This Day in History: 2022-09-26
Today we celebrate Cosmas and Damian, two saints and martyrs, beloved among the faithful since ancient times. They were born in III. century in Arabia. They studied medicine in Syria. There have been many legends circulating about them for centuries, according to which they were twin brothers and doctors, pious people who, with their medical skills, not only healed physical illnesses but also mental emptiness, and with patience and benevolence attracted many to Christianity. Their biographers say, “They would first pray over the sick and bless him by looking at God’s creation in him first.” They are also credited with many miraculous healings performed in the name of God, and as the most unusual, often depicted in iconography and painting, is the transplantation of a leg with a recently deceased Ethiopian to a white man. When the patient awoke from his sleep, he noticed that he had one leg white and the other black.
They lived in the time of the emperor Diocletian who persecuted Christians. They healed and acted apostolically until, during Diocletian’s persecutions, Prefect Lysias subjected them to cruel torture, and then their heads were beheaded. They endured all this because of their Christian faith.
Worship of St. Cosmas and Damian was widespread in the Church from IV. century. One of the centers of their worship was the city of Kyros in northern Syria, where a church was dedicated to them as early as the 5th century. At their grave, Emperor Justinian (5th / 6th century) miraculously recovered from a dangerous infection he received while being wounded, and as a sign of gratitude he built a magnificent church in Constantinople. In Rome, in VI. century dedicated to the oratory in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, while Pope Felix III. erected a basilica. These saints are found on mosaics in Ravenna, a basilica was built for them in Sardinia, and St. Gregory of Turon writes about their worship in the Gaul area. They are protectors of physicians, pharmacists and patients.