Holy spring of Paraskeva Friday, histiry
Near Podolsk, on the opposite bank of the Desna River from the Church of the Sign of the Most Holy Theotokos (Dubrovitsy village), there is a holy spring of the Great Martyr Paraskeva Pyatnitsa. There is no bridge here, so you can only get to the source from the direction of the village of Erino. According to legend, the icon of Paraskeva Pyatnitsa disappeared from the Intercession Church in the village of Erino. They searched for her for a long time and accidentally found her in the forest, where she was miraculously attached to a tree. The icon was carefully removed and taken back to the temple, but after 3 days it disappeared again. The icon is again found in the same place, hanging on a tree. The shrine was returned to the temple again.
So people were shown a place with a holy source. St. Paraskeva is considered the patroness of family and marriage, she is also called the “woman’s saint”. The people believed that St. Paraskeva favors people through the water. Her image miraculously appears many times on a river or in a well, after which the water gains healing power.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the source of St. Paraskeva is mentioned in the records, where its healing properties are indicated.
Before the revolution of 1917, this place was revered by the inhabitants of Podolsk, prayers were served there, religious processions were performed, people were healed. During the persecution of the church, the source was destroyed and covered with earth; it was on the verge of extinction. People who came here secretly took care of the holy place as best they could. The source was known to the locals as the “holy well”.
In 1960, the local military unit carried out cleaning work at the source, after which the volume of water dropped sharply. In the 90s of the last century, an attempt was made to improve the spring. At that time, the rector of the Church of the Sign of the Most Holy Theotokos was Alexander Katkov. By the 300th anniversary of the temple, he decided to ennoble the holy spring of Paraskeva Friday, the attempt was unsuccessful. For several years, the spring looked more like an abandoned construction site.
In 2006, thanks to the efforts of the architect Mikhail Alekseevich Pankratov, the holy place was transformed in a short time.
A wonderful chapel was erected over the spring (mason – Alexander Zarkov, carpenter – Vasily Shalyak and metalworker – Yuri Pychko). Spring water was led into a pipe, and an open font was built closer to the river. Prayers were served twice at the source, the cross of the chapel was consecrated. Parishioners of Dubrovitsy and Erino churches come to the spring water, and pilgrims come from different places.
The healing properties of local water were confirmed as early as 1870. The famous geologist and mining engineer Gennady Danilovich Romanovsky described in detail the mineralogical layers of the Podolsk environs, drawing attention to the mineral waters near the village of Erino. After 90 years, useful springs were brought to the surface, and a sanatorium “Erino” was built in the forest, where mineral water is used to treat diseases of the digestive system.
Until 2010, a caretaker lived here, who kept order at the source, performed liturgy in the chapel. After his death, the place was left neglected. Local residents take care of the source (they clean the font, the grotto, take out the garbage). At the moment, the complex requires a large-scale reconstruction. The complex consists of a chapel, a font, a bridge and a hermit’s grotto. Spiritual beauty and tranquility are felt here.
The water from this source contains a lot of iron (the pipe and the place under it are red). You can drink this water, you cannot boil it, as the locals say.