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Petkovden - Day of Saint Petka in legends and popular tradition

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The venerable Paraskeva of Epivat who lived in the 10th-11th century is known in this country as Saint Petka of Bulgaria. Her patron saint’s day falls on 14 October, known in popular tradition as Petkovden.

According to her passional, written by prominent Bulgarian cleric of the Middle Ages Patriarch Euthymius, she was born in Epivat and her parents were Bulgarian. From 1238 up until the Ottoman invasion in 1396, her holy relics were laid to rest in the St. Petka of Turnovo church in Turnovo. After being moved multiple times through the ages, in 1641 they were laid to rest inside the cathedral in Iași in Northern Romania where believers from all over the world go to pay their respects to this day.

Saint Paraskeva (Saint Petka of Bulgaria) is held in high esteem by Orthodox Christians in this country, with churches named after her all over Bulgaria. There are numerous legends and beliefs connected with her miracle-working powers as a healer and her protection of women, mothers and the home.

Compiled by Albena Bezovska

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