Holy Wonderworking Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian at Rome
Commemorated on July 1
The Holy Martyrs Cosmas and Damian
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
Cosmas and Damian were unmercenary physicians and miracle-workers. These two saints were brothers, were born in Rome and as children 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. They only required of the infirm to believe in Christ the Lord. Inheriting a large estate, they charitably distributed it to the needy and to those in want. At that time, Emperor Galerius reigned in Rome. As a persecutor of Christianity, he summoned these two holy brothers before him shackled in chains. After a prolonged interrogation the emperor ordered them to deny Christ and to offer sacrifices to the idols. Cosmas and Damian not only did not heed the emperor but also counseled him to abandon the dead idols and to recognize the One True God. “Our God is not created but He is the Creator of all, but your gods are the imaginations of man and the work of the hands of artists. If you did not have artists to make your gods, you would have no one to worship.” After working a miracle upon the emperor himself-for they miraculously cured him from a grave infirmity – the emperor proclaimed his faith in Christ and released the holy brothers in peace. Cosmas and Damian continued to glorify God and to heal the sick and were themselves, glorified by the people on all sides. Envious of their glory, a certain doctor who, at one time was their teacher, and with the pretext to gather healing herbs, led them into the mountain and stoned them to death. They suffered honorably for the Faith of Christ in the year 284 A.D. Their memory remains eternal in the Church on earth and their souls took up habitation in the Kingdom of the Lord to live eternally in glory and in joy.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date July 1, and New Calendar date July 14.
The absence of envy among the saints is a startling and wonderful phenomenon. Not only did the saints not allow envy to seize their hearts but, with all their might, labored to uplift their companions and to diminish themselves. On one occasion when St. Hilarion of Palestine visited St. Anthony in Egypt, St. Anthony exclaimed: “Welcome Venus, the morning star!” To that St. Hilarion replied: “Greetings and health be to you, the shining pillar who sustains the universe!” When they praised St. Macarius as a monk, the saint replied: “Brethren, forgive me, I am not a monk but, I have seen monks!” When some people told St. Sisoes that he attained the same level of perfection as St. Anthony, Sisoes replied: “If only I had but a single thought as does Anthony, I would be all aflame.”
About the believing people and the unbelieving elders.
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
“When the Messiah [Christ] comes, will He perform more signs than this man has done?” (St. John 7:31).
The Lord Jesus performed miraculous works before all and all saw but not all believed. The people witnessed His miracles and believed in Him. Servants heard His words and believed in Him. But the leaders of the people and the masters of the servants also witnessed His miracles and did not believe in Him. And so, in those days the words of the Savior came true: “But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first” (St. Matthew 19:30). “For behold, some who are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last” (St. Luke 13:30). Those who were first in honor and authority were last in having faith in Him; and those who were last in honor and authority were the first in having faith in Him.
Why did the people and servants believe and the princes and scribes not believe? Because, the people and servants considered themselves insignificant and unimportant and did not have any personal pride nor envy toward Christ. The people and servants, without malice and prejudice, looked upon the divine miracles and listened to the divine words and were amazed and rejoiced. The princes and the scribes considered themselves first among the people and in the world and so they were filled with pride and envy and were unable, even for a moment, to look upon the miraculous works nor to listen to the divine words without malice and envy.
Brethren, do you see how man, without humility and meekness, is unable even to recognize truth nor to rejoice in the truth? Do you see how the proud and the envious do not even allow God to be ahead of them? As did Satan, at one time!
Lord Jesus, eternal truth cleanse our hearts of pride and envy that we may be able to see You and to rejoice in You.
With prayers for the health of Jose on his birthday,
that he will grow up to become a God-fearing man
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date February 15, and New Calendar date February 28
Troparion — Tone 8
Holy unmercenaries and wonderworkers, Cosmas and Damian, visit our infirmities. Freely you have received; freely give to us.
Kontakion — Tone 2
Having received the grace of healing, you grant healing to those in need. Glorious wonder workers and physicians, Cosmas and Damian, visit us and put down the insolence of our enemies, and bring healing to the world through your miracles.