Homily for the Feastday Vespers of Saint Panteleimon the Great-Martyr – Homilies – Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

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In closing, after all of that camDown FREE !

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros

Homily for the Feastday Vespers of Saint Panteleimon the Great-Martyr

July 26, 2021

Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Monastery

Washington, Texas

Reverend Abbess Paraskevi,

Monastic Sisterhood in Christ,

This afternoon, in anticipation of the setting of the sun and the dawn of a new day, we follow the celebration of the Holy and Righteous-Martyr, Paraskevi, with her spiritual brother, the Holy Great-Martyr and Ἀνάργυρος Panteleimon.

Saint Panteleimon leads the great healers of the Church as an example of how healing and mercy should be offered to those in need. He fulfills the exhortation of the Lord to His Disciples:

Ἀσθενοῦντας θεραπεύετε, λεπροὺς καθαρίζετε, νεκροὺς ἐγείρετε, δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλετε· δωρεὰν ἐλάβετε, δωρεὰν δότε.

Cure the infirm, cleanse and restore the lepers, raise up the dead, cast out demons. Generously you have received, generously give! [*]

As he is an Ἀνάργυρος, he asks for nothing in return, except that the one healed would hear of Christ and the Gospel.

When we hear the word, Ἀνάργυρος, which we associate with other great saints of the Church, we must also think – at the same time – of the word, φιλάργυρος. And we know very well who represents φιλαργυρία in all its worst associations, the Betrayer of the Lord.

Thus, dear Sisterhood in Christ, Saint Panteleimon heals our souls simply by the example of his generosity toward others. He inspires us not to cling to the things of this world, for he gave away the most valuable of all commodities – health.

He shows us that there is a better death – the death of martyrdom, than the death of despair and suicide, which Judas wrought upon himself. He shows us that the value of our lives is not contained in the quantity of our possessions, but in the quality of our love for Christ, and the quality of our love for one another.

As you all know, his name was not always Panteleimon. He began his life as Pantaleon. The transformation in his name is reflected in your monastic vocation, as you take a new name for your new life in Christ when you make your vow.

This transformation of a name symbolizes a transfiguration of your identity. Formerly, you were known by a history that related to your biological family. Now, you are known by your name in the family of God.

Before, you set yourself apart by means of signifiers of the ego: clothes, tastes, a diet unique to you, a schedule all you own, a profession or work, and all the trappings of a secular life.

Now, all these signifiers of the self-centric life are put aside. Your clothes, diet, schedule, and lifestyle follow a pattern not of your own making. Your profession is now a confession of obedience and charity. Your life is hidden with Christ in God, as the Apostle says.[†] You have died to this world, so that you may live for the next.

Therefore, commemorate the All-Merciful God today, by holding his servant, the Holy Panteleimon, within your heart. Honor him there, and allow his miraculous healings to find their way to your every weakness of body, mind, soul, and spirit. Let him bring the word of God into the marrow of your very bones.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. [‡]

Thus, you shall be blessed with health of body and soul; through the prayers of Saints Panteleimon the Holy Healer, and the intercessions of your Celestial Mistress, Paraskevi; and you will find rest from all your spiritual labors, and salvation for your souls.

Amen.


[*] Matthew 10:8.

[†] Colossians 3:3.

[‡] Hebrews 4: 12.

Have you considered !