Sonntag, 27. Juli 2014

Is secular “psychotherapy” compatible with the principles and the anthropology of the Orthodox Church?

An interview with Dr Jean Claude Larchet, University Professor who holds a doctorate in the Humanities, has studied Psychopathology, Philosophy and the Eastern Church Fathers and has also had clinical experience in psychiatric hospitals.

Mr Jean Claude Larchet was born in North-East Francein 1949. He is Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Theology in the University of Strasbourg, as well as the author of fifteen books and numerous articles on theology and on the spirituality of the Church Fathers, which have been translated into twelve languages. He is considered as one of the leading Orthodox patrologists and an important voice of Orthodox Christianity inEurope. He lives and works as a professor in France and is the executive editor, in two French publishing houses, of a series of books on contemporary spiritual figures of the Orthodox Church, including the Elder Joseph the Hesychast, the Elder Paisios, the Elder Efraim Katounakiotis, the Elder Charalambos, the Elder Porphyrios, Starets Sergei (the latter has also been translated into Greek) et al.
He is also the author of the book: “Therapy of Spiritual Illnesses – An Introduction to the Ascetic Tradition of the Orthodox Church” («Thérapeutique des maladies spirituelles: Une introduction à la tradition ascétique de l'Église orthodoxe»), Paris 2000.

This is a transcribed excerpt from “Radio-Paraga”, a program in the official radio station of the Church of Greece. It was broadcast on Sunday, 6 February 2000, under the title: “Is Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy a Science?”. The program was presented by father Konstantinos Stratigopoulos.

Fr K.S.: Thank you for being with us tonight. The subject of our broadcast is psychotherapy according to the Eastern Church Fathers versus secular “psychotherapy”. Since you are an expert in this field, we would like to ask you a few questions. In your opinion, is secular “psychotherapy” compatible with the principles and the anthropology of the Orthodox Church?

Mr Jean Claude Larchet: I think that we need to make a distinction. There are many types of secular “psychotherapy”, but some of them are more prevalent, I would say, especially psychoanalysis; and in the psychoanalytic movement we have Freudian psychoanalysis and Jungian psychoanalysis. As far as Freudian psychoanalysis is concerned, I would say that there is a fairly significant issue of incongruity with Christian anthropology. In the first place, this is because Freud makes certain premises that suggest a vision of man as a being who denies God and his relationship with God; besides that, Freud has a totally materialistic concept of man and naturally, his perception of the shaping of human character with all its singularities is almost at odds with the Christian perspective.

Let me explain myself; Freud, for instance, believes that at the root of everything there are two major categories of forces, two drives, which are the sexual and the aggressive urges. In Freud’s thought, man’s whole psychological life can be explained by these two, which also include more sublimated, idealized impulses. For example, even the inclinations demonstrated by man in church life, in philosophical thought, in artistic creation, all the above tendencies are, according to Freud, forms of a certain form of employing, a certain kind of channelling the sexual energy and we obviously know that, contrary to that notion, in the Orthodox Church sexuality is an energy that constitutes a diversion of what was initially a God-oriented energy; in other words, man was created by God with all of his functions oriented towards Him! From the moment man distanced himself from God and sinned, from that moment, his energy deviated in various ways, especially in sexuality, but also in malicious aggression.

I would also like to say one more thing about aggression. In Freud’s view, there is a primordial aggressiveness in human beings, that is directed against everyone else; but,for Christianity, aggressiveness should normally be directed towards our fight against evil, our fight against sin, so when this aggressiveness turns against other people, it constitutes a form of perversion, a malicious orientation. Of course here we already have an entirely different vision [of humanity].

From yet another perspective, there is one more principle in Freud’s perception that is totally incompatible with Christianity. It is the fact that Christian anthropology strongly insists on man’s freedom, on the fact that man has a capacity for self-determination that he must use in cooperation with God’s Grace in order to evolve. By contrast, Freud thinks that man is already conditioned – in terms of his psychic structure, his psychological life – from the first years of his life and therefore is subject to drives that have been instilled in his subconscious, so that he is in a sense confined and unable to free himself on his own.

I would also like to say a few words, briefly, about other forms of “psychotherapy”. We have just mentioned Jungian “psychotherapy”, which is another, highly developed, form. Apparently Jung has a vision, slightly different from Freud’s, slightly more spiritual, but it is not a Christian spirituality. There is, for example, great interest, among various mystic or esoteric movements, regarding Jungian psychology and very often we find this type of “psychotherapy” in connection with para-religions or beliefs that are alien to Christianity! So now in the West we are witnessing the development of psychotherapies which are closely linked to para-religious movements and very often this is a means used by some of those involved in such movements in order to lure people to them!

Therefore, the problems we are facing, in my opinion, come down to the fact thatthere is no form of psychotherapy that is really independent from anthropological interventions. What I mean to say is that behind every form of psychotherapy there is an implicit anthropology, i.e. a specific understanding of man, and often these “psychotherapies” are constructed outside Christianity and they are different precisely in terms of their anthropology; by employing such psychotherapies we run the risk, if you wish, of directing man’s psychic life towards models that do not fit in with the Christian faith.

Fr K.S.: Can secular “psychotherapy” contribute to the therapeutic tradition of the Church?

Mr Jean Claude Larchet: Actually, in my books I have elaborated on this, as well, and it may seem strange, but I have developed the opposite idea, i.e. the notion that, on the contrary, it is the Church that has something to offer to secular “psychotherapy”. In the end, secular “psychotherapy” often seems too inadequate in its understanding of man; in other words, it conceives man in a purely psychological and purely social frame of reference, but not at all in a spiritual context. Undoubtedly, in Christian anthropology the psychic life is not truly autonomous, since it is partly associated with the life of the body and very often depends on the state of the body. The Fathers of the Church have often mentioned this; in some cases we encounter mental illnesses or mental disorders which are associated with physical disorders and which we have to treat with organic means, with the use of medications.

