The Great Martyr Parasceva of Iconium was born into a wealthy family of devout Christians. The name Paraskeva translates as “Friday”, and the parents gave it to their daughter in commemoration of the Friday of Christ’s passions on the eve of His death on the cross. Since her childhood, Parasceva dedicated herself to the service of God. She took a vow of celibacy and promised to God to spend her whole life educating Pagans about the true faith.
Unprepared to receive the word of God, many Pagans met her preaching with hostility. They seized her and delivered her to the Roman authorities. The prefect of her city demanded of her to make a sacrifice to a Pagan godhead. Parasceva refused and endured bitter torments. Her executioners stripped her of her clothes, tied her to a tree and tore her skin with iron claws, beating her with rods. But immediately, the Lord healed her wounds by the power of His grace. Nevertheless, the executioners persisted, and finally, they cut off her head.
The Orthodox revere Saint Parasceva as a protectress of crops and cattle. They invoke her name in their prayers for the healing of the sick, in body and spirit.
Sister Anastasia of St Elisabeth Convent tells a story of a miracle performed by St John of Shanghai and San Francisco that she not only witnessed but was also involved with.
He taught that fighting the devil to the end is a duty of every Christian. "Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
This week, we are preparing to celebrate the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene, a dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ, the first to witness the resurrection of Christ and sent by Him to proclaim the news to the world.
At the very end of July, only four days apart, the Belarussian Orthodox Church commemorates two of the very first Russian Saints who happen to be related to each other - Saints Olga and Vladimir.
May 23rd (June 5th) is the day when the Orthodox commemorate a very special Belarusian saint, St Euphrosinia of Polotsk. As you may know, the abbess of our Convent bears the saint’s name, which means that it is her name day as well.
On 28 October, the Orthodox Christians of Belarus commemorate 23 saints martyrs of the Minsk Diocese, glorified in 1999 as locally venerated saints. They suffered from 1917 to 1951, sharing the struggles of our Church in the 20th century.
On the 19th of December (6th of December), the Orthodox commemorate one of the most loved and revered saints in the world - Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. Saint Nicholas means a lot to everyone here at St Elisabeth Convent.
Recently, we had a unique opportunity to talk about the holy martyr Vladimir Pasternatsky with his granddaughters, Nina Fedorovna Chmyreva and Tatiana Romanovna Khmelevskaya. The sister told us about their saintly grandfather and his family