July 26, 2015

The Miraculous Discovery of the Icon of St. Paraskevi in Ierochori, Kastoria

The Church of St. Paraskevi in Ieropigi

Saint Paraskevi, according to her biography, was born in 117 A.D. in Rome from Greek parents. At 20 years old she left her homeland and came to Macedonia, where she preached Christianity, and lived in asceticism in various places, and having worked various wonders she was martyred for her faith in an unknown city, near Thessaloniki.

Some researchers have hypothesized that this city of the martyrdom of Saint Paraskevi was in the region of Kastoria. This view is supported by the fact that the residents of Orestida especially honor Saint Pareskevi, over many centuries, and they have many sacred churches dedicated to her venerable name.

The oldest and most important of these mentioned churches of Saint Pareskevi is in the village of Ieropigi in Kastoria.

The discovery of the sacred icon by the shepherd

Ieropigi is built at an altitude of 1060 meters in the southern forfeitures of Mount Triklari, 25 kilometers from the city of Kastoria and just 4 kilometers from the border of Albania. The present village was built on the ruins of the old settlement Kostenetsi. In 1930 Kostenetsi was renamed Ieropigi, because of the holy spring in the sacred sanctuary of Saint Paraskevi.

The Church of Saint Paraskevi was built in 1867, where, according to tradition, a shepherd found an old icon of Saint Paraskevi. The church is the unique work of stone Royal Macedonian architecture.

The miraculous icon of St. Paraskevi

Beneath the floor of this church there is a cell, where, according to tradition, Saint Paraskevi lived for a time in asceticism. There is also a sanctifying spring, where many years ago the wondrous icon was discovered, and is kept today within the church.

In 1776 Saint Kosmas the Aitolos came here, proof of which is the signed silver bottle in the Church of Saint Paraskevi, and the rock from where he preached his sermon.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.