I think, by default, that my long-schemed week of saints is upon us. Now gaze, dear reader, upon my all-compassionate underwear.
Once upon a time there was a chap who probably didn't exist and who probably wasn't called Pantaleon. Legend has it that he was personal physician to Emperor Maximinianus. When the emperor discovered his doctor was a Christian he got terribly upset and decreed that the doctor should die.
The execution went badly. They tried to burn him alive, but the fire went out. They threw him into molten lead but it turned out to be cold. They lashed a stone to him and chucked him into the sea, but the stone floated. They threw him to wild beasts, which were tamed. They tried to hang him and the rope broke. They tried to chop his head off but the sword bent and he forgave the executioner.
This last kindness was what earned the doctor the name Pantaleon, which means All-Compassionate.
Anyway, in the end they got Pantaleon's head off and he died. By the tenth century he had become the patron saint of Venice. Pantalon therefore became a popular Venetian name and the Venetians themselves were often called the Pantaloni.
Pantalone was the stereotypical Venetian. He was a merchant and a miser and a lustful old man, and he wore one-piece breeches, like Venetians did. These long breeches therefore became known as pantaloons. Pantaloons were shortened to pants and the English (though not the Americans) called their underwear underpants. Underpants were again shortened to pants, which is what I am now wearing.
Pants are all-compassionate. Pants are saints. So think, dear reader, upon my martyred underwear.
I've always liked the lines from Kubla Khan:
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Because I imagine the earth to be wearing thick pants. This etymology also means that Liar, liar, pants on fire is wrong, because they couldn't burn Pantaleon.
History does not record and this mosaic does not reveal whether St Pantaleone wore pants.
P.S. There's also a word pantaloonery, which means either fooling around like Pantalone, or the material used for making pants.