Today the church remembers one of the very early Christians of the faith: Saint Pantaleon, Physician, Martyr, and Emancipator.
Saint Pantaleon was supposedly born to a wealthy well-connected father, and was instructed in the faith by his mother Eubula. She died early in his life, however, and he went off to medical school letting his faith practices fall by the wayside.
A familiar story if there ever was one, right?! How many go off to university and seek out other distractions? Every parent is totally resonating with this story now…
So, Pantaleon is in medical school studying under the renowned early physician Euphrosinos. His acumen in the healing arts got him the enviable position as personal physician to Emperor Galerius.
It was Saint Hermolaus who came back alongside Saint Pantaleon and further taught him in the faith, telling him of the healing stories of Jesus which tantalized this physician’s imagination. He began to practice the faith again.
When his father died (who also became a Christian) the vast wealth of the family was given to St. Pantaleon who promptly freed all of the slaves, distributed the money to the poor, and became known as a wonderful humanitarian in the city.
All of this doing good, and his high position, caused his colleagues to become envious. When Emperor Diocletian came to power, Saint Pantaleon was exposed as a Christian and was beheaded (many a lore arose around his martyrdom, including the idea that the wild beasts were turned on him but only gave him cuddles because he was such a nice guy!).
He died in the year 305 AD.
Saint Pantaleon is a reminder for me, and should be for the whole church, that just saying “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior” without doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly is weak sauce indeed.
And much of popular Christianity is totally weak sauce.
-historical bits taken from common source materials
-opinions my own
-icon is traditional Greek Orthodox depiction