Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saint of the Day: St. Pantaleon (303AD)

Trials are nothing else but the forge that purifies the soul of all its imperfections. --St Mary Magdalen de'Pazzi

Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He lived in the fourth century. He was such a famous doctor that Emperor Galerius Maximian chose him for his personal doctor. There, at the wicked, pagan court, Pantaleon got into trouble. He was a Christian, but little by little, he let the bad example around him ruin him. He began to agree with the false wisdom praised by the pagans. At last, he committed the great sin of giving up his Christian faith entirely.

A holy priest named Hermolaos was deeply saddened to see the famous doctor desert Jesus. He went to him. With his wise, kind words, he made Pantaleon realize what a sin he had committed. Pantaleon listened to him and admitted that he had been very wrong. He detested his sin and joined the Church once more. To make up for what he had done, he greatly desired to suffer and die for Jesus. In the meantime, he imitated Our Lord's charity by taking care of poor sick people without any charge.

When Emperor Diocletian began his persecution, Pantaleon at once gave away everything he owned to the poor. Not long afterward, some jealous doctors accused him of being a Christian. He was given the choice of denying his religion or of being put to death. Pantaleon absolutely refused to say he was not a Christian and no torture could make him do it. There has been strong devotion in past ages to this saint. In the East he is called the "great martyr and wonder-worker."

Reflection: How do I let myself be influenced by friends or things that might threaten my faith in Jesus?

May we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our hearts and minds.

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