The epithet “Magdalene”, which always accompanies her name, at least in the Gospels, implies that she wasn’t married, since, in that case, she’d have had her husband’s name. “Magdalene” indicates that this particular Mary came from the commercial city of Migdal (Taricheae) on the west bank of Lake Galilee, or the Sea of Tiberias. She must have been a wealthy woman, provided, of course, we believe Luke’s information, because she gave generous material assistance to the work of Jesus and his twelve disciples, which was revolutionary for the time. According to the same source, she had personal experience of the healing power of Jesus, probably through some kind of exorcism.
St Paraskevi was born in Rome about 140 AD of Greek Christian parents. Her father, Agathon was rich and her mother, Politia, had many attributes, the greatest of which was her charitability. Agathon and Politia had been married for many years but they were childless. They prayed to God to bless them with a child which they would raise in a true Christian atmosphere. Their prayers were answered with the birth of a girl and because she was born on the sixth day of the week, they named her Paraskevi, the Greek word for Friday.
In the ranks of the Old Testament prophets, a special position is occupied by the Prophet Elijah, whose sacred memory the Church honours and celebrates today. In the New Testament, the name of the Prophet Elijah is frequently mentioned by Christ Himself. Zacharias, the father of the Forerunner, said that John would come “in the spirit and power of Elijah”, that is, that he would have the features and the zeal of the Prophet Elijah, that he would be the Prophet Elijah himself, whose return the people were awaiting. When Jesus bore witness to John the Baptist and praised him highly, He said that he was Elijah: “If you want, accept that he is Elijah who was to come”.
St Panteleimon was born about 284 AD in the city of Nicodemia. His father, Efstorgios, was an idolater while his mother, Evouli, was a devout Christian. She raised her son, whose real name was Pantoleon, in the Christian way of life. She passed away while her son was still young. His father sent him to study under the famous physician, Efrosinos. Quickly he surpassed the other students. He was handsome, soft spoken, humble and all who spoke with him felt true happiness and peace. Because of these virtues, he became well known in Nicodemia. One day he went with Efrosinos to the palace and it was here that the ruler, Maximian, first saw him. He instructed Efrosinos to educate Pantoleon to the utmost so that he could be appointed royal physician.