The beeswax icon is hand-carved with great attention to details. Thanks to the addition of incense during the manufacturing process the icon exudes a light aroma, which is firmly associated in our minds with the calming atmosphere of church rooms.
The main sacred relics kept in the monastery of St. Panteleimon on Mount Athos are the head of the great martyr and healer Panteleimon and his icon, where the saint is depicted in full body surrounded by 14 small scenes from his life. The monks believe that St. Panteleimon is the patron saint of the monastery: twice he miraculously saved the monastery from devastating fires.
We refer to St. Panteleimon as a healer during the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction). He is primarily considered the protector of the sick, as well as the healer of souls and bodies. Believers turn to him when faced with an illness or on the eve of a serious operation.
Saint Panteleimon was born in Nicomedia under the name of Pantoleon. His father was a noble pagan and his mother, St. Eubula, was a Christian. His mother wanted to bring up her son in the Christian faith, but unfortunately she died early. So it was up to his father to educate the boy; he sent him to a pagan school, and then to the famous Nicodemian physician, in which science the young man has excelled.
In Nicomedia Pantoleon became acquainted with the presbyter Hermolaus, who introduced him to the Christian faith. After some time he has witnessed a miracle: Pantoleon saw a child killed by a snake bite, and started to pray to Jesus Christ; only by the power of that prayer he resurrected the child. After this miracle, Pantoleon was baptized with the name Panteleimon and devoted his life to the suffering and sick. On the denunciation of other physicians the saint fell foul of the emperor Maximian, who though he favored Panteleimon, was a pagan and an ardent opponent of Christianity. In order to force the saint into renouncing his faith, Panteleimon was subjected to many tortures, all of which he endured with Christian fortitude and humility. After this, in the year 305, the martyr was beheaded.