My Name Day

by Carrinicole

Yesterday was the feast day of my patron saint, Paraskevi (“Pa-ra-ske-vi” … “Car-ri” hear the similarity? Mom spared me from the nickname “Voula,” which I thank her for 😂.) In true Greek fashion, I share this name with my late grandmother, two cousins, and my niece/goddaughter.

Paraskevi was born in 140 AD in Rome to a wealthy family. She was beautiful, educated, the perfect future wife. Yet she felt a calling to not follow the road that was expected of her. She gave away her fortune and dedicated her life to helping others — sharing her belief and experience with God no matter how unpopular that opinion was.

She was violently persecuted many times, but is most known for Emperor Antonius Pius forcing her to be submerged in a boiling kettle of oil and tar. She was unaffected by it, and to prove to him it wasn’t “witchcraft,” she took a handful of it and threw it in his face, blinding him. She then cured him of his blindness, which is why most icons feature her holding eyes. Emperor Antonius Pius became known for being lenient and fostering religious peace in Rome after this. She was beheaded years later when Marcus Aurelius became Emperor.

Her name, Paraskevi, is the word for “Friday” in Greek — and means “in preparation”. I am inspired by her bravery, and try to do my part in upholding her name — being brave, wise, and prepared.

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