St Pancras = St Azazael

Now, you may have heard of St Pancras in terms of place names, particularly if you've been looking at London or England. 

St Pancras hospital and church (the old one) are both in the middle of old London. He's not a saint you hear very much about, but it often comes up in stories set in London ... like in Sherlock Holmes, for instance.

Pope Gregory the Great gave impetus to the cult of Pancras, sending Augustine to England carrying relics of that saint and including his legend in Liber in gloria martyrum (for this reason, many English churches are dedicated to Pancras; St Pancras Old Church in London is one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in England).

In Western Christianity he [St Azazael] is known as St. Pancras. It is believed that the King of Northumberland in Great Britain received a portion of saint’s relics and built a church dedicated to the martyr. Additionally, several churches in London and surroundings are in the name of the saint. A well-known Railway station in London, England is named after St. Pancras in his honor. [source]

Why is it important to know about St Pancras?

Because ...

He is also known as ...

St Azazael. 

Written also as St Izozoel - or Mor Izozoel - in the Syriac tradition. 

But ... as some of you will be quite aware ... his name shall be erased.

The name, Pancras is Greek (Πανκράτιος) and means "the one that holds everything".

Now, I'm still on the trail of digging out HOW's and WHY's St Pancras and St Azazael merged, but I certainly did a double-take to learn that they are, for all intents and purposes, one and the same.

So, let's do a little digging, and see how far I can go in this first sweep. Below is simply a curation of various content that I've found, some of which may be relevant and some of which may be not. However, even the ones that may not, may still hold clues, like stepping stones, that could unearth hidden treasures.

St Azazael is the patron saint of children.

He is an advocate for children and teenagers to remain steadfast and unwavering in their faith when faced with life’s trials and temptations. He is the favorite saint for job-seekers and workers who ask for his intercession in their quest for work or a source of livelihood. He is also the patron saint invoked against cramps and headache as well as perjurers and witnesses in catholic beliefs. [source]

St. Pancras, pray for all teenagers that their faith may be as strong as yours, strong enough to lead them through all the trials of their life.

His image in statue form can be found in many bars, restaurants and other businesses. 

San Pancrazio by Guercino 1616
Guercino was born as 
Giovanni Francesco Barbier (1591 - 1666) 

According to tradition, Pancratius (Pancras) was born around 289 AD near Synnada, now Suhut in modern Turkey. His parents were Roman citizens who died when he was young and his uncle Dionysius took him to Rome where they converted to Christianity. During the Diocletian persecution Pancras refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods and was decapitated on 12 May 303 AD. There is dispute over the date. Pancras body was buried in the Catacombs of Rome and his head placed in a reliquary which is today in the Basilica San Pancrazio which was built over the catacomb in the 5th century by Pope Symmachus. Pope Gregory I gave impetus to the cult of St Pancras.

Bede’s Historia records that Gregory saw some fair-haired young Saxon slaves in the Roman market place and was told they were Angles. He said: “Non Angli sed angeli” (not Angles but Angels) and determined to send a Christian mission to their homeland. Whatever the reason, he sent Augustine, prior of the Benedictine monastery of St Andrew in Rome, with relics of St Pancras on a mission to Æthelberht, Anglo-Saxon king of Kent, in 595 AD. It is said that the first church founded by Augustine in England was dedicated to St Pancras.

The dedication of Lewes Priory to the saint is believed to have been derived from that of the earlier church on the site. This small Saxon church is described by Thomas Horsfield in ‘The History and Antiquities of Lewes and Its Vicinity’ as being converted to stone by William de Warenne. St Pancras would have had a special significance for the Normans as Harold Godwinson had sworn support for Duke William on sacred relics. These were said to be relics of St Pancras whom St Gregory of Tours calls the Avenger of Perjuries. Harold’s subsequent defeat was attributed to his oath breaking.

British History Online has this to say about the saint:

In consequence of the early age at which he suffered for the faith, St. Pancras was subsequently regarded as the patron saint of children. "There was then," as Chambers remarks in his "Book of Days," "a certain fitness in dedicating to him the first church in a country which owed its conversion to three children"—alluding, of course, to the fair children whom Gregory saw in the streets of Rome, the sight of whom had moved the Pope to send St. Augustine hither. 

