St. Panteleimon cures Papa Nicholas Planas so his vigil can be served

St Panteleimon is commemorated July 28 / 10 Aug

St. Panteleimon was a martyr for Christ and an unmercenary, that is, he healed people not for money but out of love for our heavenly Physician.

Earlier this century, there lived in Greece a righteous priest known as Papa-Nicholas Planas. There is a book on his life published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston, MA, called "Papa-Nicholas Planas: Simple Shepherd of the Simple Sheep."

On the feast day of St. Panteleimon, Fr. Nicholas, who loved serving all-night vigils and Liturgies in little churches around Athens, was grievously ill. To the horror of his friends and family, he wanted to serve the complete services for St. Panteleimon. He managed to drag himself into the church and forced himself to do the services. Then, around the time of the Liturgy, he came out of the altar and announced to the surprised congregation that St. Panteleimon had just walked into the sanctuary and gave him a little cup of medicine to drink. He had just drunk it, and now, he explained, he was perfectly well and healthy.

Fr. Nicholas loved to serve vigils on feasts on the Old Calendar. However, he was denounced before the Abp. of Athens for doing this. He was summoned before the Abp. and was as nervous as a child being sent to the school principal. The Abp. said something such as, "Fr. Nicholas! It is absolutely heard that you continue serving vigils according to the old calendar. Is this true?" In a voice stammering from fear, the childlike Fr. Nicholas replied, "Oh-oh-oh- only at night!" Amazed by the innocence of his soul, the Abp. did not punish him, but sent him away with a mild scolding.

As we read in the Book of Psalms, "Wondrous is God in His Saints," in all centuries, among all peoples. Holy Martyr Panteleimon, pray for us and our families!

Hieromonk Aidan St. Hilarion Monastery Austin, Texas

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