Thursday, 13 October 2022

Transfer of the relics of venerable Paraskeva-Petka from Epivates to the royal city of Tarnovo

Saint Paraskeva (Friday) of the Balkans

14 October

Тransfer of the venerated relics of our holy venerable mother Paraskeva-Petka from Epivates to the royal city of Tarnovo.

  • Translated from Slavic language by priest Trayan Goranov, BOC.


God is the Lord, tone 4, Ps 117

R: God is the Lord and has appeared to us. Blessed is the one who comes in the Lord’s name. 

S1: Thank the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy lasts for ever.

S2: All the nations surrounded me, but I opposed them in the Lord’s name.

S3: This is the Lord's doing and it is wonderful in our eyes.

Apolytikion, tone 4

Having embraced a life of solitude and silence, and following your Bridegroom Christ with diligence, you took up His easy yoke from your youth, and armed with the weapon of the Cross, you contended well against the bodiless foes; through ascetic efforts, fasting, prayer and tears, you quenched the burning coals of the passions, O praiseworthy Paraskeva. Now as you stand before Christ with the wise virgins in the heavenly bridal chamber, intercede for us who honour your holy memory.

Glory. Both now.

To you who were raised in the Temple, in the Holy of Holies, and who were clothed in faith and wisdom and measureless virginity, the Supreme Commander Gabriel from heaven brought the salutation, "Rejoice"; Rejoice, O blessed Maiden! Rejoice, O glorified one! The Lord is with you.

Small Litany: Ecphonesis: For Yours is the dominion, and Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory…

Kathisma I, tone 4

Having loved the bridegroom – the Creator and God, you left the mortal bridegroom, chaste Paraskeva, and joyfully underwent the fasting feats. That is why you entered the heavenly palace wearing wreaths, interceding for the forgiveness of sins for all.

Glory. Both now.

Immaculate Virgin, who gave birth to the supernatural God, with the venerable one ceaselessly intercede Him to grant us forgiveness of sins and restoration of life before the end of us, who by duty sing to you with faith and love, the only one of whom we sing

Kathisma II, tone 4

The unblemished, chaste lamb was mysteriously united to the Lord in a pure life, adorning herself with God-given goodness. Therefore, having accepted the grace to heal, with spiritual power she heals the passions of those who come to her.

Glory. Both now.

As the Mother of God, who truly appeared as a virgin even after giving birth, we all beseech you, resorting with love to your goodness: for we, sinners, have you as an intercessor, we have obtained you as a salvation in afflictions, the only all-blameless one.


Small Litany: Ecphonesis: For blessed is Your name and glorified is Your kingdom…

Kathisma III, tone 8

Reverend mother Paraskeva, pre-chosen by God, having avoided the worries of life and the anxiety of worldly passionate thoughts, you have reached the port of life, and together with the angels chanting the saviour Christ God, pray unceasingly to bestow grace and mercy on us who worship with love your sacred memory.

Glory. Both now.

Rejoice, you who received the joy of the world from the angel; rejoice, you who gave birth to your Creator and Lord; rejoice, you who have deigned to be the Mother of God.

Hymns of Ascent (Anaváthmi), tone 4

From my youth, many passions have fought against me. But do You help me and save me, O my Saviour!

You who hate Zion shall be put to shame by the Lord. You shall be withered up like grass by the fire!

Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Every soul is enlivened by the Holy Spirit and is exalted in purity, illumined by the Holy Trinity in a sacred mystery!

Prokeimenon in tone 4

May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. (68:1, NIV) Verse: Praise God in the great congregation; praise the Lord in th

e assembly of Israel. (68:26, NIV)

Gospel dialogue

D: Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy!

P: For you, O God, are holy and rest in the Holy Place. We send up glory to you, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
R: Let everything with breath praise the Lord. X3

Praise God in his saints; praise him in his mighty firmament. Ps 50
P/D: And that we may be counted worthy to listen to the Holy Gospel, let us pray to the Lord our God. Lord have mercy X3
P/D: Wisdom. Stand up. Let us listen to the Holy Gospel.
P: Peace be with you all. And with your spirit
P: A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
R: Glory to you, O Lord, glory to you.

P/D: Let us attend


From the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew (25:1-13)

The Lord spoke the following parable: At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour when the Son of Man will come.

Psalm 50 (51)

Post Gospel Verses

Glory: Through the prayers of the venerable virgin, O Merciful one, blot out the abundance of our offences.

Both now: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Merciful one, blot out the abundance of our offences.

Verse: Have mercy on me, O God, in Your great mercy, and in Your abundant compassion blot out my transgression.

Sticheron, Tone 8

Let every tongue be raised in praise of Christ's beautiful bride, the pure dove, gilded by the Holy Spirit: for she loved the desert life, she was the angels’ interlocutor, the praise of the virgins that the angels praised, and the human race propitiating we sing: rejoice, intercessor of those who are in trouble, blessed Paraskeva. For you have followed your Bridegroom Christ, Who bestows to the world a great mercy.


P/D: O God, save your people and bless your inheritance. Visit your world with mercy and compassion; exalt the horn of Orthodox Christians and send down on them your rich mercy, through the prayers of our all-pure Lady, Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, by the power of the honourable and life-giving cross, through the protection of the honourable bodiless powers of heaven, through the prayers of the honourable, glorious, prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John, of the holy, glorious, all- praised apostles, of the holy, all-praised and victorious martyrs, of our holy and God-bearing fathers, of the holy and just forebears of God, Joachim and Anna, of the venerable mother Paraskeva of Epivates whose memory we celebrate today, and of all the saints. We ask you, only merciful Lord, “Listen to us sinners as we pray to you, and have mercy on us.”

Lord have mercy. X12

P: Through the mercy, compassion and love for the human race of your only- begotten Son, with whom you are blessed, together with the all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 6

Let us all devoutly praise the all-honorable Paraskeva, a holy intercessor for the afflicted; because she, leaving the perishable life, acquired the eternal imperishable one. Therefore, by God's command, she found glory – the grace of working miracles.

Ikos: Come you, those who fast, come you, purveyors of purity, come you celebrants of every age, let us praise with spiritual songs the desert-loving lark, the praise of the fasting ones, the ornament of the virgins, the confirmation of the hesychasts, the comforter of the sad, the visitor of the sick, and to those afflicted by calamities – the quick-obedient helper, the god-wise Paraskeva, who pours out healings for all, because by God's command she found glory – the grace of the miracles.

Synaxarion: On this day we celebrate the memory of the holy martyrs Nazarius, Gervasius, Protasius and Celsius, and the transfer of the venerated relics of our holy venerable mother Paraskeva-Petka from Epivates to the royal city of Tarnovo. Through their prayers, Christ our God, have mercy and save us. Amen.

Deacon: Let us magnify in song the Theotokos and the Mother of Light!

The Magnificat. Tone 4.

Verse 1: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. [NKJV]

Greater in honour than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Verse 2: For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.

Verse 3: For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.

Verse 4: He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Verse 5: He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.

Verse 6: He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.

9th Ode of the Katavasia:

Let every earthborn mortal be radiant and spiritually leap for joy. Let the ranks of angelic powers celebrate as they honour the holy feast of the Theotokos and cry, “Hail, O pure and blessed Ever-virgin who gave birth to God!”

Small Litany

P: For all the powers of heaven praise you, and to you we send up glory…


Hearken, O women (Tone 2)

As a divine light, Paraskeva, you appeared in song to the church, which shone with the beauty of the light of your face, o predestined bride of Christ: therefore pray to Him for all of us!

Glory. Both now.

I dread, wretched me, the hour of the dread divine judgment, thinking indeed of my long-gone baptismal garment, which I have defiled with lewd passions. Immaculate Virgin, intercede then and deliver me from the terrible threats.

Praises (Lauds), Tone 8

Let everything with breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights. To you, O God, is due a song.

Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his powers. To you, O God, is due a song.

S4: Praise him with cymbal and dance; praise him with strings and flute.

S3: Praise him with tuneful cymbals; praise him with joyful cymbals. Let everything with breath praise the Lord.

Come, all the pious from distant lands, to touch the reliquary of the revered saint, and, bringing your offerings from the soul, receive deliverance from various passions: that is, forgiveness of sins, approach to God, and everything that is useful to us for salvation.

S2: Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with the strings and pipe.

Having accepted the path of fasting, you avoided the storms of life, glorious Paraskeva, therefore you also entered with the wise virgins, with a lighted lamp, into the court of your Lord, and having betrothed to Him, you draw healings for those who take refuge in you, who with your prayers to God deliver them from spiritual infirmities.

S1: Praise Him with the tuneful cymbals; praise Him with the joyful cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.

Strengthened in the faith and hope of Christ, you renounced the possessions of your parents, you rejoice with the bodiless powers, o venerable glorious mother Paraskeva. That is why even after death you pour out healings, because your relics were shown to be filled with all kinds of fragrances that Christ bestows on you. You loved Him, you desired Him, and He glorified you, o reverend.

