Some 300,000 pilgrims are expected in Iasi, one of Romania’s most important religious centers, between October 9 and 16, to pray at Saint Parascheva’s relics. They are expected to spend some EUR 13 million in the city during this period, according to Romania’s tourisms companies association ANAT. Every pilgrim is thus expected to spend on average some EUR 40 – RON 190.
“Hotels and guesthouses in Iasi are almost fully booked and will have a 99% occupancy rate for the period October 9-16. During a normal week, the occupancy rate for hotels in Iasi does not exceed 40%,” said Grig Alecsa, president of ANAT for Romania’s North East region, where the city of Iasi is located.
More than 15,000 pilgrims have already arrived in Iasi and formed a long queue around the Metropolitan Cathedral, which hosts the relics. About 150 buses with pilgrims from Romani’s capital Bucharest arrived in Iasi on Friday morning.
Saint Parascheva is celebrated on October 14 and each year hundreds of thousands of people from all over Romania, as well as from neighboring Orthodox countries come to Iasi to pray for miracles at her relics. They usually form queues that span over kilometers.
Saint Parascheva lived in the first half of the 11th century and was born at Epivata, nowadays Boiados in Bulgaria. Her entire body preserved and wrapped, placed in a casket with a glass top, is on display at the Iasi Metropolitan Cathedral.
Saint Parascheva is considered the protector of Moldova and Bucovina and Christians believe in the miraculous powers of the relics. The saint’s relics were brought to Iasi in 1641, during the reign of the ruler Vasile Lupu.