But, on the other hand, mental disorders are, in many cases, associated with spiritual maladies! We should, therefore, make a clear distinction between conditions that fall under the mental or the spiritual category of ailments and make sure we do not confuse the two. In the Orthodox Church we justifiably have a tradition of healing spiritual maladies. The Church Fathers have considerably developed this approach by studying the passions, the way they operate and their negative impact in human life; they have also demonstrated that almost all passions engender significant disorders in man’s psyche. For example, in the lives of saints we can see that anger is the cause of many mental illnesses or that the passion of sadness creates anxiety and anguish; acedia (spiritual apathy, sloth) is a source of depression and debility, whereas the passion of fear gives rise to neurotic phobias. So I’m thinking that there are, within the traditional patristic heritage of the Orthodox Church, and especially in the prolific teachings of the Church Fathers, there are many elements that we can use in order to understand the disorders of the human psyche, tend to them and heal them, contrary to the analyses suggested by modern psychotherapies. When we read “The Ladder” by St John Climacus, when we read the books by Evagrius Ponticus, we find a very elegant, very subtle and exceedingly profound analysis of the operation of the human psyche. And they can be extremely beneficial to us, but unfortunately this patristic heritage has often been largely forgotten.

Fr K.S.: What does the Orthodox Tradition offer to the treatment of mental illnesses?

Mr Jean Claude Larchet: It is exactly here, I think, that we can find a wonderfully rich body of teachings which are, nevertheless, somewhat forgotten. I believe that it is precisely through the study of ascetic texts that we can attain an awareness of how our psychic life operates, both in its healthy and afflicted state, in a way that is entirely consistent with Christian anthropology.

Fr K.S.: Can secular anthropology heal the soul?

Mr Jean Claude Larchet: Listen! We need to make a distinction between two elements in the soul; we need to discern between the mental and the spiritual. If the question is whether it can heal spiritual maladies, then the obvious answer is that no, it can’t. However, I would say that occasionally secular “psychotherapies” can provide some relief from mental illnesses. But there is no “psychotherapy” that can truly heal the soul. The evidence, if you wish, is in the fact that these psychotherapies are manifold and diverse. If there was really even one among them that could heal, then it would have managed to become prevalent, it could have eclipsed the others. The fact that we are constantly looking for new methods of psychotherapy shows that we have not found a satisfactory form of therapy. At least some psychotherapies allow for the alleviation of certain types of psychic suffering resulting from mental disorders. But I would say that we can also, in our current practice, provide some sort of relief thanks to the ministry of listening. I believe that priests, through the practice of hearing confessions, if they devote time to listen to their parishioners who come to confess, if they listen to them with love and also with a compassionate, sympathetic disposition and aided by praying, they can reach as good as, if not better results than those of “psychotherapy”. I would say that Christianity, the Church, offers much more, because when a patient goes to a “psychotherapist”, the “psychotherapist” listens to him and the patient often confides secrets of his innermost life, his difficulties, etc., thus finding some relief, but the Church offers more than lending an ear to our distress; it offers charitable love, God’s forgiveness, and therefore the dissolution of certain root issues, the suppression of certain causes of psychic pain to the extent that some mental disorders are associated with sins and passions.

Fr K.S.: Are the methods of secular “psychotherapy” in accordance with the therapeutic work of the Church?

Mr Jean Claude Larchet: I’d like to stress the fact that there is a fairly significant difference between the way secular “psychotherapy” works and the way we can be healed inside the Church. Let me also add something concerning the difference between psychoanalysis and what takes place in the Church and has sometimes been compared with psychoanalysis – namely, the mystery of confession.

The psychoanalytic principle is based on talking about the past, on relating it in every minute detail and discovering the situations that could have been the source of mental disorders. The aim, eventually, is to become conscious of and express things that may have been forgotten and could have been linked with the origin of illnesses. But the patient or the person who is undergoing psychoanalysis ultimately has to comprehend this situation without being offered the means for finding a meaning in it, or, even better, for overcoming the situation in any way – other than by accepting it.

Inside the Church there is a very big difference, because confession is not only a return to the past, but also the revelation of one’s real psychological state to his spiritual father, whereby the latter will be able to give specific help so that the person who confesses can, in his turn, find a way to fight against his mental state and eventually be released from it. But confession is not merely a psychological exercise; it is a practice that needs to be interconnected with ascetic living as a whole – particularly with praying and participating in the Church’s sacramental life through which we receive what can actually help us: God’s Grace. In “psychotherapy” we encounter man-made means of treatment and very often we do not have the strength to face the state of our inner life that is revealed through “psychoanalysis”. However, in the context of the Church we receive the help and discerning guidance of our spiritual father on the one hand, and the help of Divine Grace on the other.

I would also like to stress the fact that psychoanalysis poses certain risks, because some people are actually faced with difficult situations they experienced in the past, situations that they are made to recall and become aware of, but are unable to handle or even bear. Meanwhile, the psychoanalyst can offer them no means, no way to overcome such situations; in fact, psychoanalytic sessions sometimes result in tragedy: there have been frequent cases of suicide or, instead of therapy, we often see a change for the worse and further deterioration in the patient’s state; that’s precisely because “psychotherapy” lacks this idea, or this reality, of man benefiting from a powerful external source of help, which is what happens in the Church.

On the other hand, I would also like to add one more thing, if I may. There is danger, indeed, in recalling our old passions in detail. The Church Fathers advise us to confess our passions, to recount before God the sins we have committed – not just be aware of them – and of course to be able to confess all of our difficulties, as well. But the Fathers advise us against and discourage re-living in detail whatever in our past didn’t end well, whatever bears a connection with our sins. That’s precisely because confession is not a recollection with which the patient is subsequently stuck, but something that we confess before God in order to receive His forgiveness. And forgiveness means exactly the elimination of all pathological effects, even of the very source of the illness or disorders connected – when there is a connection – with sin; in other words, God’s forgiveness really offers a therapy that secular “psychotherapy” essentially doesn’t.

Fr K.S.: Professor Larchet, we are very grateful for your contribution and for everything you have told us. Thank you very much. Goodnight.


*This is the same Light that Moses experienced on Mt. Sinai when he encountered the Burning Bush.  It is referred to in Orthodox Theology as The Uncreated Divine Light

 Since we are discussing some new found information about the supernatural experiences of the Elder Porphyrios, I would like to first share with you what happened to him on Mt. Athos when he was a young monk. This is taken from one of the books that I translated about his life entitled “Testimonies and Experiences of the Elder Porphyrios.”  This was published in 2007 by the Monastery he built in Malakasa, Greece.  As quoted from this book: “We should not find it strange that Divine Grace should rest upon this young monk who was filled with fire for Christ and gave everything for His love.  He never once considered all his labors and struggles an imposition upon his life.

