St. Pantaleon, Visit the Sick
Feast Day: July 27 (birth date unknown-died circa 305)
According to legend, Pantaleon was the son of a rich pagan, Eustorgius of Nicomedia, and although he had been instructed in Christianity by his Christian mother, Eubula, he eventually became estranged from Christianity. After studying medicine and becoming a physician to the Emperor Maximianus, he was won back to Christianity by a priest. Upon the death of his father, he came into possession of a large fortune and envious colleagues denounced him to emperor during the Diocletian persecution. Although the emperor wished to save him and wanted him to renounce his faith, Pantaleon refused and he healed a paralytic to prove that Christ is the true son of God. The emperor believed the miracle to be magic and Pantaleon was condemned to death by the emperor.
According to legend, Pantaleon underwent various tortures in which his flesh was burned, he was forced into a cauldron of liquid lead, thrown into the sea and to wild animals. Throughout most of these ordeals, Christ was present and saved him. Finally, an attempt was made to behead him, but the sword bent, and the executioners were converted. Pantaleon implored heaven to forgive them, and it was for this reason he also received the name of Panteleemon (the all-compassionate). It was not until he himself desired it that it was possible to behead him. Pantaleaon is venerated in the East as a great martyr and wonderworker. In the Middle Ages, he came to be regarded as the patron saint of physicians and midwives, and became one of the fourteen guardian martyrs.