Saints Cosmas and Damian


Also Known as:
Kosmas and Damianos

Feast:
September 26
September 27 (pre-1970 General Roman Calendar)
November 1 (Eastern Orthodox Church)

Born:
3rd century AD
Arabia

Died:
c. 287 AD
Aegea, Roman province of Syria

Patronage:
surgeons, physicians, dentists, protectors of children, barbers, pharmacists, veterinarians, orphanages, day-care centres, confectioners, children in house, against hernia, against the plague.


About

According to Christian traditions, Saints Cosmas and Damian (Greek: Κοσμάς και Δαμιανός) (also written Kosmas and Damianos) (died ca. 287) were twin brothers, physicians, and early Christian martyrs born in Cilicia, part of today’s Turkey. They practiced their profession in the seaport of Ayas, Adana, then in the Roman province of Syria. Accepting no payment for their services led to them being named “Ανάργυροι” (Unmercenary); it has been said that, by this, they attracted many to the Christian faith.

According to Christian traditions, during the persecution under Diocletian, Cosmas and Damian were arrested by order of the Prefect of Cilicia, one Lysias who is otherwise unknown, who ordered them under torture to recant. However, according to legend they stayed true to their faith, enduring being hung on a cross, stoned and shot by arrows and finally suffered execution by beheading. Anthimus, Leontius and Euprepius, their younger brothers, who were inseparable from them throughout life, shared in their martyrdom.

Their most famous miraculous exploit was the grafting of a leg from a recently deceased Ethiopian to replace a patient’s ulcered or cancerous leg, and was the subject of many paintings and illuminations.