It was still dawn, and the main Church of Kavsokalyvia was locked.  Nikitas (Porphyrios before his tonsure), however, was standing in the corner of the Church entrance waiting for the bells to ring and the doors to be opened. He was followed by the old monk Dimas, a former Russian officer, over ninety years old, a holy ascetic man.  Fr. Dimas looked around and made sure that nobody was there.  He didn’t notice young Nikitas (Porphyrios) waiting in the shadows of the entrance.  Fr. Dimas started making full genuflections and praying before the closed Church. Divine Grace suddenly descended upon the holy Fr. Dimas and also cascaded down upon the young Nikitas (Porphyrios), who was then ready to receive it.  His feelings were indescribable.  On his way back to his cell, after receiving Holy Communion in the Divine Liturgy that morning, his feelings were so intense that he stopped, stretched out his hands and shouted loudly “Glory to You, O God! Glory to You, Glory to You, O God! Glory to You.”             Following the visitation of the Holy Spirit, a fundamental change took place in the psychosomatic makeup of the young Monk Nikitas (Porphyrios).  It was the change that comes directly from the hand of God.  He acquired supernatural gifts and was vested with power from on high.
The first sign of these gifts was when his Elders were returning from a journey and he was able to see them coming from a great distance.  He saw them where they were, even though they were not within sight.  He confessed this to Fr. Panteleimon, his Elder, who advised him to be very cautious about his gift and to tell no one about it.  He followed this advice very carefully until he was told to do otherwise.

  More gifts were revealed to him.  His sensitivity to things around him became very acute and his human capacities developed to their fullest.  He listened to and recognized bird and animal voices to the extent that he knew not just where they came from, but what they were saying.  His sense of smell was developed to such a degree that he could recognize fragrances at a great distance.  He knew the different types of aroma and the makeup of them.  After humble prayer he was able to see the depths of the earth and the far reaches of space.  He could see through water and rock formations.  He could see petroleum deposits, radioactivity, ancient and buried monuments, hidden graves, crevices in the depths of the earth, subterranean springs, lost icons, scenes of events that had taken place centuries before, prayers that had been lifted up in the past, good and evil spirits, the human soul itself, just about everything.  He tasted the quality of water in the depths of the earth.  He would question the rocks and they would tell him about the spiritual struggles of ascetics who went before him.  He looked at people and was able to heal them.  He simply touched people and made them well.  He prayed and his prayer became reality.  However, he never knowingly tried to use these gifts from God to benefit himself.  He never asked to be healed of his own ailments even though he had many of them. He never tried to get personal gain from the knowledge extended to him by Divine Grace. (Editor’s note: He truly became Christ-like).

 Every time he used his gift of discernment (διάκρισις) the hidden thoughts of the human mind were revealed to him.  He was able, through the Grace of God, to see the past, the present and future all at the same time.  He confirmed that God is all-knowing and all-powerful.  He was able to observe and touch all creation, from the edge of the Universe to the depth of the human soul and history.  St. Paul’s phrase: “One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (Cor. 12:11) certainly held true for the Elder Porphyrios.  Naturally, he was a human being and received Grace which comes from God.  This God, who for reasons of His own sometimes did not reveal everything to Him, Life lived in Grace is an unknown mystery for us.  Any more talk on the matter would be a rude invasion into matters we do not understand. The Elder always pointed this out to all those who attributed his abilities to something other than Grace.  He underlined this fact, again and again, saying “It’s not something that is learned.  It is not a skill.  It is GRACE.”

 These are the things that happened to him at the beginning of his monastic life.  Now we share with you what happened to him as he was preparing to depart this earthly life and to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  These things that I am sharing with you are taken from a talk that Monk Akakios gave in November of 2010. He lived with the Elder for the last twenty years of his life and was at his bedside when the Elder gave up his soul.  Akakios tells us the following marvelous things about Porphyrios. He experienced the Uncreated Light in his cell at the Monastery in Malakasa, Greece which is about one hour outside of Athens.  That particular day, he was talking to Akakios about spiritual issues.  He was able at that time to still get up from his bed and walk a few steps.  He got up and walked a few steps toward me and suddenly I saw him levitating above the floor.  At the same time he started to exude a very bright blue Light—his clothing, his face and everything about him was reflecting this bright blue Light.

 I tried to look at his face but my eyes could not stand the brightness of that Light.  I turned away for a while and then I looked at him again.  I could not get enough of that Light that was shining from him.  Again I could not stand the brightness and I turned away.  I do not remember how long this phenomenon lasted.  But slowly, slowly the brightness started to diminish and he slowly was lowered to the floor. I had never experienced anything like that and I did not have the courage to ask him about it.  They say that Light is the Wisdom and Power of God.  A few days later, during the summer I was alone in a cell at St. Demetrios in Kerasia dealing with some very serious personal spiritual issues.  The power of that Light that I had seen envelope the Elder accompanied me there at Kerasia and helped me to overcome fierce and difficult temptations of Satan.

  After some time, when I returned from there and I was doing spiritual exercises under his direction, he spoke to me and said to me to locate in the Bible I Kings where it says, “I live, God lives, do not forsake me.” To Elijah this is in reference to his preparing to ascend to heaven and the young Elisha followed him and he said to him “I am going a little further ahead before I die and he said to him “my soul lives, my God lives, do not forsake me.”  The Elder asked me what this expression meant.  I said that is an oath that his soul will never abandon his Elder until the end of time.  The Elder said “come closer so that I may explain it to you in my own words what this means. As I approached him, I was overwhelmed with awe because I was enveloped in a bright red Light. 

  This is now an aside from what we are talking about.  I once was talking to the Elder Paisios who told me about the Uncreated Light, an experience of a red Light.  He said do not let anyone tell you that the Red Light is not Divine Light because the chariot of Elijah was enveloped in red light.  I tell you this because there is a false opinion circulating that the red color is that of Satan.  That is not true.

 Now let us come back to our original topic. I approached him.  He caressed me, he kissed me on my face, on my head and he put his lips to my ear and said “my God lives, my soul lives, do not forsake me.  The time has come for me to say to you in my own words; 
είναι εύκολότερο ό ίδιος νά ζήση παρά ήμάς τούς δυό ψυχρότης νά μάς χωρίση.” (It is easier for me to live than for bitterness to separate us.)”  At that very moment I was overwhelmed by that Divine Fire.  I was then told that I would be with my Elder until the end of his life when he would leave for his heavenly journey.

