Martyr: d. ca. 305
+ The events of the life of Saint Pantaleon are shrouded in legend. According to ancient traditions, he was a Christian physician who served the emperor Maximian, although at some point in his life, Pantaleon abandoned the Christian Faith.
+ Through the influence of the priest Hermolaus, he returned to the Church and helped bring about the conversion of his father. Pantaleon gave away his fortune and provided medical care for the poor, free of charge.
+ Denounced as a Christian by other physicians during the persecution of the emperor Diocletian, Pantaleon was tortured and executed in Nicomedia (in modern-day Turkey) around the year 305.
+ Devotion to this saint was widespread during the Middle Ages and numerous churches were dedicated to him throughout Europe. He is honored as a patron of physicians and of the sick. Because he is said to have been unmarried, he is also honored a patron saint of bachelors.
Because he was celebrated as a miracle-worker, Pantaleon came to be honored as one of the “Fourteen Holy Helpers.” Devotion to these saints was popular throughout the Middle Ages and the saints were invoked for a wide assortment of needs, particularly for health concerns.
“This holy man fought to the death for the law of his God and did not fear the words of the godless, for he was built on solid rock.”—Entrance Antiphon, Mass for “One Martyr”
Graciously hear us, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God,
and, at the petition of Thy Blessed Martyr, Pantaleon,
be mercifully pleased to deliver us from all things which may hurt our bodies,
and from all evil thoughts which may defile our Souls.
Through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
(from The Roman Breviary [pre-1911 Edition])
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.