Like every year, on the 27th of July, our Ammon Zeus Hotel celebrated the name day of St. Panteleimon at the homonym private church located in the back gardens of our hotel. The litany, which takes place annually, is open to the general audience and offers the perfect opportunity for hotel guests to witness an authentic Greek Orthodox litourgi for the commemoration of one of the most popular saints in Greece.
In fact, the hotel plot where the Ammon Zeus Hotel is now located was once part of the Russian Orthodox Monastery of St. Panteleimon, a branch of Mt. Athos. When the owners of the hotel purchased the plot during the 1960s they decided to construct the main building of the hotel on top of the stone cells once inhabited by the monks. The chapel of the saint however, remained intact, as a way to commemorate the memory of St. Panteleimon, a favorite religious figure among the local community of Kallithea.
To learn more about the history of the Ammon Zeus as well as its connection to the monastery of St. Panteleimon, check out our archived blog posts!
St. Panteleimon is a legendary figure of both the Orthodox and the Catholic Church.
According to the martyrologies, Panteleimon or as he was originally known: 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.
By miraculously healing a blind man by invoking the name of Jesus over him, Pantaleon converted his father, upon whose death he came into possession of a large fortune, but freed his slaves and, distributing his wealth among the poor, developed a great reputation in Nicomedia. Envious colleagues denounced him to the emperor during the Diocletian persecution. The emperor wished to save him and sought to persuade him to apostasy. Pantaleon, however, openly confessed his faith, and as proof that Christ is the true God, he healed a paralytic. Notwithstanding this, he was condemned to death by the emperor, who regarded the miracle as an exhibition of magic.
St. Panteleimon is a very popular saint in Greece. A common expression has it that all blind and disabled visit St. Panteleimon, showcasing the worth of the saint as the healer of Christianity.