Saint Paneleimon

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

Holy Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon
(July 15/August 9)
(†305)

Saint PanteleimonThe Holy Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon was born to a well-to-do family in Nicomedia, Asia Minor.  His parents named the boy Pantaleon, which means like a lion in all things.  Pantaleon’s mother raised her son in the Christian faith.  She died young, and the little boy was left in the care of his father, Eustorgius, a pagan.  Eustorgius turned his son away from Christ’s teachings.   

The quiet child grew up beautiful in appearance and exceptionally talented.   

Eustorgius wanted Pantaleon to become a doctor and sent him to study medicine with a famous doctor in Nicomedia.  Young Pantaleon excelled in his studies, and soon was introduced to Emperor Maximian.  The Emperor was very impressed with Pantaleon and decided to make him a court doctor.

Pantaleon heard about Jesus from three priests who had survived a terrible massacre of twenty thousand Christians in 303.  One of them, St. Hermolaus, became Pantaleon’s close friend and gave him spiritual guidance.  The young man learned that a true doctor should not rely on the art of medicine and skill alone; he should pray to the Lord for help in healing.  

Once, on the way home from his studies, Pantaleon saw on the ground a dead child who had been bitten by a poisonous snake.  Filled with great pity, Pantaleon prayed to the merciful Lord, asking Him to revive the child.  The boy came back to life.  After this miracle, Pantaleon received Holy Baptism from St. Hermolaus and dedicated his life to the sick, suffering and needy.  Pantaleon never took money for his work; he healed people in the name of Jesus Christ.  St. Pantaleon’s father too became a Christian after he had witnessed his son healing a blind man.

People loved St. Pantaleon and came only to him when they were ill.  The other doctors in Nicomedia became envious.  They brought a case against Pantaleon before Emperor Maximian.  St. Pantaleon confessed that he was a Christian and refused to make sacrifices to pagan gods.

St. Hermolaus and two other priests also were brought before the Emperor.  They professed their faith and were beheaded.   Pantaleon was subjected to many cruel tortures, but God kept His servant strong.  

Maximian could do nothing to change St. Pantaleon’s devotion to the holy faith.

The enraged ruler ordered the saint to be beheaded.  As the soldiers were tying Pantaleon to an olive tree, they heard a voice from Heaven calling Pantaleon by the name Panteleimon which means all-merciful.  Terrified, the soldiers fell on their knees, asking St. Panteleimon for forgiveness.  He told them to fulfil their duty.  The soldiers cried and kissed the saint’s hands before they executed him.

Milk and honey, mixed with blood, streamed from the great-martyr’s wound.

St. Panteleimon continues to comfort the suffering.  Thousands of Christians and non-Christians come to Nicomedia on his feast day and receive healing.

The holy relics of St. Panteleimon rest in many churches all over the world.

Church of St. Panteleimon, Macedonia

Церковь св. Пантелеимона в г. Горно Нарези, Македония