The time was getting near for us to leave for the Monastery of Kavsokalyvia on Mt. Athos in order to prepare for the holy demise of the Elder.  He said to me, “Come and let me teach you how to pray to the Παναγία (The All-Holy Mary).  I got him up, because by this time he could not get up alone and walk. We moved to the icon of Παναγία (the Holy Mother) that was in his cell.  It is a large icon of the Theotokos that he is often pictured with.
 He lifted up his arm in order to make a genuflection.  In doing this he was forced to lean against the table and because I grabbed to support him he scolded me for being so concerned about him. He proceeded to make two genuflections and on the third one he raised up both his arms and he was raised one meter above the floor and he began to reflect a very sweet Light. The Elder loved the Holy Mother very much and he had many icons of her in his cell.  He would say to me, “look here, here and here there are icons of the Holy Mother everywhere.”  At that moment, the face of the Elder disappeared and he began to speak through the White Light.  Even the icons were enveloped in this Light.  The image of the Holy Mother could not be seen.  The Light was very sweet because she is our sweet Mother.  I could not understand what he was saying so I got even closer to him.  I then took hold of his hand or rather it was the hand of the Holy Mother and I do not remember how long we were in that moment of ecstasy.  Then slowly I felt that the hand of the Holy Mother was the hand of the Elder.  I then saw the face of the Elder and again he was walking on the floor.  He slowly removed his hand from mine and allowed me to help him return to his bed. I stood amazed before that brilliance of the Elder.  I feel unworthy to talk about the Elder in these words.  You may ask me why I feel unworthy to talk to you about these experiences and why I feel humbled by them.  No, I am not humbling myself.  I tell you the truth.  When the Elder fell asleep, a little later I suddenly realized that every moment that I was close to the Elder was a spiritual experience.  In this way, if we spoke for a thousand hours about the Elder, they would not be adequate to describe his greatness and his many miracles.
After the Elder fell asleep I went to the Monastery Katounakia to have a cassock sewn for me.  As I was ascending the path toward Katounakia, I saw Fr. Ephraim on the left side of the foot path.  Fr. Ephraim was doing some work.  I greeted him.  Fr. Ephraim said to me, “Do you know what I am doing now; I am preparing these steps so that I can go down below and prepare my grave.  I am also preparing myself to leave this world.”  We had a discussion and then he looked at the sea and said to me, “Do you see the ocean?” I said, “Yes Elder.”  That is the way Porphyrios was. It was a unique Grace that he had.  If I send you to the ocean to fetch me a little water, how much water could you bring me?” I said, “as much as my little container can hold.”  “Bravo,” he said to me, that is what it is.  That is all you can bring me.  Do you understand the meaning of what I am saying?”

  The Elder had three great Christian virtues; άγάπη, humbleness, and patience.  The love of the Elder toward God was not simple love, it was divine love.  He had love for his sweet Jesus.  Like iron is melted in a fire, so also was the Elder melted by the love of God.  He became a flame and reflected the Uncreated Light of God.  His love of Jesus was defined by the allegory of the shepherdess and her love for the shepherd.  It was this divine love that he had acquired at the age of thirteen that inspired him to pursue severe ascetic struggles.  His Elders were very strict with him.  He called them tyrants but he also said they were holy.   He would not allow himself to sleep at night.  He would do hundreds of genuflections along with his prayers.  During the winter months he would strip himself to the waste in order to emulate the severity of Siberian winters.  He later admitted that his severe asceticism compromised his health.  When I asked him how his Elder allowed a fifteen year old boy to abuse himself in such ascetic struggles, he said, “when you fall in love with Jesus Christ, you do not ask anyone what you should do”  He would often repeat the words of St. Paul in reference to Jesus. Ζώ δέ ούκ έτι έγώ ζεί έν ήμίν ό Χριστός.  (I no longer live for Christ lives in me.).
In Malakasa one night the nuns were awakened from their sleep by the weeping and wailing of the Elder.  When they reached his room, they heard him saying through the door, “Lord give me his sickness.  I will die in place of him.  He has seven children.  He must live in order to raise his children.”

   At the end of his life, he was so weak that simply by speaking to people he would be in danger of dying.   When I first met him I did not know all these things and when he finished talking to visitors I would hasten to him in order to receive his blessing.  Once when I did this, he said to me, “I am tired and I cannot give you a blessing.” I responded, “I just need to kiss your hand.” He then raised his hands and said Νά ρέ. (Here then).  He crucified himself like Jesus.  The nuns were often criticized for telling people to go away when they saw the Elder so weak.  He would die every day for his fellow man.  The Elder Sophronios from Essex, England said that the humblest man in the world was the Elder Porphyrios.

    A young man who had psychological and drug problems was sent by the Elder to Mt. Sinai to recover.  But instead of the young man going to Church at night he would go to the Burning Bush and sleep under it.  The monks of the Monastery would look for him everywhere and could not find him.  One night, the young man saw the Elder Porphyrios standing before him and the Elder ordered him to get up. He then proceeded to slap him so hard that he fell down.  This miraculous event of course happened while the Elder was still physically in Malakasa, Greece.
  When the Turks invaded Cyprus in 1974, the military in Greece could not communicate with the military in Cyprus.  The Greek military officers knowing the supernatural powers of the Elder went to visit him at Malakasa.  The Elder’s supernatural powers allowed him to see all the moves of the Turks and he revealed this to the Greek military in Greece.

  He was able to speak to people in their native language.  He knew all the sciences and he was able to discourse with scientists of all the different sciences. He completely understood the scientific terminology they used.

