THE GREAT MARTYR AND HEALER
St. Panteleimon was born in 271 A. D. in Nicomedia, Asia Minor. His name was Panteleon. His parents were named Storgios and Evouli. But his mother never was blessed with enjoying her son because she died soon after giving birth. His pagan father sent Panteleon to learn the Greek language. After his Greek studies, he was sent to study under the great doctor Efrosinos where he would study medicine. Efrosinos was considered the best doctor of that time and his patients included the Emperor Maximinian and many other leaders of society. In a very short time, the modest and charismatic Panteleon was considered the best physician amongst all his classmates.
One day the Emperor heard about the exceptional student that Panteleon was and he expressed the desire that he would be chosen to be his personal physician when Efrosinos died. At that time lived a very pious priest named Ermolaos who had known Panteleon’s Christian mother before she died. Ermolaos met Panteleon one day and heard that he was studying medicine and he said to him: “You are able to heal the sick with medicine but if you believe in Jesus Christ you will be able to heal every illness without medicine.” After this meeting with the pious priest, Panteleon happened to come upon a young boy who had just been bitten by a poisonous snake. Upon encountering him, Panteleon remembered the words of the pious priest and with faith called upon Jesus Christ to give life back to the young man. After this prayer the young man immediately stood up as if nothing had ever happened to him. This whole event happened before a crowd of people who were watching the encounter. All the people were amazed at what happened and they all thanked God and the young doctor.
After his encounter with the young boy who had been bitten by the snake, Panteleon believed that Jesus was able to heal the infirmities of body and soul. This prompted him to go immediately to Fr. Ermolao and requested that he be baptized a Christian. After his conversion to Christianity Panteleon looked for ways in which he could help his father to come and believe in the true God. One day someone approached Panteleon and asked him if he could heal his blindness. He told Panteleon that he had visited many doctors in an attempt to find a cure for his blindness. In fact he had spent a lot of his money on these doctors in order to find a cure. He then said that Panteleon was his last hope for a cure. But Panteleon’s father Storgios, told him not to attempt to cure an incurable affliction for in doing so he might lose the fame he had acquired as being a good doctor. Not listening to his father Panteleon then asked the blind man: “What will you give me if I manage to heal your blindness?” He responded by saying: “I will give you whatever is left over from mine inheritance.” Panteleon then responded: “Whatever you plan to give me I want you to give to the poor people.” The Saint then made the sign of the Cross over his eyes and he immediately was healed. When Storgios saw the miracle he also believed in Jesus Christ. He then went to his home and shattered to pieces all the marble statues he had of the pagan gods which he had been worshipping until that moment. After this, Storgios lived for another year doing the will of God, performing good deeds and preaching to the world about Jesus Christ. He then died a peaceful death and his soul was joined once again with his beloved Evouli. After this, Panteleon gave his whole inheritance from his father to the Church and to the poor. He also continued his practice as a physician healing people with medicine and performing miracles for all those who had a need.
At some point, the doctors who had attempted to heal the blind man ran into him one day and became jealous of Panteleon for having healed him. Because of these feelings the doctors were looking for an opportunity to destroy the trust the Emperor had in the Saint. Around the year 304 AD the Emperor Maximinian was visiting Nicomedia for a short time. It was at a time when Saint Panteleon had just healed a Christian who had been tortured by the pagans for his faith. When this happened the envious doctors went to the Emperor and reported to him that Panteleon healed an enemy of paganism and was healing people in the name of Jesus Christ. Upon hearing this, the Emperor called the previously blind person and asked him: “was it science or Jesus Christ that restored your sight for you?” He answered and said to the Emperor: “I spent all my financial resources with those doctors for so many years in their attempt to heal me. But Panteleon by simply using the Cross of the Nazarene was able to cure me immediately and from that moment on I also believe in his God. The Emperor insisted that all people including Christians should worship the idols. This is why the Emperor ordered the former blind man be beheaded because of his faith in Jesus Christ.
The Emperor then called Panteleon that he admired so much in order to find if what they were saying about him was true. Panteleon then said to the Emperor: “Your honor, Jesus Christ is the person that can heal all incurable diseases of the body and the soul. If you would like, we can bring to you a sick person so that you too can believe in the true God. The Emperor, out of curiosity, ordered that a paralyzed person be brought to him that no doctor had been able to heal. Then the Emperor’s pagan priests came forward and began praying before the marble statues of the pagan gods in an attempt to heal the paralyzed man. But after praying for many hours the priests got tired and stopped praying. At this point Saint Panteleon prayed with profound faith and then said to the paralyzed man: “So that everyone should come to know the infinite love of God, Jesus Christ heals you, get up and walk.” Immediately the miracle happened. The paralyzed man then got up and walked by himself. Everyone present was astonished and did not know what to say. Many of those present who saw the miracle believed in Jesus Christ.
The Emperor Maximinian became very angry and ordered his soldiers to torture the Saint so that he no longer would attempt to talk about Jesus and perform miracles in the presence of many people. The soldiers then took the Saint and stripped him and tied him to a pole and then began ripping at his flesh with iron hooks. The glorified Saint endured the pain for the love of Christ and his blessed blood poured freely upon the ground. The soldiers then lit torches and burned the wounds of Panteleon. At this point another miracle took place. The burning torches fell from the hands of the soldiers and the wounds of the Saint were instantly healed. The Emperor became even angrier at seeing this and decided to torture the Saint even more. He ordered that boiling lead be prepared into which they would put the Saint.
