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St. Pantaleon, Revert and Martyr

Pantaleon lived in the late third and early fourth century. He was the son of a wealthy family, a pagan father and Christian mother. His mother instructed him in the faith, but eventually he fell away. Pursuing a career in medicine, he became physician to the Emperor Maximianus. Pantaleon returned to the faith under the influence of a holy priest. When his father died, he inherited the family fortune. This was right around the time of Diocletian’s persecution, and envious neighbors denounced him as a Christian. The emperor himself urged Pantaleon to commit apostasy. But the good doctor refused, and even healed a paralytic to show forth Christ’s power. This display added the practice of “magic” to the charges against him. According to legend, Pantaleon’s flesh was first burned with torches, then bathed in liquid lead, then thrown into the sea, then exposed to wild beasts — and on and on through many failed attempts at execution. It was not until he himself desired it that it was possible to behead him. The lives containing these legendary features are all late in date and of little historical value. But the fact of Pantaleon’s martyrdom is attested very early on, in Theodoret, Procopius of Caesarea, and the so-called “Martyrologium Hieronymianum.” His feast day is today, July 27. May he intercede for the return of all those who have fallen away from the faith (as he himself did) and for all physicians.

5 thoughts on “St. Pantaleon, Revert and Martyr

  1. You didn’t mention the etymological connection to the word “pants”.

  2. We here very little about these early Christian martyrs-yet in some senses the day and age we live in is closer to 100-300 AD Rome than any other period.

    In discussing (with my wife) how to raise our kids (walking that fine line between detroying innocence and overprotecton) in such a secular and hedonist society. I think in many ways we have to look at the early Christians of the Roman Empire.

    Love reading this-now that I’ve found it.

  3. Thanks, Maureen, for reminding me. Sometimes I post in such haste that I neglect the obvious.

  4. Darn it, Maureen. You beat me to it.

  5. I am desperately seeking a color photograph of St Pantaleon. I am especially interested in a particular photo depicting a full length st pantaleon in a long red robe with blue stars. Do you have this? Or can you recommend other sources?

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