Saint Petca Parasceva

Also known as

  • Petca Parasceva the New of Bulgaria
  • Parasceva
  • Paraskeva the Younger
  • Paraskeva Pyatnitsa



Born to wealthy, noble, pious landowners. During services at age ten, at the Church of the Holy Theotokos, she heard the words, Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. They had a profound effect on the girl, and became the subject of her meditations.

Petca started dressing poor people in her expensive clothes; this led to her patronage of people involved in spinner, sewing, etc. Her parents objected, finding the girl‘s charity more than they could understand or support, and tried to get her to stop. To follow her calling, Petca left her parents, her wealth, and status, and ran away to Constantinople. There she spent her time in prayer, meditating on the words of Christ and the relics of the saints.

Her parents travelled from city to city, unsuccessfully searching for the girl. To elude them she travelled to Chalcedon, then lived for five years at the church of the Most Holy Theotokos in Heraclea Pontica near the Black Sea. She spent her days and nights in prayer, living a severely austere life. She received visions of the Virgin Mary during her prayers.

In one of the visions, she received the message that she should go to Jerusalem. After some time in the city, she joined a covent in the Jordanian desert. A few years later, she returned to Constantinople, then at age 25 moved the village of Katikratia where she lived her remaining two years at the church of the Holy Apostles.

Legend says that many years later an old sinner was buried near her grave. Petca appeared in a dream to a local monk, showed him the place of her burial, and demanded,

Take that stinky corpse away from me. I am light and sun, and I cannot bear to have near me darkness and stench.

The monk obtained some local help, and began to dig at the place he had seen in his dream. When they found the remains of the Saint, they found her body incorrupt and emitting a spiritual fragrance. They were then interred in the church where she had spent her last years on earth.


  • in the village of Thrace, north shore of the Sea of Marmara




Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Petca Parasceva“. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 October 2019. Web. 28 February 2021. <>