Iași, Iași County, Romania, October 10, 2023
20,000 people processed with the relics of St. Paraskeva on Sunday night. Photo: basilica.ro
Every year, tens or even hundreds of thousands of faithful Orthodox Christians flock to the Romanian city of Iași for the extended pilgrimage in honor of St. Paraskeva, one of Romania’s most beloved saints.
Nearly 20,000 hierarchs, clerics, monastics, and laymen joined in the procession with her relics held on Sunday night this year. Though St. Paraskeva is loved throughout the Balkans, and her relics have had many homes, they have been venerated in Iași since 1641, working countless miracles to this day.
And according to personal testimony, the beloved saint is working miracles during her pilgrimage this year. Fr. Alexandru Lungu, a priest in Fălticeni, published an account that he received on Sunday, October 8, of a woman who traveled from afar and was miraculously healed of a debilitating disease by the relics of St. Paraskeva.
The grateful woman writes:
Father, I am writing to you because I’m not followed by so many people, and my words would most likely be like a passing breeze lost on the horizon. Please, if you are willing, put them on your page. No need to give names, because those whom God decides to touch in their hearts will feel that this testimony will not go unnoticed.
I don’t live in the country. I went abroad when I was young, and this year I desired more than anything to visit the relics of St. Paraskeva of Iași. I managed to arrive on a Friday, and on Saturday night, with emotion and joy, I venerated this saint who is so dear to my soul.
I’ve been suffering from Parkinson’s for several years, a disease that steals your entire life. It has been progressing for a few years, and lately, I felt like even simply lifting a spoon to my mouth was a struggle. I have read hundreds of testimonies about the miracles of the saint, and I know that a storm of questions began in my heart. I confess that these thoughts troubled me more and more. Could God intervene in a situation like mine? Because I must admit, Father, I am not the best Christian in the world. I don’t go to Liturgy every Sunday, I haven’t always fasted as prescribed, and I don’t pray as much as I could.
But I thought, if the saint helps me, I want to spend the rest of my days living only for Christ. And after enduring more than 9 hours of harsh cold, several times feeling like I wouldn’t make it to the end of this pilgrimage, I finally caught sight of the canopy with the saint’s body. I didn’t know what I would feel; I had heard many testimonies over time, but I know that each person has a unique experience.
When I finally reached the saint’s body, I touched with trembling hands the area where there is an open hole that allows us to touch the garment covering the saint’s body.
Father, I don’t know how to describe what I experienced, but warmth spread throughout my body, and I felt tingling sensations. Suddenly, my whole body, which had been frozen until a few seconds prior, was enveloped in a Heavenly warmth. Because of joy, I didn’t understand what was happening, but Father, I write these lines to you with tears: From the moment when the warmth enveloped my disease-weary body, I no longer trembled at all.
It has been years since any treatment has given me so much peace and tranquility. I don’t know how to tell you, but I came like the leper from the Gospel, and I am returning home healthy and determined to keep my promise to Christ.
Please, no matter how many disparaging and discouraging messages you receive, don’t delete my testimony. Perhaps there are others in my situation who will find reassurance that the saint works through the power of prayer and God’s mercy, Who endowed her with so much grace.
Fr. Alexandru also commented:
When I choose to share a miracle, I don’t do it to create illusions. There are things that don’t go the way we would like. However, Christ tells us, not me, not any bishop, that “Whatever you ask in My Name, and you do not doubt, you will receive.” Of course, if we ask for foolish things like money, cars, a career, and they will not benefit us, I’m absolutely convinced that God will delay in giving them to us. Sometimes we pray for health and in many cases nothing changes. However, no one knows what God’s work is with each individual. Faith is not the answer to frustrations, failures, and disappointments. You either have faith or you don’t!
Follow OrthoChristian on Twitter, Vkontakte, Telegram, WhatsApp, MeWe, and Gab!