    At the end of his earthly life, they went to Kavsokalyvia for the last time. While at the Monastery,  Fr. Akakios would care for him for twelve hours and Fr. Panteleimon would care for him for twelve hours. He said, “I have come here to prepare myself to die.  I will not go back to the world.  If something should happen to me and I should desire to go back to the world, do everything you can to stop me.”  He asked me to read the service of those who are being tonsured into monasticism.  I read this service for a whole month.  He said to me; “do you know why I am asking you to read this service and I am doing commentary on it?  I said; “because you want to teach me.” He responded, “I want to see if I have fulfilled all those promises that I made in that service.  I want to see if I am a genuine monk.” He also wanted to hear the funeral service as chanted by the great cantor Vasilikos.  This cassette was recorded in Paris.  It became well known in the Orthodox world. The Elder asked me to order it from Athens so that he could hear it.   As soon as the service started he suddenly pushed the stop button on the cassette and began crying.  The Elder then said; “our age is similar to the age when Jesus came to preach the Good News.”  “I now leave the world because nobody listens.  Everyone is doing their own thing and nobody pays attention to what we are saying.  Only if we join ourselves to the Uncreated Church will we be saved.”  One of the nuns who took care of the Elder at the Monastery in Malakasa called him once on Mt. Athos.  She asked him, “How are you feeling Elder?  He answered; “what am I doing my child is fighting with the whole world.”


   At 9 p.m. he tried to tell me something but he could not get the words out. But I understood that he wanted to speak to a novice.  I called Theodore and wanting to leave them alone, I said I would prepare the milk for the Elder.  Before I was able to prepare the milk Theodore called me and said to come quickly because the Elder was in great distress.  This situation lasted until four in the morning.  In spite of this, he lived until 2 a.m. the next night.  The Elder said “call everyone because I am leaving.”  He asked us to say the Jesus Prayer loudly.  He said I should say this prayer a thousand times.  And I said it one thousand timesΚύριε Ίησού Χριστέ Έλέησόν με (Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon me) and a thousand times Κύριε Ίησού Χριστέ έλέησον τόνκόσμον σου (Lord Jesus have mercy upon the world).  Then I said Κύριε Ίησού Χριστέ άνάπαυσον τούς δούλους σου (Lord Jesus Christ grant repose to Your servants).  He was having difficulty breathing.  We attempted to lift him up and he would faint.  We then did CPR three times to revive him.  He asked us for the last time to lift him up and he again fainted. I again began saying the Jesus Prayer.  He then took his gaze away from us and was looking up.  He turned his head to one side, his face was becoming more and more peaceful and a faint Light enveloped his face.  He was saying something that we could not hear.  Then I heard him say; Έλαέλα έρχου Κύριε (Come, Come, I am coming Lord). He closed his eyes and then something very shocking happened.

   Remember when I spoke to you at the beginning of this presentation about him talking to me about the Prophet Elijah and Elisha? It was at that time that he said to me that I would be the one to close his eyes as he gave up his spirit.  He said then: “It is easier for me to live than for a chill to separate us.”  As he closed his eyes I was thinking within myself that he told me a long time ago that I would close his eyes at the end. As I was thinking this, he suddenly stopped closing his eyes, turned to me and said “close my eyes.”  I closed his eyes by gently placing my hand on his eyes.  He closed his mouth and the end came. 
 He had left directives about his funeral many days before he died.  He told us in detail what should happen at his funeral. He said who would change his clothing, who would take him to the Church and then there would be a vigil and all the community should receive Holy Communion. He also told us who would carry him to the grave.  He directed that no phone calls were to be made to the outside world. He said that everything will be done in an ascetic and humble way.   I wrote down all his wishes and he then approved them.  He again called together the whole brotherhood and he placed the directives for the funeral on the icon of the Holy Mother.  He said that when I die you will fulfill all the directives.    
Fr. Panteleimon and I changed his clothes.  The others went outside as we prepared his body for burial.  We found his will in his clothes and we later published it. One of his requests was that we should anoint his body with myrrh from the έπιτάφιον (replica of the Tomb of Christ).  As we prepared to take him to the cemetery, the Aegean Sea below us was very rough and nobody could possibly navigate it and approach the Monastery in time for the funeral.  But as soon as we placed his body in the grave, the ocean became calm and some people arrived to see the elder for the last time but they were too late.
 When I was writing down his requests for the funeral, a monk came to his cell and asked the Elder what he wanted us to do with his bones after we exhumed his remains.  His response was; “Oh, throw them in some ravine where nobody will be able to find them.  In that way, they will not be able to make me out to be a saint and reverence my bones.”  His body dissolved and was returned to the elements from which it was created.  The only parts of his body that remained incorrupt were his two hands.  When the Church proclaims him a saint some day, we will be able to receive his blessing from his incorrupted hands once again.  May we have his blessing.  I pray that all of you will have the blessing of the Elder Porphyrios.

  A saying of the Elder: “The best way to prepare for the antichrist is to banish the antichrist from our lives and fill our inner being with Christ. If we are called to be martyrs for our faith, we will go willingly.”

Translated by +Fr. Constantine J. Simones from the Greek in the summer of 2012 USA.      

Live of Greatmartyr and Healer Panteleimon (And Akathist to the Saint)

The Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon was born in the city of Nicomedia into the family of the illustrious pagan Eustorgius, and he was named Pantoleon. His mother St Euboula (March 30) was a Christian. She wanted to raise her son in the Christian Faith, but she died when the future martyr was just a young child. His father sent Pantoleon to a pagan school, after which the young man studied medicine at Nicomedia under the renowned physician Euphrosynus. Pantoleon came to the attention of the emperor Maximian (284-305), who wished to appoint him as royal physician when he finished his schooling.
The hieromartyrs Hermolaus, Hermippus and Hermocrates, survivors of the massacre of 20,000 Christians in 303 (December 28), were living secretly in Nicomedia at that time. St Hermolaus saw Pantoleon time and again when he came to the house where they were hiding. Once, the priest invited the youth to the house and spoke about the Christian Faith. After this Pantoleon visited St Hermolaus every day.
One day the saint found a dead child on the street. He had been bitten by a great snake, which was still beside the child’s body. Pantoleon began to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ to revive the dead child and to destroy the venomous reptile. He firmly resolved that if his prayer were fulfilled, he would become a follower of Christ and receive Baptism. The child rose up alive, and the snake died before Pantoleon’s eyes. After this miracle, Pantoleon was baptized by St Hermolaus with the name Panteleimon (meaning “all-merciful”). Speaking with Eustorgius, St Panteleimon prepared him to accept Christianity. When the father saw how his son healed a blind man by invoking Jesus Christ, he then believed in Christ and was baptized by St Hermolaus together with the man whose sight was restored. After the death of his father, St Panteleimon dedicated his life to the suffering, the sick, the unfortunate and the needy. He treated all those who turned to him without charge, healing them in the name of Jesus Christ. He visited those held captive in prison. These were usually Christians, and he healed them of their wounds. In a short time, reports of the charitable physician spread throughout the city. Forsaking the other doctors, the inhabitants began to turn only to St Panteleimon. The envious doctors told the emperor that St Panteleimon was healing Christian prisoners. Maximian urged the saint to refute the charge by offering sacrifice to idols. St Panteleimon confessed himself a Christian, and suggested that a sick person, for whom the doctors held out no hope, should be brought before the emperor. Then the doctors could invoke their gods, and Panteleimon would pray to his God to heal the man. A man paralyzed for many years was brought in, and pagan priests who knew the art of medicine invoked their gods without success. Then, before the very eyes of the emperor, the saint healed the paralytic by calling on the name of Jesus Christ. The ferocious Maximian executed the healed man, and gave St Panteleimon over to fierce torture.
The Lord appeared to the saint and strengthened him before his sufferings. They suspended the Great Martyr Panteleimon from a tree and scraped him with iron hooks, burned him with fire and then stretched him on the rack, threw him into a cauldron of boiling tar, and cast him into the sea with a stone around his neck. Throughout these tortures the martyr remained unhurt, and denounced the emperor. At this time the priests Hermolaus, Hermippus and Hermocrates were brought before the court of the pagans. All three confessed their faith in the Savior and were beheaded (July 26).
By order of the emperor they brought the Great Martyr Panteleimon to the circus to be devoured by wild beasts. The animals, however, came up to him and licked his feet. The spectators began to shout, “Great is the God of the Christians!” The enraged Maximian ordered the soldiers to stab with the sword anyone who glorified Christ, and to cut off the head of the Great Martyr Panteleimon. They led the saint to the place of execution and tied him to an olive tree. While the martyr prayed, one of the soldiers struck him with a sword, but the sword became soft like wax and inflicted no wound. The saint completed his prayer, and a Voice was heard from Heaven, calling the passion-bearer by his new name and summoning him to the heavenly Kingdom. Hearing the Voice, the soldiers fell down on their knees before the holy martyr and begged forgiveness. They refused to continue with the execution, but St Panteleimon told them to fulfill the emperor’s command, because otherwise they would have no share with him in the future life. The soldiers tearfully took their leave of the saint with a kiss.
When the saint was beheaded, the olive tree to which the saint was tied became covered with fruit. Many who were present at the execution believed in Christ. The saint’s body was thrown into a fire, but remained unharmed, and was buried by Christians . St Panteleimon’s servants Laurence, Bassos and Probus witnessed his execution and heard the Voice from Heaven. They recorded the life, the sufferings and death of the saint. Portions of the holy relics of the Great Martyr Panteleimon were distributed throughout all the Christian world. His venerable head is now located at the Russian monastery of St Panteleimon on Mt. Athos. The veneration of the holy martyr in the Russian Orthodox Church was already known in the twelfth century. Prince Izyaslav (in Baptism, Panteleimon), the son of St Mstislav the Great, had an image of St Panteleimon on his helmet. Through the intercession of the saint he remained alive during a battle in the year 1151. On the Feast of the Great Martyr Panteleimon, Russian forces won two naval victories over the Swedes (in 1714 near Hanhauze and in 1720 near Grenham). St Panteleimon is venerated in the Orthodox Church as a mighty saint, and the protector of soldiers. This aspect of his veneration is derived from his first name Pantoleon, which means “a lion in everything”. His second name, Panteleimon, given him at Baptism, which means “all-merciful”, is manifest in the veneration of the martyr as a healer. The connection between these two aspects of the saint is readily apparent in that soldiers, receiving wounds more frequently than others, are more in need of a physician-healer. Christians waging spiritual warfare also have recourse to this saint, asking him to heal their spiritual wounds.
The holy Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon is invoked in the Mystery of Anointing the Sick, at the Blessing of Water, and in the Prayers for the Sick. The Feast of the holy Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon is the patronal Feast of the Russian monastery on Athos. The forefeast starts eight days before the Feast. Each day after Vespers, Moliebens are sung with Canons in each of the eight tones. Thus, each day has its own particular Canon. The second day of the Feast is the monastery feastday. On this day a general Panikhida is served after Vespers in memory of the founders and benefactors of the monastery, and kollyva (kutia: wheat or rice boiled with honey) is blessed and distributed.

