Holy Unmercenaries and Martyrs Cosmas and Damian

The Holy Martyrs Cosmas and Damian (July 1)July 1

Cosmas and Damian were unmercenary physicians and miracle-workers. These two saints were brothers, born in Rome. As children, they were baptized and brought up in the Christian spirit. They possessed abundant grace from God to heal men and livestock from every disease and suffering, usually by the laying on of hands. They sought no reward for their efforts, only requiring the infirm to believe in Christ the Lord. They compassionately distributed their inheritance of a large estate to the poor and those in need. At that time the Emperor Galerius was on the throne in Rome. Before Galerius, persecutors of Christianity brought these two holy brothers bound in chains. After prolonged interrogation, Galerius ordered them to deny Christ and offer sacrifices to idols. Cosmas and Damian not only refused to obey the emperor but counseled him to abandon the lifeless idols and recognize the One True God. “Our God is not created, but rather He is the Creator of all. Your gods are the inventions of men and the work of the hands of mere craftsmen. If you did not have craftsmen to make your gods, you would have no one to worship.” After Cosmas and Damian had worked a miracle upon the emperor himself – they miraculously cured him of a grave infirmity – the emperor proclaimed the faith in Christ and released the holy brothers in peace. Cosmas and Damian continued to glorify God and heal the sick, and they were themselves glorified by the people on all sides. Envious of their glory, a certain doctor, a former teacher of theirs, led them into the mountains, under the pretext of gathering healing herbs, and stoned them to death. They suffered honorably for the Christian Faith in the year 284. Their memory remains eternal in the Church on earth, and their souls took up their habitation in the Kingdom of the Lord, to live eternally in glory and in joy.

Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume Two

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