Saint Panteleimon, also known as “Pantaleon,” commemorated on July 27, was a renowned physician, martyr, and a “Helper in Need.” He was born Pantoléon near the close of the 3rd century in Nicomedia, the modern-day İzmit in Turkey. From a young age, he discovered his healing abilities when he revived a deceased child who had been bitten by a snake, by invoking the name of Jesus over the child. His education in medicine was mentored by the imperial physician Euphrosynus and he was baptized by the priest Hermolaus. Emperor Diocletian chose him as his personal physician. However, upon discovering his Christian faith, the emperor sentenced him to death.
Before his death, Panteleimon fervently prayed for all, and a heavenly voice proclaimed: “Henceforth, you shall be the haven for the desperate, the pillar for the tried, the healer for the ill, and the terror for demons. Your name shall no longer be Pantoléon, but Panteléimon!” (Greek for “All-Compassionate”). His veneration dates back to the 4th century, with the earliest documentation provided by Theodoret of Kyrrhos around 440 AD. In the 5th or 6th century, the first account of Pantaleon’s martyrdom was written in Greek. The Eastern Church honored him as a Great Martyr and one of the Holy Doctors. In 550, Emperor Justinian I, also known as “the Great,” commissioned a church in Constantinople to honor him. He is recognized as the patron saint of doctors, nurses, midwives, and pharmacists, among others.
In the depicted icon, Saint Panteleimon is portrayed as a physician, carrying a medicine box and an ointment spatula.
On the verso of the icon, it reads: “Blessed by the St. Panteleimon Monastery on Mount Athos, where this icon was also consecrated.”
The icon is both printed and painted.