Akathist to the Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon
Kontakion 1
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!
Ekos 1
We know thee, glorious Panteleimon, as an earthly angel and heavenly man.For adorned with angelic purity and martyrdom thou hast passed from earth to Heaven, where with the 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:
Rejoice, torch of piety!
Rejoice, most glorious lamp of the Church!
Rejoice, adornment of venerable martyrs!
Rejoice, support of the faithful in unflinching endurance!
Rejoice, outstanding boast of youth!
Rejoice, warrior of Christ of invincible courage!
Rejoice, thou who having grown up in the world wast not of the world!
Rejoice, angel in the flesh, surpassing mortals!
Rejoice, vessel of divine knowledge!
Rejoice, thou by whom faith has been exalted!
Rejoice, thou by whom delusion has been dethroned!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!
Kontakion 2
Seeing thee to be a chosen vessel, the Lord loved the beauty of thy soul; for, despising all earthly glory and pleasure, thou didst long to adorn thyself with the crown of martyrdom, wounded with divine love and singing inspiringly:Alleluia!
Ekos 2
Possessing divinely inspired knowledge, O valiant warrior Panteleimon, thou didst astound the EmperorMaximian by the courage of thy soul and by the words with which thou didst fearlessly preach Christ.Wherefore, praising thy boldness we say to thee:
Rejoice, thou who didst despise Maximian’s threats!
Rejoice, thou who didst not yield to the advice of the godless!
Rejoice, propagator of true adoration!
Rejoice, uprooter of demon worship!
Rejoice, accuser of the fury of torturers!
Rejoice, overthrower of the delusion of idols!
Rejoice, thou who didst disperse the assembly of the godless!
Rejoice, thou who didst exchange corruptible for heavenly joy!
Rejoice, converser with immaterial angels!
Rejoice, fellow-chorister of longsuffering saints!
Rejoice, thou by whom Satan was put to shame!
Rejoice, thou by whom Christ is glorified!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!
Kontakion 3
By the power of the Most High given to thee and by thy strong patience thou didst render powerless the torturer’s insolence, O valiant victor, undaunted by fire, wild beasts, and the wheel.When beheaded with the sword, thou didst receive the crown of martyrdom, wounded with divine love and singing inspiringly:  Alleluia!
Ekos 3
The monastery which hath thy precious head as a great treasure, O divinely wise martyr, is filled with joy over it, and praising with love the Grace of healing given thee by God, thankfully crieth to thee:
Rejoice, all-radiant lamp of Nicomedia!
Rejoice, unsleeping guardian of the monastery that honoreth thee!
Rejoice, thou through whom godlessness grew cold!
Rejoice, thou through whom the knowledge of God hath increased!
Rejoice, bright glory of passion-bearers!
Rejoice, joyous report of the Orthodox!
Rejoice, gracious source of healings!
Rejoice, container of great gifts!
Rejoice, fragrant myrrh that doth sweeten souls!
Rejoice, for thou dost help those who call upon thee!
Rejoice, thou who didst give sight to the blind!
Rejoice, thou who didst cause the lame to walk!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!
Kontakion 4
Possessed by a storm of polytheistic thoughts, the impious Emperor was confused on learning from the doctors who were jealous of thee that thou healest all kinds of incurable illnesses by the name of Christ.And we, glorifying with gladness our wonderful God in thee, cry to Him:Alleluia!
Ekos 4
When the people of Nicomedia heard of thy great compassion for the suffering and of thy free healing of all illnesses, all rushed to thee with faith in the healing Grace in thee, and receiving swift healing of all their diseases they glorified God and magnified thee, their most gracious healer, crying to thee:
Rejoice, thou who art anointed with the myrrh of Grace!
Rejoice, sanctified temple of God!
Rejoice, great glory of the pious!
Rejoice, firm wall of the oppressed!
Rejoice, thou who surpassest the wise in knowledge!
Rejoice, thou who enlightenest the thoughts of the faithful!
Rejoice, recipient of divine gifts and source of many of the Lord’s mercies to us!
Rejoice, speedy helper of the suffering!
Rejoice, harbor of the storm-tossed!
Rejoice, instructor for those astray!
Rejoice, thou who dost heal the sick freely!
Rejoice, thou who dost impart healing abundantly!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!
Kontakion 5
The Lord worked a glorious miracle through thee when, through His servant Hermolaus, He called thee into His marvelous light.For after thy prayer to Christ a child who had died from snakebite at once revived and stood up healed.Then recognizing the Lifegiver as the true God of all, with firm faith thou didst cry to Him:Alleluia! 
Ekos 5
The blind man whom thou didst touch with prayer in the name of Christ recovered his sight O glorious martyr.Then, renouncing thy father’s polytheism, thou wast baptized by the priest Hermolaus and didst embrace thy mother’s religion with which thou didst also enlighten thy father.Therefore we cry aloud to thee as to a glorious servant of God and wonderful healer:
Rejoice, thou who hast great devotion to God!
Rejoice, thou who art ever aflame with the fire of divine love!
Rejoice, attentive listener to the teachings of the priest Hermolaus!
Rejoice, thou who didst follow the advice of thy mother Eubule!
Rejoice, thou who didst give away everything to obtain Christ!
Rejoice, thou who didst vanquish love for the world by love for God!
Rejoice, for instead of the pleasures of the world thou didst accept for Christ cruel sufferings!
Rejoice, for thou didst become a partaker of Christ’s Passion!
Rejoice, thou who didst overcome all the passions!
Rejoice, thou who through Grace wast adorned with dispassion!
Rejoice, thou who dost fill with joy those who hasten to thee!
Rejoice, thou who dost heal all freely by the Grace of Christ!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!
Kontakion 6
The blind man enlightened by thee in body and soul became a preacher of the truth for, like the blind man of the Gospel, he boldly preached Christ to all as the true light that enlighteneth every man.But for reproaching the impious Emperor and the pagan gods he was beheaded and rose to the unwaning light in Heaven to sing to God:Alleluia!
Ekos 6
Standing before the Emperor’s tribunal with a radiant face thou didst boldly declare in the hearing of all, thrice-blessed martyr:Mine all-healing power and glory is Christ, the true God, the Lord of all, Who raiseth the dead andhealeth all infirmities.For this confession we bless thee and say:
Rejoice, thundering mouth of the deity of Christ!
Rejoice, mellifluous tongue that declareth His plan of salvation!
Rejoice, orator of sublime theology!
Rejoice, wise sower of piety!
Rejoice, sweet-sounding flute of faith!
Rejoice, glorious preacher of Orthodoxy!
Rejoice, thou who wast shown to be marvelous before thy death!
Rejoice, seer of Christ’s glory!
Rejoice, listener to those who pray to thee!
Rejoice, giver of help to those who need it!
Rejoice, obtainer of blessings for those who honor thy memory!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon! 
Kontakion 7
Myrrh was poured out on thy soul, O divinely wise healer, from the Comforter Spirit, wherefore after thy death thy venerable relics, by their fragrance banish the stench of the passions and give healing to those who with faith cry to God:Alleluia!
Ekos 7
When the worshippers of idols beheld, O Saint, the paralyzed man raised and walking through thy prayer many believed in Christ; but the demon’s priests, consumed with jealousy, incited the Emperor to anger.Therefore, to thee who wast mercilessly tortured and burnt for Christ, we cry with compunction
Rejoice, thou who didst despise earthly pleasures!
Rejoice, thou who wast above material comforts!
Rejoice, for thou didst regard as nothing all the beautiful things in this world!
Rejoice, for thou didst shake thyself free of fleeting glory!
Rejoice, thou who didst remain free from the nets of the devil!
Rejoice, thou who didst vanquish the wiles of the torturers!
Rejoice, thou who didst not spare thy life for Christ!
Rejoice, thou who wast shown to be an enemy of hostile flesh!
Rejoice, thou who didst oppress the spread of polytheism!
Rejoice, thou who by the power of God didst defeat the idols!
Rejoice, sharp arrow by which enemies are wounded!
Rejoice, mediator who defendest the faithful!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon! 
Kontakion 8 
The Lord appeared to thee in a wonderful way, encouraging and upholding thee in the tortures for His name.For in the person of the priest Hermolaus He cooled the boiling lead into which thou was thrown, and in the sea He untied the great stone from thy neck and brought thee unharmed to land.But thou, having been brought again before the Emperor, didst sing triumphantly to Christ our God:Alleluia!
Ekos 8
While dwelling noetically wholly in Heaven, thou leavest not those below on earth but remainest with us through the relics of thy holy skull, O great passion-bearer of Christ, receiving from the Lord enlightenment and sanctification and giving it to those who cry to thee thus:
Rejoice, thou who art filled with divine wisdom!
Rejoice, discerner of God’s providence!
Rejoice, delight of minds made wise by God!
Rejoice, gladness of souls who love God!
Rejoice, bright pearl of Christ!
Rejoice, thou who wast sanctified in soul and body!
Rejoice, dweller in the courts of the firstborn in Heaven!
Rejoice, inhabitant of the ever-blessed bridal halls!
Rejoice, beholder of the light of the Trinity!
Rejoice, fervent mediator in thy prayers to God for us!
Rejoice, thou who grantest illumination to souls!
Rejoice, thou who sendest comfort to the afflicted!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!
Kontakion 9 
All nature marveled, O Panteleimon, at the radiance of Grace and wealth of virtues in thee: thine angelic purity, thy great courage in cruel sufferings, thy strong love for Christ and great compassion for people, for whom thou doest glorious things that they may sing:Alleluia!
Ekos 9
Eloquent orators cannot worthily praise thy struggles, O glorious victor, as by the invincible power of God, though young in years thou didst conquer the ancient, primordial enemy and didst put to shame the delusion of idols.But we, filled with wonder, cry to thee 
Rejoice, joyful sight of angels!
Rejoice, reverent wonder of men!
Rejoice, thou who didst shed thy blood for Christ, and in death didst shed milk!
Rejoice, thou who didst give up thy body to a martyr’s death for His sake!
Rejoice, model of confession!
Rejoice, valiant warrior of the King of kings!
Rejoice, thou who didst conquer the ruler of darkness!
Rejoice, thou who by thy victory didst gladden Heaven and earth!
Rejoice, blessed inhabitant of the world above!
Rejoice, wise pilgrim of the world below!
Rejoice, tree adorned with the fruits of the gifts of Grace!
Rejoice, thou who carriest palms of victory!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!
Kontakion 10
Filled with compassion, as a true imitator of the Lord, the Giver of mercy, O venerable martyr, thou wast renamed by Him Panteleimon (that is, all-merciful), for thou pourest mercy on all who resort to thee; pour it also abundantly on us who cry to God concerning thee:Alleluia!
Ekos 10

