The Holy Great Martyr Panteleimon/Pantaleon - Antique Russian icons
The glorious martyr Christ Panteleimon was born towards the end of the 3rd century in Nicomedia, the son of the pagan senator Eustorgios and the Christian Eubouli, who gave him the name Pantoleon. His parents entrusted him to a famous doctor named Euphrosynos for his education, from whom the young man acquired a complete knowledge of the medical art in a few years. But the holy priest Hermolaos taught him the art of healing souls in accordance with Christ.
He lived in hiding, because of the persecution by the then Roman double emperors Diocletian and Maximian (303-305), near Nicomedia, Diocletian's residence city, but God arranged that Pantoleon met him. The saint showed him that medicine can bring very little relief to our suffering and deathly nature, and that its healing comes only from Christ, the true doctor, without remedies and free of charge. The heart overflowing with joy at hearing these words, the young man began to visit Saint Hermolaos regularly and was initiated by him into the great mystery of faith. When he returned home one day, he found a dead child on the way that had been bitten by a viper. Then he called on the name of Christ, and immediately the child rose. Shortly afterwards he received Holy Baptism from Hermolaos, which he kept hidden from his pagan father for the time being. But one day in his presence he healed a blind man by making the sign of the cross over him and calling on Christ. With the light of his bodily eyes, the man also found those of the eyes of his blind soul and recognized that it was Christ who had healed him. Then Eustorgius was also converted and was baptized by Hermolaus together with the healed blind man. When Eustorgios fell asleep not long afterwards, Pantoleon distributed his inheritance to the poor, freed the slaves of the family and with double zeal he surrendered to his medical profession, without demanding any remuneration from the sick other than faith in Christ, by virtue of whose name he made them healed.
The other doctors at Nicomedia, however, were jealous of him, and when he was healing a Christian who had been tortured on the orders of the emperor, they seized the opportunity and reported him to Emperor Maximian, who had taken on the execution of Diocletian's decrees of persecution. As witnesses, they dragged the healed blind man to the court. Like the man born blind in the Gospel (John 9), he testified that he had been healed by Pantoleon through the name of Christ and that he believed in Him as the true God. There the emperor had him beheaded at once and ordered Pantoleon to be brought here. After long interrogation and torture, he was finally beheaded. Shortly before that, a voice rang out from heaven which said: “From now on you will be the refuge of the desperate, the support of the tried, the doctor of the sick and the terror of the demons. Therefore, from now on your name is no longer Pantoleon, but Panteleimon! "(Greek for" Merciful "). Since then he has been considered, among other things, the patron saint of doctors and pharmacists. His feast day is July 27.