It was only in April of this year that a dear lady from our parish was diagnosed with brain cancer and given only a few months to live. Such devastating news for not only the immediate family, but the entire church body who esteem her highly.
I first learned about Mrs. H on our trip to Holy Cross Monastery, near the end of April when a moleben (muh LEH ben) was served to ask for the intercessory prayers of St. Panteleimon (the patron saint of Holy Cross) for Mrs. H as well as other ill family members of our group.
St. Panteleimon lived in the 4th century A.D. and was martyred under Emperor Maximian. His name means all-merciful and is frequently invoked by those seeking his prayers to God for their health and healing. St. Panteleimon had been trained and educated as a physician and spent his life with the suffering, the weak and those in prisons, praying for them and healing them in the name of Jesus Christ. His gifts of healing became so well known in the Roman Empire that other physicians became jealous thus creating the catalyst for his martyrdom.
An akathist to Great Martyr-Healer Panteleimon begins:
“Chosen passion-bearer of Christ and gracious healer, who freely grantest healing to the sick, we praise thee in songs as our protector. As thou hast boldness with the Lord, free us from all harm and sickness who cry with love to thee:
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!
Most Holy Saint and Martyr Panteleimon-the-Healer, intercede to the Most Merciful God for the healing of (names for the healing of his/her) in soul and body.
We know thee, glorious Panteleimon, as an earthly angel and a heavenly man. For adorned with angelic purity and martyrdom thou hast passed from earth to Heaven, where with angels and all the saints standing before the throne of the Lord of Glory, thou prayest for all of us on earth who venerate thee with these invocations...”
Just as of yesterday, the 28th of May I learned of a miracle, through the intercessory prayers of St. Panteleimon to Christ our God, in the life of Mrs. H. Upon visiting the Cleveland Clinic, her doctors were happy to report that there is no trace of cancer. It is believed that she did suffer a mild stroke; a full recovery is expected.
Glory to God for all things. Glory to Thee!
*Photo is a shrine to St. Panteleimon at Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV
PS. Just in the short amount of time since I've posted this, Fr. Andrew, our assistant priest at St. George Cathedral, has informed me of yet another miraculous cure of cancer in our parish! Praise God!! This is a quote from Fr. Andrew regarding this latest information:
"The smart medical people I've talked to tell me that the only way these could have been medical flukes or mistaken diagnoses would be for multiple doctors, labs, and high-tech medical machines to have been wrong multiple times in a row over the course of weeks and months."