Daughter of the wealthy Christians Politea and Agathon, and was born after much praying by them for a child. Unusually well educated for a girl of her time. When her parents died, she gave her property to the poor and became an persuasive, itinerant preacher. During a time of persecutions by Roman and Jewish officials, she brought many to Christianity.
Arrested for her faith and her success in the persecutions of Antoninus Pius. She was tortured to make her renounce her faith; she declined. Thrown into a vat of boiling oil, she stood in it unharmed. The emperor asked if she had cooled the oil by magic; she scooped up a handful and threw it in his eyes, burning and blinding him. The emperor screamed for mercy; Parasceva called out the named of Jesus, and the emperor was instantly healed. This miracle moved Antoninus to end the persecution of Christians until his death in 161.
Parasceva resumed her preaching, and upon Antoninus’ death, imperial Rome under Marcus Aurelius resumed persecution of the Christians. The Roman governor Asclepius threw her into a pit with a poisonous snake; she make the sign of the cross over the creature, it split in two like it was cut with a sword, and she converted Asclepius and many of his court. Dragged before the governor Tarasios, she began to preach. She was tortured to make her deny God; she replied to each question or order with the word Christ. Her tormentors finally gave up, and she was martyred.
- “Saint Parasceva of Rome“. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 August 2013. Web. 27 April 2015. <>