This day also marks the martyrdom of the honorable St. Pantaleemon, the Physician. This saint was born in the city of Ta'madan. His father, whose name was Astochius (Asturius), was pagan, and his mother, whose name was Unala (Ulana), was Christian. They taught him the medical profession. A priest lived near their house, and every time Pantaleemon passed by him, and the priest saw his stature, his comeliness, his knowledge, and his wisdom, he was sorrowful for him for he was away from God. The priest entreated God in his prayers, to guide Pantaleemon to the way of salvation. Having repeated his petition to God for Pantaleemon's sake, the Lord told him in a vision that he would believe through him. The priest rejoiced, and started to speak to him whenever he passed before him, until a friendship grew between them. The priest started to explain to him the corruptness of idol worshipping and the nobility of the Faith of the Lord Christ and the noble life of its followers. He also told him about those who believe in Christ, and the signs and wonders wrought by their hands.
When Pantaleemon, the Physician, heard that, he rejoiced and desired to perform these signs to perfect his medical profession. One day, he was passing through the market-place of the city, and he saw a man, whom a serpent had bitten, lying on the ground and the serpent was standing up before him. He said to himself, "I will put to test the words of my teacher, the priest, who told me, 'If you believe in the Lord Christ, you shall work miracles in His Name.'" He drew near that man, and prayed a long prayer, asking the Lord Christ to manifest His Power in healing that man, and in killing that serpent, so that it might not harm anyone else. When he finished his prayer, the man rose up alive, and the serpent fell down dead. Pantaleemon's faith increased; he went to the priest, who baptized him, and he went on practicing medicine.
One day a blind man came to Pantaleemon that he might heal him, but his father sent him away. The Saint asked him, " Who was asking for me?" His father replied, "It was a blind man, and you can not heal him." The Saint told him, "You shall see the glory of God." He called the blind man back, and asked him, "If you can see will you believe in the God Who shall heal your eyes?" The man said, "Yes, I will believe." The Saint prayed over him a long and a profound prayer, and then he laid his hand upon the eyes of the blind man, and said, "In the Name of the Lord Christ receive your sight." Straightway, he received his sight and believed in the Lord Christ. When his father saw that, he also believed. The saint brought them to the priest who baptized them.
When his father departed, the Saint set his slaves free and gave all his money to the poor. He treated the sick freely, and asked them to believe in Christ. The other physicians were jealous of him, and they laid accusation against him, the priest and many others who had believed, before the Emperor. He brought them and threatened to torture them if they did not deny the Lord Christ. When they did not yield to his threats, he tortured them severely then cut off their heads. The Emperor exaggerated in torturing St. Pantaleemon, he cast him to the lions which did not harm him, and the Lord strengthened and healed him. Finally, the Emperor ordered to cut off his head and he received the crown of martyrdom.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
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