, July 19, 2011

St. Paraskeva

I know next to nothing about the personal history of St. Paraskeva - who she was in life and how she came to be counted amoung the saints, I only know the folk stories, and the meaning her name gives her. Paraskeva is the woman's saint: the saint of the home, of domesticity, and of the fields and gardens. Her feast in October was originally in the midst of the time of year when women were preparing for winter: spinning, weaving, marrying, and cleaning. She is a patroness of all these activities, as well as of the times of anticipation. Paraskeva is associated with Friday, and so she waits with us during those times of anticipation, the Fridays in our lives when we are awaiting the Resurrection. There used to be a practice of devoting certain Fridays of the year to Paraskeva by fasting, or abstaining from household tasks, I try to follow this custom on the Fridays of Lent, though I think October's Fridays would be appropriate as well. Especially this year, in thanksgiving for the blessing of our own little Paraskeva.

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