The Church of Saint Paraskevi in Pikridion, which was founded by Saint Constantine Brancoveanu and is now the spiritual home of the Romanian community in Constantinople, celebrated its patronal feast on July 26.
“According to the established tradition, on July 26, Romanian and Greek Orthodox Christians in Istanbul gathered in the centre of the metropolis on the Bosporus to celebrate the memory of the Holy Martyr Paraskevi, the healer of eye ailments, in the place that bears her name (…) founded by the Holy Martyr Constantin Brâncoveanu, in 1692,” Fr. Sergiu Vlad, the church’s rector, wrote on Facebook.
The festive Divine Liturgy was presided over by Bishop Kassianos of Arabissos, the delegate of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
“His Grace presided over the Divine Liturgy, in Romanian and Greek. The service was attended by both believers from the Romanian community in Istanbul and brothers in the faith who belong to other Christian communities in this city.”
The church was rebuilt, from the ground up, in 1692, with the help of the donation of the Holy Prince Constantine Brâncoveanu, on the place where the old Byzantine church of the Prikidion district was located.
From the old church are preserved the four royal icons located on the iconostasis of the holy place: the Saviour Pantocrator, the Mother of God with the Child, St. John the Baptist and the Holy Martyr Paraskevi, the patron saint of the church.
Also the place of worship in Constantinople’s Hasköy district keeps the relics of Saint Argyra, born in Prussia of Bithynia around 1692. She suffered martyrdom almost at the same time as the Brâncoveanu Martyrs and her feast is celebrated on April 30.