Pantaleon, St

Pantaleon, St.

(Ital. SAN. PANTALEONE; Gr. ῞Αγ. Πανταλέων), a noted Christian martyr under Galerius, was born (according to tradition) at Nicomedia, in Bithynia. His father, from whom he received his education, was a pagan; his mother was a Christian. Having applied himself to the study of medicine, he became eminent in his profession, and was appointed physician to the emperor Galerius. He was one of the most benevolent of men and successful of practitioners. His reputation roused the jealousy of the pagan physicians, who accused him to the emperor. Galerius, finding him a Christian, ordered him to be tortured, and then beheaded, which was done, A.D. 305. Pantaleon is much venerated in the Italian Church. especially at Venice. There have been some who doubted his existence, and believed his name to have been derived from the warcry of the Venetians, Pianta Leone (Plant the Lion)! But Justinian erected a church in his honor in Constantinople, and he was celebrated in the Greek Church at a time when Venice would have been more likely to introduce his worship from the East than to have orignated it in any other way. The patron of physicians, he is represented as young, beardless, and handsome. As a martyr he is bound to an olive-tree, with his hands. nailed to it above his head, a sword at his feet. Without observation he might be mistaken for St. Sebastian. When he is painted as patron he wears the physician's robe and bears the olive or palm, or both. He is commemorated in the Roman Church on July 27.

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