The memory of the Holy Martyr Paraskevi was celebrated with ecclesiastical splendour in the Archdiocesan District of Northcote, Victoria, where the feast day celebrations took place at the Church of Saint Paraskevi, in the Melbourne suburb of St Albans.
His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, Archiepiscopal Vicar of Northcote, represented His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, and officiated at the Vespers service on the eve of the feast, whilst he also presided over the Matins and Festive Divine Liturgy on the main day of the feast.
His Grace Bishop Evmenios conveyed to the faithful the wishes and blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, while during his homily he referred to the life of Saint Paraskevi and more specifically focused on two points:
First of all, in the life in Christ that she led, we see that we remember and honour her for around 19 centuries. As His Grace Bishop Evmenios noted, “man is constantly trying to find ways to leave some legacy behind, to be remembered by society. We run, we create, we do things so that our name will remain and last… But in the end, most people are forgotten. Only the people of the Church are not forgotten. Only those who remained faithful to Christ are honoured and revered. The Synaxaria commemorate those who lived with Christ. Only if we live a life around Christ, will we succeed in having our name remembered unto the ages. As it happened with Saint Paraskevi”.
Secondly, His Grace Bishop Evmenios noted that the honoured Saint was only twenty years old when she was martyred. “Many times,” he pointed out, “we prioritise our jobs, think about our careers and leave our relationship with the Church and works of spiritual benefit second. Even to our children, when they express the desire to become clergy or to live close to Christ, we tell them that they are still young, that they have their whole lives ahead of them, to do other things first and then see. But Saint Paraskevi teaches us that we must have the Church and Christ in our lives from the beginning. Christ is for now, not for later. Saint Paraskevi also had her whole life ahead of her, but she chose the good portion.”
Before the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, a litany of the Holy Icon of Saint Paraskevi took place around the Church, while a celebratory meal was served by the Parish for all the faithful who attended the feast day.