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Saint Pious Parascheva Church , DarastiCod 1019

“Pious Parascheva” Church is a place of worship, built in the year 1873, in the shape of a cross and it is situated in the premises of the village cemetery.

The titular saint of the church is the Saint Pious Parascheva.

Saint Parascheva was born in the XIth century, in the village Epivat from Tracia, near Constantinople (today’s Istanbul). It is said that when she was 10, Pious Parascheva heard into a church the words of the Savior, which determined her to give her clothes to the poor.

Following the advice of some chosen living, she aims at the land of Pont, stopping at the monastery of Mother of Jesus from Heraclea, where she will remain for five years. From here she left for the Holy Country, hoping to spend the rest of her life in the holy grounds. After she saw Jerusalem, she settled in a monastery of nuns in the wilderness of Jordan.

From Constantinople she went to Epivat, without telling anyone who she is and where does she come from. This is the place where she died. She was buried as a stranger. According to the tradition, it is said that a sailor died on a sailing ship, and his body was thrown into the sea. For his burial, it was digged a grave and it was discovered the body of the Pious Parascheva not decayed and full of perfume. Despite all of this, they put near her the body of the sailor. But in the following night, to one of the Christians who digged the grave was shown into a dream an empress, surrounded by angels, and one of them was blaming him for not taking out of the grave the body of the Pious Parascheva, and the empress, who was none other than the Pious Parascheva”, demanded him to take out the body and to put it in a place of high regard.

The Christians took the body of the Pious from the tomb and placed it into the church of the Holy Apostles from Kallicrateia. Very soon there took place wonderful healings following the prayers near the high regarded relics.

In the year 1238, the relics of the Saint were moved to Tarnovo, in the church with the titular saint of the Mother of Jesus. In the year 1393, Bulgaria falls under the occupation of the Turks, and the churches were transformed into mosques. It is the year when the holy relics are moved to Vidin, for 5 years.

After the fight from Nicopole from the year 1396, the relics of the Saint will arrive to Vidin at Belgrade – Serbia, in 1398. In 1521, the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent conquers Belgrade. The relics of the Saint are taken to Constantinople, in the sultan’s palace. They were redeemed from the Turks by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and they were placed in the Panmakaristos Church. After the transformation of this church into a mosque, the relics were taken in several other churches: Vlaheme (1586), Saint Dumitru from Xiloporta (1597) and Saint Gheorghe from Fanar – the new head office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (1601).

Vasile Lupu, founding at Iași the church “The Three Hierarch Saints”, pays all the debts of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and, therefore, the patriarch Partenie I and the members of the assembly decided to offer him, as appreciation, the relics of the Pious.

The relics of the Pious Parascheva were brought in Moldavia by the prince Vasile Lupu (1634 – 1653) and placed on the 14th of October 1641, in the Monastery “The Three Hierarch Saints”. In the year 1887, the relics of the Pious Saint Parascheva were moved to the Metropolitan Cathedral from Iași.

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