Friday, 4 July 2014

July 27th - Saint Panteleimon


His parents were Eustorgius of Nicomedia, a
pagan, and Saint Eubula (March 30). They
named him Pantaleon, which means in all
things like a lion, but when he converted to
Christianity, he changed his name
to Panteleimon, which means all-merciful. He
learned about Christianity from the priest who
later baptized him, Saint Hermolaus.
Hermolaus was living with two other priests,
Hermippus and Hermocrates; the three were
"survivors of the massacre of 20,000 Christians
in 303 (December 28)."
St. Panteleimon had been educated as a
physician, and he "dedicated his life to the
suffering, the sick, the unfortunate and the
needy. He treated all those who turned to him
without charge, healing them in the name
of Jesus Christ. He visited those held captive in
prison. These were usually Christians, and he
healed them of their wounds. In a short time, reports of the charitable physician spread
throughout the city. Forsaking the other doctors, the inhabitants began to turn only to
St. Panteleimon."
Other physicians brought his case before the Emperor Maximian. St. Panteleimon
confessed to being a Christian and refused to offer sacrifice to the state gods.
"[He] suggested that a sick person, for whom the doctors held out no hope, should be
brought before the emperor. Then the doctors could invoke their gods, and Panteleimon
would pray to his God to heal the man. A man paralyzed for many years was brought in,
and pagan priests who knew the art of medicine invoked their gods without success.
Then, before the very eyes of the emperor, the saint healed the paralytic by calling on
the name of Jesus Christ. The ferocious Maximian executed the healed man, and gave St.
Panteleimon over to fierce torture."

Hermolaus, Hermippus, and
Hermocrates were brought forth;
they confessed and were beheaded.
Throughout the many tortures, St.
Panteleimon remained untouched.
Enraged, Maximian ordered that St.
Panteleimon be beheaded. The
soldiers took him to an olive tree,
but when they struck him while he
was praying, the sword melted like
wax. After he finished his prayer, "a
Voice was heard from Heaven,
calling the passion-bearer by his new
name and summoning him to the
heavenly Kingdom." He instructed the soldiers to rise from their knees where they had
fallen in fear and to complete the execution. After they followed his instruction, the
olive tree became covered with fruit.
Although his body was thrown into a fire, it came out unharmed and was buried by
Christians. His head is located on the island of Andros at the Panachrantos
monastery and, on occasions, is taken to other monasteries for veneration. Some of
his relics can be found at the Putna Monastery (Bucovina, Romania), as well as in the Ss.
Peter and Paul Cathedral in ConstanĊ£a, Romania.
"St. Panteleimon is invoked in the prayers at the blessing of water and the blessing of oil,
together with St. Hermolaus and the other unmercenaries and wonder-workers." There
is an Akathist hymn in his honour.

Holy Passion-bearer and healer Panteleimon, 
entreat the Merciful God, to grant our souls forgiveness of 
transgressions.