July 27, 2015

Saint Panteleimon Teaches What Should Be the Primary Concern of Christians

By Archimandrite George Kapsanis

In the Dismissal Hymn of the Holy Great Martyr Panteleimon, whose memory we celebrate today, we ask the Saint to intercede to the Lord for the remission of our sins. One would expect that from such a great physician, as is Saint Panteleimon, we would ask for the healing of our physical infirmities, but the Church asks for the healing of our spiritual infirmities, namely the passions, which often are the cause of physical infirmities, and are even worse, because physical infirmities can at least bring some good to a person, and lead them to repentance, but the infirmities of the soul, namely the passions, lead to eternal death.

This indicates that the primary concern of Christians, and especially monastics, is the constant struggle for the purification of the passions and the healing of the infirmities of the soul. If we come down with a serious and incurable illness we become very restless and look for the appropriate physicians, and we will even travel abroad to become well. But we are not concerned for the illnesses of the soul as much as we should be concerned. And certainly all of us, even we who belong to the order of monastics, are not entirely healthy. We also have sicknesses of the soul, which we recognize and need to be attentive to. It would be good, therefore, to beg God, before we depart this world, because after would be too late, to be healed by the Grace of God, of the various illnesses of our soul, through the intercessions of the Saints, the Theotokos, and especially the great physician of humanity we celebrate today, the champion and healer Saint Panteleimon. Amen.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Holy champion and healer Panteleimon, intercede with our merciful God to grant our souls remission of sins.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.