Saint Paraskevi of Rome (Patron Healer of the Blind)
Saint Paraskevi was born in Rome about 140 AD to Greek Christian parents. Her father, Agathon was rich and her mother, Politia, had many attributes, the greatest of which was her charitability. Agathon and Politia had been married for many years but they were childless.
Many noblemen wanted to marry this beautiful, educated, and rich woman. Her understanding and kindness made her even more desirable, but having a higher goal in life, St Paraskevi rejected any marriage proposals.
This was not enough for her, however, and unprotected she went out to teach the way of Christ, knowing that death was waiting for her at the end of her journey. It was during this period that the Jews and Romans persecuted the new religion with the greatest intensity.
Paraskevi was captured in a city which was ruled by a man called Asclepius. Refusing to sacrifice to the pagan gods, she was thrown into a pit with a large snake. The Saint made the sign of the cross and the snake did not harm her. Asclepius, realizing that a great and mighty power guarded Paraskevi, she was again set free to teach others about Christianity.
When the Saint was taken out of the city to be beheaded. She asked to be left alone for a few moments so that she might pray for the last time. Afterward, the soldiers returned and executed the Saint.
St. Paraskevi is considered to be a healer of the blind, because of the miracle she performed in restoring the sight of Antonius Pius.
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