Orthodox icon | Saint Great Martyr Panteleimon | 24522.
Saint Panteleimon, or Pantaleon, is celebrated on July 27. He was an esteemed doctor, martyr, and Helper in Need. His birth, in the late 3rd century, took place in Nicomedia, today’s İzmit, Turkey. His original name was Pantoléon.
From an early age, Panteleimon showed unique healing powers. He once revived a dead child bitten by a snake. This signaled his future vocation, using Jesus’ name in faith.
He studied medicine under Euphrosynus, an imperial doctor. The priest Hermolaus later baptized him. Emperor Diocletian noticed Panteleimon’s medical talent and made him his personal doctor. Upon discovering Panteleimon’s Christianity, the emperor sentenced him to death.
Before his death, Panteleimon prayed for everyone’s well-being. A divine voice then announced a name change to Panteléimon, meaning “Merciful” in Greek. It declared him as a refuge, support, doctor, and demon-terrorizer.
Saint Panteleimon’s veneration began in the 4th century, recorded by Theodoret of Kyrrhos in 440. Accounts of his martyrdom surfaced in Greek in the 5th or 6th century. The Eastern Church deemed him a Great Martyr and Holy Doctor. In 550, Emperor Justinian I built a Constantinople church in his honor.
He is the patron saint of healthcare professionals. Icons depict him as a doctor, with a medicine box and an ointment spatula. The Mandylion, a sacred Christ image from Edessa, is to his left.
Gilding adorns the icon’s background, symbolizing Saint Panteleimon’s divine radiance and splendor. This use of gold accentuates the iconography’s sacredness and majesty.