Today the Catholic Church celebrates the liturgical memory of Saint Pantaleon, physician and martyr.
Newsroom (27/07/2022 3:34 PM, Gaudium Press) Saint Pantaleon was born and lived his short life at the end of the second century (year 282), in the city of Nicomedia, in Turkey, which belonged to the Roman Empire.
St. Pantaleon’s mother was a Christian and took charge of the boy’s education, initiating him into the Faith of Jesus. But St. Pantaleon’s father was a senator in the Roman government and worshipped false gods.
His father made his son study medicine with wise men of that time. When he finished his studies, he was presented before the Emperor and made such a good impression that the Emperor wanted him as his personal physician.
Conversion to Christianity
Once when St. Pantaleon was walking through a forest, he met an old priest named Hermolaeus, who knew his mother. The kindness and wisdom of the old man caused Saint Pantaleon to have several conversations that taught him about Jesus and the Christian Faith. Finally Saint Pantaleon decided that if he saw a miracle, he would become a Christian.
One afternoon he was walking back to his home and came upon a boy who had just died from being bitten by a poisonous viper. Saint Pantaleon knelt down and prayed, “God, I beg you, let this boy come back to life by the power of your Son Jesus!”. As soon as he finished his prayer, the boy stood up: he was resurrected!
Saint Pantaleon decided to put himself in the hands of Hermolaeus, to deepen his knowledge of the Christian Faith. Finally, he fulfilled his promise and became a Christian, receiving the sacrament of Baptism. From then on he dedicated himself to doing good and teaching the life of Jesus.
St. Pantaleon’s Persecution and Martyrdom
St. Pantaleon’s enemies, jealous, accused him before the Emperor for being a Christian. So he was taken and imprisoned and then tortured severely to make him renounce the Faith.
He was first sentenced to fire, but the flames were extinguished. Then he was immersed in molten lead, and miraculously, it cooled down. Then he was thrown into the sea with a stone tied around his neck, and soon the stone began to float. He was put before the beasts, but the animals that were supposed to tear him to pieces stayed calm at his feet. He was still tied to a wheel, and they broke loose. It seemed impossible to kill the saint!
Realizing that no punishment would make Saint Pantaleon abandon his faith in Jesus, they tied him to a dry tree and finally put an end to his life by decapitating his head.
The Blood of Saint Pantaleon
Miraculously the tree began to sprout, and the pious women gathered with some rags the blood that Saint Pantaleon had shed for love of Jesus. This blood has been preserved for many centuries in a reliquary, and every year, when July 27, the feast day commemorating his martyrdom, arrives, Saint Pantaleon blood, which has remained coagulated all year round, becomes liquid.