Friday, 14 October 2011

Prayers to St Parasceva

Today is the feast day of Parasceva of the Balkans, the patron saint of spinners.

Yes I know, they probably meant people who twist fibres together to make yarn, but there is no patron saint of cricketers, at least not yet, and there are a fair few spinners who would look rather silly praying to the patron saint of athletes, myself included. As such, since Parasceva is listed as the patron saint of spinners, and I'm a spinner, she's my patron saint.

She is described as an "ascetic" saint, and ascetic is derived from the greek word ask─ôsis, which means practice, training or exercise. "Originally associated with any form of disciplined practice," says Wikipedia, "the term ascetic has come to mean anyone who practices a renunciation of worldly pursuits to achieve higher intellectual and spiritual goals for himself." Given the time and sacrifice it takes to develop a decent leg-break, that's pretty apt for a leg-spinner if you ask me...

Not being a Christian myself, I'm unfamiliar with exactly what one does to celebrate a saint's feast day, but I'm given to understand that emulating some aspects of the saint's life is the done thing. Since Parasceva was known for having given her expensive clothes away, I'm going to take a bin bag full of clothes to a charity shop today. And I've got a little prayer ready:

Oh pious St Parasceva, as your parents could not comprehend your charity, so I pray that my captain is more understanding of my own generosity. I humbly ask you to pray for me as you pray for all spinners. Assist me by your intercession that I may face batsmen long on ego and short on sense, and that, through application of what talent God has given me and what skills many hours of dedicated practise has honed, I may offer unto the heavens a ball most fiercely spun and accurately pitched, so that I may swiftly and mercifully dispatch them on their way. Amen.

2 comments:

Spin Bowling Project said...

Haha, cool.

Anonymous said...

Underneath all that black she is probably wearing whites.

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