Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site

Agia Paraskevi - Patron Saint of Alonissos

Saint Paraskevi was born around 130 - 140 A.D. in Rome of noble Greek Christian parents who remained childless for many years and eventually had a daughter born on a Friday, hence they named her Paraskevi which is Friday in Greek.

At the age of 20 her parents died and she gave away her inheritance and dedicated herself to her Christian ministry.  The persecution of Christians by the Romans and Jews reached its height during the time that Paraskevi was travelling through cities and villages preaching the Gospel.

Inevitably she was arrested by the soldiers of the Emperor Antonius Pius and refusing to renounce her faith was tortured.  When all his methods failed the Emperor ordered her to be immersed into a cauldron of boiling oil and tar.  Seemingly having no effect on her Antonius thought she was using magic to cool the mixture so she obligingly threw some of the boiling liquid in his face blinding him.

Screaming with pain and begging mercy from Paraskevi she got out of the cauldron and restored the Emperor's sight.  Antonius released Paraskevi and stopped all persecution of Christians.  Paraskevi continued her Christian ministry under the protection of the Emperor until his death when Marcus Aurelius came to power.

Marcus Aurelius renewed persecutions against the Christians and Paraskevi was again captured and subjected to many extreme forms of torture without apparent harm.  Eventually she was beheaded in Rome on the 26th of July in the year 180 A.D.  Agia Paraskevi is known as the Patron Saint of the Blind for the miracle of restoring the sight of Emperor Antonius Pius.

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