As soon as the lead melted, they placed the Saint into it. Suddenly Jesus appeared in the likeness of the priest Ermolao and entered the fire. When this happened the fire immediately went out and the melted lead cooled down. The Emperor could no longer endure to see the Saint survive in the midst of these miracles and he ordered that the soldiers tie a heavy rock around the Saint’s neck and throw him into the ocean to drown. But amazingly, instead of the Saint sinking to the bottom of the ocean, he appeared to walk on the surface of the water unharmed. As soon as Maximinian saw all these unexplainable events unfold before him, he then ordered the Saint be placed in a cage with hungry lions and tigers so that he might be torn to pieces. A large crowd of people gathered to watch the spectacle play out. The people again were amazed at what then happened. The wild beasts instead of tearing the Saint to pieces approached him peacefully and licked his hands. After seeing this, the Emperor ordered that the beasts be put to death. And then another unusual thing took place. No vultures or other carnivorous animals came out to eat the dead animals and the soldiers were forced to bury the carcasses of the dead animals.
After this the Emperor called the Martyr to appear before him and he said to him: “Panteleon, I had great admiration for you and I would have made you the official physician of my palace but you treated me with great disrespect; like I was your enemy. Who is the person that made you a Christian?” The Martyr answered: “It was Fr. Ermolaos who spoke to me about Christ.” At that point, the Emperor ordered that Fr. Ermolaos be seized along with two of his disciples and they were ordered to worship the idols. But they would never do such a thing; so they were tortured and then beheaded. The Emperor then gave another order to behead the Martyr and then burn his body.
The soldiers flogged the Saint and then tied him to a dead olive tree in order to behead him. But when the soldier lifted the sword to behead the Saint, God intervened; the sword was transformed into a scythe. As soon as the torturers saw this miracle they were so startled that they fell down before the Saint and begged for his forgiveness. The Martyr Panteleon prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ for the souls of the repentant soldiers. At that point a voice was heard from heaven saying: “oh athlete of Christ, let it be done for you whatever you so desire. From this day forward you will be called Panteleimon (most merciful one) because you have helped many people in this life and you will continue to be merciful to the faithful who turn to me through your intercessions.”
The executioners decided not to behead the Saint but the Saint encouraged them to do so in obedience to the Emperor’s command. The Saint said this for he did not want to lose the crown of martyrdom. The soldiers proceeded with the execution although down deep they did not want to. They also asked the Saint to forgive them before they beheaded him. After beheading him milk flowed from the neck of the Martyr. In addition to this, the dead olive tree began to blossom out of respect for the Saint. The soldiers did not burn his body as ordered by the Emperor but instead they left the palace and went into the countryside preaching Jesus and telling the people the miracles they had witnessed. The Christians came together to gather up the body of the Saint in order to give him an honorable burial. The following miracle brings us to the 21st century and shows us how much God loves us and continues to heal us through His Saints.
ST. LUKE THE PHYSICIAN AND ST. PANTELEIMON
PERFORM AN ASTOUNDING MIRACLE IN A HOSPITAL ROOM
IN SIMFEROPOL, CRIMEA, RUSSIA
ST. LUKE THE PHYSICIAN REPOSED IN 1960 & ST. PANTELEIMON WAS
MARTYRED IN 305 A D .THEIR DEATHS ARE SEPARATED BY 1655 YEARS AND YET THEY PERFORM MIRACLES IN THE 21ST CENTURY—LIFE CONTINUES AFTER DEATH.
This relatively recent miracle took place in a hospital in the City of Simferopol, Crimea, Russia. The girl’s condition was very critical and the operation was very difficult and dangerous. The doctor who was scheduled to operate on her spoke to the mother of the young girl and said to her: “The procedure is a very difficult and dangerous operation. I cannot guarantee you anything. I do not know whether or not your daughter will survive the operation.” But there was no other choice; the operation had to take place. The young girl was prepped and was rolled into the operating room. During the whole procedure the mother of the girl was waiting in the courtyard of the hospital. With tears in her eyes, she was praying to Saint Luke the Physician and to Saint Panteleimon the Physician and Healer for the healing of her daughter. Suddenly, an unbelievable vision unfolded before her. The wall of the hospital disappeared and became like a glass wall through which she could clearly see the operating room.
The mother could see her daughter on the operating room table surrounded by the doctor that was to operate on her along with other doctors. Standing next to the doctor was a nurse who had the responsibility of handing her the operating tools. The mother was also seeing something even more amazing in the operating room as she looked upon the scene unfolding before her. Standing on the left side of the doctor was Saint Panteleimon holding a lit candle. On the right side of the doctor was standing Saint Luke the Physician who was handing the operating tools from the nurse to the doctor.
In seeing this miracle unfolding before her, the mother was beyond herself with astonishment. She felt that her prayers had been heard. When the operation was over, the doctor came out of the operating room with an enthusiastic smile. She approached the mother and said to her: “The operation went exceedingly well, unbelievably well.” The mother then explained to the doctor the unbelievable vision that she saw during the operation. Upon hearing this, the doctor made the sign of the Cross and related to the mother: “Now I understand what happened. During the course of the operation, as I needed an operating tool, I didn’t even have time to say what I wanted to the nurse. By simply thinking what I wanted, the tool was in my hand.”
The first part of this translation was made from a Greek video by:
+Fr. Constantine J. Simones, August 4, 2016, Waterford, CT, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org