St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He was such a famous doctor that Emperor Galerius Maximian asked him to be his own personal doctor. There, at the wicked, pagan court, he got into trouble. Pagans were people who believed in false gods and false teachings. Pantaleon was a Christian, but little by little, he began to follow the bad example of the people around him. He began to agree with the false wisdom praised by the pagans. At last, he committed the great sin of completely giving up his Christian faith.
A holy priest named Hermolaos was very sad to see the famous doctor desert Jesus. He went to him and with his wise, kind words, he made Pantaleon realize what a big sin he had committed. Pantaleon realized he had made a horrible mistake. He hated his sin and joined the Church once more.
To make up for what he had done, he wanted with all his heart to suffer and die for Jesus. He followed Jesus’ example by doing works of charity and by taking care of poor sick people without any charge. He healed many sick people only by prayer.
When Emperor Diocletian began torturing the Christians, Pantaleon at once gave away everything he owned to the poor. Soon afterward, some jealous doctors accused him of being a Christian. He had two choices. He could either give up his religion or he could tell the truth and be put to death. Pantaleon absolutely refused to hurt Jesus anymore. He bravely admitted he was a Christian and no amount of torture could make change his mind.
At the trial he challenged the pagan priest to cure a man who was paralyzed. The called upon their false gods but nothing happened. Then Pantaleon in the name of Jesus cured the man. Many pagans who saw this miracle became Christians. After he was killed for his faith, people showed a strong devotion to this saint. In the East he is called the “great martyr and wonder-worker.”
Reflection: Do I listen to friends or do things that might weaken my faith in Jesus? We pray that the Holy Spirit may guide our hearts and minds.
Prayer: O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Panteleon with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.