"But there was also another and closer link which connected the first church built in England by St. Augustine with St. Pancras, for," adds Mr. Chambers, "the much loved monastery on the Cœlian Mount, which Gregory had founded, and of which Augustine was prior, had been erected on the very estate which had belonged anciently to the family of Pancras." 

The festival of St. Pancras is kept, in the Roman Catholic Church, on the 12th of May, under which day his biography will be found in the "Lives of the Saints," by Alban Butler, who tells us that he suffered martyrdom at the early age of fourteen, at Rome, in the year 304. 

After being beheaded for the faith, he was buried in the cemetery of Calepodius, which subsequently took his name. His relics are spoken of by Gregory the Great. St. Gregory of Tours calls him the Avenger of Perjuries, and tells us that God openly punished false oaths made before his relics. The church at Rome dedicated to the saint, of which we have spoken above, stands on the spot where he is said to have suffered; in this church his body is still kept. 

"England and Italy, France and Spain abound," adds Alban Butler, "in churches bearing his name, in most of which relics of the saint were kept and shown in the ages before the Reformation. The first church consecrated by St. Augustine at Canterbury is said by Mr. Baring Gould, in his "Lives of the Saints," to have been dedicated to St. Pancras. 

In art, St. Pancras is always represented as a boy, with a sword uplifted in one hand and a palm-branch in the other; and it may be added that the seal of the parish represents the saint with similar emblems. 

There is a magnificent brass of Prior Nelond, at Cowfold, in Sussex, where St. Pancras is represented with a youthful countenance, holding a book and a palm-branch, and treading on a strange figure, supposed to be intended to symbolise his triumphs over the archenemy of mankind, in allusion to the etymology of the saint's name. 

The saint figures in Alfred Tennyson's poem of "Harold," where William Duke of Normandy exclaims: 

"Lay thou thy hand upon this golden pall;

Behold the jewel of St. Pancratius

Woven into the gold. Swear thou on this."

[source for the above]

St Pancras Old Church

St Pancras Old Church is one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in England.

St Pancras Old Church

This name – now only usually used in reference to several buildings and landmarks around the Kings Cross area including churches, a road, hotel and railway stations – was originally that of a separate village.

The village was named for the church in its midst which had been dedicated to St Pancras. The church – which has been dated back to at least the Norman era – is said to have been built on one of the earliest sites of Christian worship in the UK and was dedicated to a Roman-era boy martyr, St Pancras (in Latin, St Pancratius).

Tradition holds that St Pancras was a citizen of Rome who converted to Christianity and was beheaded for his faith during the Diocletian persecution in the early 4th century when aged just 14. When Pope Gregory the Great sent St Augustine on his mission to England in the late 6th century, he sent relics of the saint with him, hence why many English churches are dedicated to St Pancras.

The village which had been based around the church was apparently largely abandoned in the Middle Ages – possibly due to flooding – and the area was only resettled in the late 18th century with the development of Camden Town and Somers Town.

While the church – now known as St Pancras Old Church – was restored in the mid-19th century, a new parish church – known as St Pancras New Church – which built about a kilometre away on Euston Road. 


St Pancras New Church

Click on this image to go to a much larger version so you can inspect details.

Click this link to view the interior 360 degrees.
And click this link to go the the New Church's website.

St Pancras Railway Station

Website. This railway station has been named as one of the best in the world.

Opening in 1868, it is considered a marvel of Victorian engineering, a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture, and one of the most elegant stations in the World.

Pancras Railway Station has always been seen as a magical place, making a short cameo appearance in Harry Potter and the Chamber Secrets, featuring the notorious Platform 9 ¾. 

St Pancras Hospital

The hospital is a psychiatric one. [A good cover for people with weird experiences of certain natures.]

Built in 1848, it was originally a workhouse. Workhouses were where poor people who had no job or home lived. They earned their keep by doing jobs in the workhouse. Also in the workhouses were orphaned (children without parents) and abandoned children, the physically and mentally sick, the disabled, the elderly and unmarried mothers.

An infirmary was attached from 1884, which eventually became a fully functioning hospital when the workhouses were closed.

You can read a very interesting contemporaneous newspaper writeup of the St Pancras workhouse, written in 1848, here.

