Blogit

Blogit

St Parthenius: Patron Saint of Cancer Patients

St Parthenius was born in the late 3rd Century in a city of Asia Minor called Melitoupolis. He was born from pious parents; his father Christopher was a deacon. St Parthenius was deprived of a good education, yet, he learned about the Orthodox Faith by going to church services. 
 
As a young man he worked as a fisherman and distributed his meager earnings to the poor. From the young age of eighteen, God gave the Saint may gifts (χαρίσματα): the ability to heal the sick, cast out demons and perform other miracles. 
 
The local bishop, Philetus, hearing about the miracles of St Parthenius and his virtuous life, decided to ordain Parthenius to the priesthood. Years later, in 325 AD, the Saint became Bishop of Lampsacus which is also in Asia Minor. The Saint became a bishop during the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great. Christianity had only been legalized some twelve years prior to this time. 
 
Paganism as well as the Arian heresy were very much looming at that time. Lampsacus was very much dominated by pagans when St Parthenius came there. Yet, the Saint was determined to spread the faith in Christ there. It was by his example of virtue and the gift of wonderworking that the city became Christianized. The name Lampsacus comes from the Greek word Λάμψα which means shine or brighten. Thus, the city became a beacon for Christianity. 
 
The missionary work of St Parthenius is reminiscent to that of St Gregory the Theologian in Constantinople when he became Patriarch. When Gregory came to the City, it was infested with adherents of Arius, yet, after only two years, they did not even have one church left to them.
 
The Saint went to the Emperor Constantine, asking his permission to tear down a pagan temple and build a church in its place. Constantine received Saint Parthenius with honor and granted him such permission, even providing him the means to build the church. In no time, a beautiful church was built in the city. 
 
The Saint found a slab of marble from the rubble of the pagan temple and wanted to use it for an altar. As the cart carrying the marble approached the church it overturned and killed the driver. St Parthenius miraculously restored the driver back to life by his prayer. Clearly, the Evil One tried to curtail the building of the church, but the will of God cannot be overcome. The fish that swam up attests to your wondrous miracle; the resurrected dead man, and the rain in abundance, and fruit from the infertile fields, and the dye all proclaim your great gift of grace. Wondrous indeed are your works, holy Hierarch!  Ever pray for our salvation, O Saint (Stichera of Festal Vespers). 
 
Over the years, many people flocked to the Saint for healing. They did not need to go to physicians anymore because they were freely healed by St Parthenius. Once, the Saint prepared to cast out a demon from a certain man who had been possessed since childhood. The demon begged the Saint not to do so. Saint Parthenius promised to give the evil spirit another man in whom he could dwell in. When the demon asked the Saint who it was, he said it was himself. The demon immediately vanished out of fear.  
 
The same way in the wilderness Satan tried three times to tempt Christ and failed, so with anyone who is Christ-centered, will Satan fail to overcome. For Christ said to the Seventy: Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven (Lk 10:19-20).
 
Saint Parthenius lived a long life and died a peaceful death. Many miracles have occurred through his intercessions even until this day. Similarly, like St Nektarius of Aegina, St Parthenius has been associated with the healing of those suffering from cancer and benign tumors. Many have reckoned him as the patron Saint of cancer since countless miracles have occurred where people have been completely ridden of cancer or tumors through the Saint’s intercessions. The fame of this wondrous Saint has spread everywhere, even locally in America. In fact, it has been a tradition for some churches to conduct an all-night vigil annually on the feast day of St Parthenius. 
 
Since thou hadst received God's grace to work ineffable marvels, godly-wise Parthenius, thou sacred worker of wonders, thou didst wholly cleanse the faithful of all their passions, casting wicked spirits out, O God-bearing Father; for this cause we sing thy praise as a great initiate of the divine grace of God (Festal Kontakion).
 
O Saint Parthenius, intercede for us all before the Lord our God!
 
-John Athanasatos 
 

A graduate of Long Island University, College of Pharmacy, and Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, John works to share the richness and beauty of the Orthodox Faith with the wider community.

***

Want more from Y2AMSubscribe to our email list and get a weekly reflection every Saturday! 

BONUS: Y2AM has released a brand new ministry training course. And check out our "Be the Bee" episode on how we're all made for goodness:

______________

______________