Son of pagan and Christian
Panteleimon lived in the city of Nicomedia, the end of IIIrd – the beginning of IVth century, during the reign of Emperor Maximian. It is known that his father Evstrogy was a pagan and his mother Evvula was a Christian. When the boy was born, he was named Pantaleon. When his healing and spiritual gifts were discovered by people, they began to call him Panteleimon – “merciful”. Panteleimon’s mother tried to bring up her son in the Christian faith. After her death, his father sent the boy to a better school, finishing it he continued his study with a famous doctor in the city – Evfrosin.
Miraculous healings. Baptism of Panteleimon
Panteleimon was a gentle and sympathetic person. He was constantly in search of truth. A significant event in the life of St. Panteleimon was a meeting with the elder presbyter Ermolay. The elder had a long talk with a young man and edified him in the faith, taught to heal people by faith in Christ.
Once Panteleimon saw a dead child, he was stung by a large snake, which lying near the deceased. At first, the boy got scared and backed away in horror, but then decided to experience the power of God’s word. He began to pray to God to resurrect the child and to kill the snake. The miracle happened and Panteleimon began to praise and thank God. Then he was baptized by Elder Ermolay. The peculiarity of this miraculous healing wasn’t connected with the strong faith of Panteleimon, but the resurrection of the child completely revived the soul of a young doctor.
After a while the second miraculous healing happened. The blind man appealed to Panteleimon. He had wasted of all his state for the treatment. He heard about the miraculous healing of a young man and begged him for help. Panteleimon did not only heal the sick man, but he also led him to the true faith in Christ. After the miraculous healing the former blind and Panteleimon’s father were baptized.
Tortures and martyrdom of Saint
After the death of his father Panteleimon gave the inheritance to the needy, poor people and continued to heal people. Soon many people knew about Panteleimon and began to come to him, asking for healing. However envious doctors told the emperor that Panteleimon left the old faith and healing sick people in the name of Christ. Panteleimon was accused of witchcraft and magic, he was sent to prison by the Emperor.
The brave boy defended the Christian faith and suggested the Emperor to arrange a competition: bring a hopelessly sick person and give him medical treatment of pagan doctors. The emperor agreed. Then they brought a paralyzed person and the pagan doctors vainly called on their gods over him. But the sick man didn’t get any help from them. Then Panteleimon took his hand, prayed and said: “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, get up and be healthy”. The sick man immediately recovered and stood up.
In a rage, the emperor Maximian ordered to torture the young man and required him to offer a sacrifice to idols. But the saint healer firmly considered himself a Christian. The king ordered to cut off the head of a rebel and burn his body. The Holy Great Martyr met the death with joy, singing psalms. The body of the saint was thrown into the fire, remained intact and was honorably buried by Christians.
Church of St. Panteleimon in New Athos
Since that time St. Panteleimon has been revered in the Christian world as the patron of doctors. It is believed that the prayers of sick people, addressing to him, bring relief, heal the physical and spiritual ailments. St. Panteleimon’s Day is celebrated in the Orthodox Church on August 9 (in the Gregorian calendar).
There is a particle of the holy relics of St. Panteleimon in the cathedral of the Holy Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon in New Athos.