Glory, tone 8:

Leaving the Fatherland, relatives and property, o Paraskeva, and hating the wickedness of the world, you loved the only God, to whom you were betrothed by fasting, and you were the abode of the Holy Spirit. From His light, since you were enlightened, ask Him to save our souls!

Both now:

O Lady, accept the prayers of your servants and deliver us from all need and sorrow.

Great Doxology

Apolytikion, tone 4

Having embraced a life of solitude and silence, and following your Bridegroom Christ with diligence, you took up His easy yoke from your youth, and armed with the weapon of the Cross, you contended well against the bodiless foes; through ascetic efforts, fasting, prayer and tears, you quenched the burning coals of the passions, O praiseworthy Paraskeva. Now as you stand before Christ with the wise virgins in the heavenly bridal chamber, intercede for us who honour your holy memory.


At the Liturgy

Prokeimenon in tone 4

May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. (68:1, NIV) Verse: Praise God in the great congregation; praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel. (68:26, NIV)

Epistle to Galatians (3:23-29):

Brethren, before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (NIV)

Alleluia, tone 1

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. (40:1) Verse: Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (31:24)


From the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke (7:36-50)

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

36 At that time one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Communion Ps 33:1 

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.


Life of the Saint

Paraskeva was born in the town of Epivates (close to present-day Istanbul) on the shore of the Sea of Marmara. Her parents were wealthy Bulgarian landowners.

Tradition says that as a child, Paraskeva heard in a church the Lord’s words: "Whoever wants to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." (Mark 8, 34). These words would determine her to give her rich clothes away to the poor and to flee to Constantinople. Her parents, who did not support her decision to follow an ascetic, religious life, looked for her in various cities. Paraskeva fled to Chalcedon in Asia Minor, and afterwards lived at the church of the Most Holy Theotokos in Heraclea Pontica in Bithynia. She led an austere life, experiencing visions of the Virgin Mary. Her travels took her to Jerusalem; she wished to spend the rest of her life there. After seeing Jerusalem, she settled in a convent in the desert near the River Jordan.

When she was about to depart this world, an angel appeared, telling her to return to her homeland. She returned to Constantinople, and then lived in the village of Kallikrateia, in the church of the Holy Apostles, according to the Greek sources. But Bulgarian sources say she died in Epivates as a stranger, because nobody recognised her.

A church dedicated to her was built in Epivates (present-day Selimpaşa) in early 13 c. on the spot where her house of birth once stood. It was completely demolished in the spring of 1979; a park occupies the site now.

Christian tradition states that after an old sinner (a sailor) was buried near Paraskeva’s grave, the saint protested by appearing in a dream to a local monk. The vision informed the monk where the saint had been buried; when the body was unearthed, it was found to be incorrupt. The relics were translated to the church of the Holy Apostles in Kallikrateia.

When the Byzantine Empire fell under the power of the Latins (after 1204), the relics of Reverend Paraskeva were transferred from Epivates (or Kallikrateia) to the capital of Bulgaria Tarnovo in 1238, during the reign of the Bulgarian King John Assen II and Patriarch Joachim. Here the venerable had exceptional veneration as the patroness of the city and the entire kingdom. The most inspired life of the saint was written here – by St. Patriarch Euthymius. In Tarnovo, the holy relics remained until the fall of the Bulgarian capital in 1393 under the Turks. Then they were transferred to the still free city of Bdin (now Vidin), the capital of the Vidin kingdom, but when the Ottomans conquered this fortress in 1396, the relics were again transferred, this time to Belgrade. After the final conquest of the Serbian lands under Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the saint's relics were transferred to Constantinople in 1521. 

With the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarch Parthenius, on 13 June 1641, the relics of St. Paraskeva were transferred to the newly built church "Saints Three Hierarchs“ in Iași, Moldova. In return, voivode (prince) Vasilie Lupu sent the patriarchate a considerable sum, with which patriarchate paid its taxes, imposed by the Turkish authorities. In this church, they were stored in the Gothic hall of Vasilie Lupu in the chapel, where after the fire that broke out, they miraculously remained unharmed.

On 27 December 1888, with the blessing of Metropolitan Joseph, her relics were transferred to the new Metropolitan Cathedral in Iaşi, where they reside to this day, establishing the cathedral and the city as the main center of pilgrimage in Romania.

No comments:

Post a Comment