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Saint Pantaleon (Greek: Παντελεήμων, "all-compassionate"), counted in the West among the late-medieval Fourteen Holy Helpers and in the East as one of the Holy Unmercenary Healers, was a martyr of Nicomedia in Bithynia during the Diocletian persecution of 305 AD.
Though there is evidence to suggest that a martyr named Pantaleon existed, some consider the stories of his life and death to be purely legendary.
According to the martyrologies, Pantaleon was the son of a rich pagan, Eustorgius of Nicomedia, and had been instructed in Christianity by his Christian mother, Saint Eubula; however, after her death he fell away from the Christian church, while he studied medicine with a renowned physician Euphrosinos; under the patronage of Euphrosinos he became physician to the Emperor Maximian or Galerius.
He was won back to Christianity by Saint Hermolaus, who convinced him that Christ was the better physician, signalling the significance of the exemplum of Pantaleon that faith is to be trusted over medical advice, marking the direction European medicine was to take until the 16th century.
The vitae containing these miraculous features are all late in date and "valueless" according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. Yet the fact of his martyrdom itself seems to be supported by a veneration for which there is testimony in the 5th century, among others in a sermon on the martyrs by Theodoret (died c. 457); Procopius of Caesarea (died c. 565), writing on the churches and shrines constructed by Justinian I tells that the emperor rebuilt the shrine to Pantaleon at Nicomedia; and there is mention of Pantaleon in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum.