July 27, 2016

Synaxarion of Saint Panteleimon the Great Martyr and Unmercenary

On the twenty-seventh of this month [July], we commemorate the Holy Glorious Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon.


Milk mixed with blood came from your skull, O Martyr,
For whom Christ shed the mixture with water.
On the twenty-seventh Panteleimon obtained his portion by the sword.

This Saint lived during the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-305), and was from the city of Nicomedia. He was the son of a Greek pagan named Eustorgius, while his mother came from a family of Christians, and her name was Euboula. He went on to learn the art of medicine for the body, from someone named Euphrosynos, who had great fame and glory, and appears to have reached the pinnacle of medicine. Meanwhile he learned the medicine of the soul according to Christ from Saint Hermolaos, a Priest of the Church in Nicomedia, and is commemorated on the twenty-sixth of this month. Through this medicine according to Christ, the Saint raised a child, who was bit by a viper and fell dead, merely by the Saint calling upon the name of Christ. He had been baptized by the aforementioned Saint Hermolaos, and was led by him to faith in Christ.

His martyrdom took place in the following manner. A blind man went to the Saint and was healed. When this man was questioned by the emperor, "Who healed you?" he responded that it was "Pantoleon (which was his original name), for he called upon the name of Christ." He also added that he believed in Christ. Hence the emperor immediately ordered for the blind man to be beheaded, and inquiring about Pantoleon, he was found and brought before the emperor.

Because the Saint, neither with flatteries nor threats, was unable to be persuaded to deny his faith in Christ, for this reason he was harshly beaten, and burned with lit lamps. The Lord appeared to him in the form of Hermolaos the Priest, and told him to have courage. And when the Saint was placed in heated lead, and cast into the sea, again the Lord appeared to him, and said that He also was put in these with Panteleimon, which is why he remained unharmed from all his torments. He was then handed over to be fed to the beasts, but was also kept unharmed from them. Then he was tied to a wheel nailed with sharp knives, and was thrown off a high place to roll downhill.

After all these things the Saint was sentenced to death. Wherefore he prayed, and having completed his prayer, a divine voice came which changed his name from Pantoleon to Panteleimon. When the Saint was brought forward to be beheaded, the executioner laid out his hand to strike it with the sword, and O the miracle! it immediately melted like wax. When the soldiers saw this wonder, they believed in Christ. Then the Saint willingly bent his head, and was beheaded. It is said that instead of blood, milk gushed forth from his neck, and that the olive tree on which the Saint was tied, and had been previously dried up, immediately brought forth fruit. His Synaxis and Feast is celebrated in the church that bears his name.

On this day we also commemorate the Blind Man healed by Saint Panteleimon, and having confessed Christ, was perfected by the sword.

Finding the illuminating physical brightness,
He gathered that brightness also for his soul by the sword.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O holy prize-winner and healer Panteleimon, intercede with our merciful God, that He may grant to our souls, the forgiveness of our sins.

Kontakion in Plagal of the Fifth Tone
Since thou art an imitator of the Merciful One, and hast received from Him the grace of healing, O prizewinner and Martyr of Christ our God, by thy prayers heal the diseases of our souls, and ever dispel the stumbling-blocks of the enemy from them that cry unceasingly: Save us, O Lord.

O lovers of Christ, let us reverently praise the memorial of the Unmercenary, the contest of the noble contender, the healings of that faithful man, so that we may receive mercy, especially any who, like me, have befouled their own temples, for Panteleimon bestoweth healing both of soul and body. Wherefore, brethren, let us be diligent to establish securely in our hearts Him Who delivereth from error them that cry unceasingly: Save us, O Lord.

Exaposteilarion in the Second Tone
O Panteleimon, thou most wise, sacred and fair adornment of the Unmercenary Saints, and of the godly Martyrs; thou holy glory of Christians: From Heaven give the vict'ry unto the Church, while granting peace to the world, and salvation to those on earth, who with faith extol thee and sing thy praises; for with the Mother of our God, thou dost entreat for all men.

Doxastikon of the Ainoi (Praises) in the Fourth Tone
Today the memory of the prizewinner hath shone forth in splendor. Come, ye faithful, let us spiritually rejoice and crown him with songs, for by the power of the Cross he hath bravely put to flight the invisible foe; not fearing the countless torments of the tyrants, he lawfully received the prize of his calling from on high; and now with the Angels, he maketh merry unto the ages. O Martyr of Christ, Panteleimon, physician of the ailing and haven of the tempest-tossed, cease not to intercede with the merciful God that our souls be saved.