St Pancras is also the Patron Saint for the Italian town of San Pancrazio Salentino

San Pancrazio Salentino is a village located on the Brindisi plain. The first settlements date back to the Messapi period, as shown by the archaeological findings in the area of Muro Maurizio and above all in the district of “Li Castieddhi”, just over a kilometre to the east of the village. Within the Archaeological Park, in addition to the ancient defence structures in large blocks of limestone, we can admire the characteristic village of huts, the oldest settlement of the Iron Age, dating back to the eighth century before Christ. Another particularly interesting area of San Pancrazio Salentino is Caragnuli, a district within an environment that has remained intact over the years with the presence of rock which has not allowed farming activities. Here, the grottoes, together with the ancient tufa caves in which they are located, create a spectacular landscape not to be missed. The settlement, composed of rupestrian dwellings of various sizes, is in a good state of preservation. The area can be reached by car as far as Masseria Caragnuli, now in a state of abandon and the outer limit of the rupestrian zone further to the south at Masseria Torrevecchia, today a holiday farm, we can visit the Grotta dell’Angelo:

This place was used in ancient times as a burial chamber and was reutilised in the later middle ages as a church, as can be seen by the fine frescoes decorating its inner walls. To the north again near Masseria Caragnuli traces of a medieval settlement are visible: both the “crypt” dedicated to Sant’Antonio Abate and an underground oil mill. In the inhabited centre finally just a short distance from each other, we find the Chiesa Madre dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, the Palazzo Municipale, the Palazzo Arcivescovile, the Chiesa della S.S. Annunziata and the Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Abate. The latter has fine mural paintings and ancient tombs under the floor. For those in search of simple and authentic flavours, a visit to one of the many wood- burning ovens to taste some of the excellent products, is recommended. The area is famous for the presence of top quality bush-trained vines grown in the style of Puglia that produce top quality wines and for the production of extra vergin Terra d’Otranto olive oil.


Between San Pancrazio and Mesagne is the archaeological area of ​​Muro Maurizio, with traces of a mighty circle of walls, where Messapic epigraphs and Greek and Roman coins have been found for centuries; recent excavations have confirmed that the municipal area was already inhabited in the Messapian era.

The farmhouse of San Pancrazio was built a thousand years ago, around the church dedicated to the patron saint; in the XII century it had become a fief of the Archbishops of Brindisi, of whose table (in the meaning of income) it was part until 1866, when its assets passed to the State.

It was the Archbishop (later Cardinal) Girolamo Aleandro, who ruled the Brindisi seat from 20 December 1524, who elected San Pancrazio - for the goodness of the air - his summer residence, using the palace built by his predecessors.

The municipal coat of arms, recognized in 1931, shows a crowned eagle with spread wings, which has an ear of corn in its beak and a star on its chest.

Fraction of Torre, it became a municipality on 1 January 1839.

In 1862 he added the adjective "Salento" to the name, to avoid confusion with another Italian municipality having the same name; a need born for many Italian municipalities with the unification of the country.

San Pancrazio was sacked by the Turks, who landed at San Cataldo, for the first time in 1480 (immediately after the capture of Otranto); a second time, on the night of 1 January 1547, when five Turkish galleons landed in Torre Colimena, on the Ionian coast: on this occasion almost all the inhabitants were deported to Turkey and sold as slaves.

The event is narrated in the frescoes of the church of Sant'Antonio, formerly the matrix, whose construction began at the end of the century. XV.

The sanctuary of Sant'Antonio alla Macchia, now dedicated to Sant'Antonio di Padova, is on the road to Torre and has a crypt divided into two, carved into the rock, with traces of 14th century frescoes depicting the saint.

The current mother church, dedicated to San Francesco, has a sober neoclassical facade; it was built in 1866 and inaugurated in 1872; has a baptismal font of the century. XVI and the eighteenth-century altar of the Cathedral of Brindisi.

The church of the Annunziata, from the portal of the century. XVII surmounted by a coat of arms, it is probably of sixteenth-century origin: it was enlarged in 1627, [Loka's note: 727 72 27] restored and equipped with a bell tower in 1887. [Loka's note: 8867]

Mor Izozoel Churches ... Then And Now

The Mor Izozoel (Azozoʾel) church, is an old Syriac Orthodox church located in Altıntaş, Midyat, Mardin Province, Turkey. The church was built in the 7th or 8th century AD, and there are some opinions that indicate that it was founded on an older structure dating back to the 6th century AD.
More information is available on this site.

The following series of images are from google street view accompanying photos

To be continued ... eventually

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