Finding thee a strong wall impregnable to all kinds of torture, the torturer tried to crush thy strength by the teeth of wild beast and the spikes of the torture-wheel, but all to no effect.For the power of Christ subdued the fierceness of the beasts and the frightful wheel, on which thy body was turned, immediately broke to pieces.So to thee, invincible passion-bearer, we cry:
Rejoice, precious chosen one of Christ!
Rejoice, unblemished fragrance of God!
Rejoice, firm diamond of the Church!
Rejoice, unshakable tower reaching to Heaven!
Rejoice, tamer of visible beasts!
Rejoice, crusher of invisible dragons!
Rejoice, thou who wast stained with thy blood shed for Christ, mixed with milk!
Rejoice, thou who hast received unfading crowns!
Rejoice, thou who causest joy to angels and men!
Rejoice, thou who hast been glorified by God in Heaven and on earth!
Rejoice, celestial one, who singest in choir with the martyrs!
Rejoice, thou who art satisfied with the sweet vision of Christ!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!
Kontakion 11
A funeral song we offer to thy sacred immolation for Christ, in which milk instead of blood flowed from thee, Great Martyr, and the olive tree under which thou wast beheaded was all covered with healing fruit.Wherefore we cry fervently to Christ Who wonderfully glorifieth those who glorify Him:Alleluia!
Ekos 11
A luminous ray wast thou, O divinely wise one, to those sitting in the darkness of polytheism, leading them to the Sun of righteousness, Christ God.Him do thou entreat that we who offer thee these glad praises may ever live in the light of His commandments:
Rejoice, bright star, shining in the noetical firmament!
Rejoice, ray of light shining for Christian people!
Rejoice, thou who wast mystically illumined by the Sun, Christ!
Rejoice, thou who in spirit roamest the earth!
Rejoice, beautiful tabernacle of the Most Holy Spirit!
Rejoice, honorable vessel that poureth out healing!
Rejoice, treasury of purity!
Rejoice, namesake of mercy!
Rejoice, heir of the Heavenly Kingdom!
Rejoice, partaker of eternal glory!
Rejoice, patron of those in distress on the sea of life!
Rejoice, unmercenary healer who helpest those who invoke thee with faith!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!
Kontakion 12
Thou didst receive an abundance of Grace, thrice-blessed one, according to the greatness of thy love for Christ God, Who also showed thee to be a source of healing, for thou curest free of charge the sicknesses of soul and body of those who come to thee with faith and cry to God:Alleluia!
Ekos 12
Chanting of thy long-suffering labors for Christ, O glorious passion-bearer, we praise thy great patience, we bless thy martyr’s death, and we honor thy holy memory, O our defender and healer, and in praise we cry to thee:
Rejoice, sweet-sounding trumpet of piety!
Rejoice, sword which cuts down impiety!
Rejoice, thou who wast scraped on a tree for Him Who stretched out His arms on the tree of the Cross!
Rejoice, for, being burnt for Him, thou didst extinguish the furnace of delusion!
Rejoice, thou who didst wound the enemies by thy wounds!
Rejoice, thou who didst dry the streams of idolatrous blood by thy blood!
Rejoice, thou who wast thrown into boiling lead for Christ!
Rejoice, thou who wast sunk in the sea for His name!
Rejoice, thou who didst remain unharmed therein by the providence of God!
Rejoice, thou who didst pass through tortures of fire and water into the peace of Heaven!
Rejoice, thou who didst pour unfailing streams of mercy on the faithful!
Rejoice, gracious and compassionate physician who grantest healing through Grace!
Rejoice, Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon!

Kontakion 13
O, our long-suffering and wonderful Passion-bearer of Christ and Healer Panteleimon!Graciously accept from us this small offering, heal us of our many and various ailments, and through thy intercession protect us from enemies visible and invisible and pray to the Lord that we may be delivered from eternal torment, that we may continually sing in His Kingdom:Alleluia! (thrice), And again Ekos 1 and Kontakion 1

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