CZYRNA - Orthodox Church of St. Paraskeva
Since its earliest times i.e. around the 16th century, Czyrna had been a parish, first Orthodox and later Greek Catholic. In the 19th century, the village started to grow as a weaving centre. Even today, you can still find near the church traces of the Lemkos culture, who used to live here. This is why we encourage you not only to visit the church, but also to have a walk around Czyrna.
The church of the Great Martyr St. Paraskeva is a modest but at the same time a charming construction with a post-frame tower, a single ridge roof and turrets with apparent lanterns. It is interesting to note the location of the tower above the porch and the women’s gallery, as it was usually the case in this region. Once inside, it is worth paying attention to the 20th century iconostasis, where you can find an icon of the patron saint from the 18th century. For many years it lay forgotten in the parish attic, but fortunately was found and returned to the place it deserves, after previous conservation. The saint is presented with the Orthodox cross and the palm of martyrdom.
The patron of the parish came from Bulgaria and lived in the 11th century. Her name, which can be translated into Polish as “Friday”, was to invoke the Passion of Christ. Her brother chose to be a clergyman and later became a bishop. Paraskeva went to the Holy Land and then to the Jordan Desert. Following the life of hermits, she got rid of all earthly comforts and wealth, and concentrated on spiritual growth. According to hagiographers, she had a revelation during which an angel summoned her to return to her homeland. She set out and visited Constantinople on her way back. She died at the age of 27 and her body was to be incorrupt. This is why she was transferred to the Orthodox church in Epibata, where her grave was to be the place of numerous spectacular healings.
Other works of art that can be admired in the church include an icon from the 17th century depicting the Entombment of Christ, the Last Supper from the 18th century and a representation of the Protection of the Mother of God from the same period. It is worth paying attention to the small crown in the painting’s frame. Two such crowns were preserved in the Czyrna parish. They were used during Greek Catholic wedding ceremonies. The crowns were held above the newlyweds’ heads.