Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sts. Kosmas and Damian the Unmercenaries and their mother St. Theodoti from Asia Minor

"Cosmas and Damian were unmercenaries and miracle-workers. They were brothers both in the flesh and in the spirit, born somewhere in Asia Minor of a pagan father and a Christian mother. After their father's death, their mother Theodotia devoted all her time and effort to educating her sons and raising them as true Christians. God helped her, and her sons matured as sweet fruit and luminaries of the world. They were learned in the art of medicine and ministered to the sick without payment, not so much with medicine as by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were called ``unmercenary physicians,'' that is, unpaid physicians, for they healed freely and thus fulfilled the commandment of Christ: Freely ye have received, freely give (Matthew 10:8). So careful were they in healing men free of charge that Cosmas became very angry with his brother Damian because he accepted three eggs from a woman, Palladia, and ordered that he not be buried alongside his brother Damian after his death. In fact, St. Damian did not accept these three eggs as a reward for healing the ailing Palladia, but rather because she adjured him in the name of the Most-holy Trinity to accept these three eggs.

Nevertheless, after their death in the town of Fereman, they were buried together according to a revelation from God. The holy brothers were great miracle-workers both during their life and after their death. A snake crawled through the mouth and into the stomach of a certain farm laborer during his sleep, and the unfortunate man would have died in the greatest pain had he not, in the last moment, invoked the help of Saints Cosmas and Damian. Thus, the Lord glorified forever the miracle-working of those who glorified Him on earth by their faith, purity and mercy."
(taken from:
Icons of Sts. Kosmas and Damian working miracles (taken from the Church of the Holy Unmercenaries - Attika, Greece:

And another miracle of the Holy Unmercenaries (taken from

"Many miracles were worked upon the death of the holy unmercenaries. There lived at Theremanea, nearby the church of Cosmas and Damian, a certain man by the name of Malchos. One day in setting off on a distant journey, and leaving behind his wife all alone for what would be a long time --he prayerfully entrusted her to the heavenly protection of the holy brothers. But the enemy of the race of mankind, having taken hold over one of Malchos' friends, planned to destroy the woman. A certain while went by, and this man went to her at home and said that Malchos had sent him, --to take her to him. The woman believed him and went along. He led her to a solitary place and wanted to molest and kill her. The woman --seeing that disaster threatened her --called upon God with deep faith. Two fiercesome men then appeared, and the cunning man let go of the woman, and took to flight: he fell off a cliff! The men led the woman home. At her own home, bowing to them deeply she asked: "What name do they call you? --my rescuers, to whom I shalt be grateful to the end of my days! II I'We are the servants of Christ, Cosmas and Damian" -- they answered and became invisible. The woman with trembling and with joy told everyone about what had happened with her, and glorifying God she went up with tears to the icon of the holy brothers and offered up prayers of thanks for her deliverance. And from that time the holy brothers were venerated as protectors of the holiness and inviolability of Christian marriage, and as givers of harmony to conjugal life. And from ancient times their veneration spread also to Russia."

Finally, another miracle is attributed to Sts. Kosmas and Damian: the first transplant. I haven't found a detailed account anywhere, but a priest in the 4th century had a diseased leg, and Sts. Kosmas and Damian appeared to him, and taking the leg from an Ethiopean man who had passed away, they gave the priest a new, healthy leg, which was evident to all those around him. This has also been recorded in the iconography, for example, of some churches of the Holy Unmercenaries in Greece.

Sts. Kosmas and Damian the Holy Unmercenaries miraculously performing the first transplant (αγία-κυριακή/)
Sts. Kosmas and Damian, and all the Holy Unmercenaries are invoked in the service of Holy Unction in the Orthodox Church, and hymns to them are traditionally chanted after the service while the faithful receive the Holy Oil. They are also the patron saints of the "Philoptochos" ("love for or frends of the poor") organization of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, which does many philanthropic acts. They are great Saints of our Church, and may we honor them while emulating their faith, voluntary poverty and charity, and zeal and love for Christ and service to others.

 Icon of Sts. Kosmas and Damian - Decani Monastery (taken from
Saints Cosmas and Damian
(by St. Nikolai Velimirovich)
The Church glorifies the miracle-working physicians,
Shining stars that shine with the Lord,
St. Cosmas and St. Damian,
Two Christians, wondrous giants.
Theodotia was the mother of these sons;
She nourished these giants.
The glorious brothers fulfilled the law,
And by their mercy pleased Christ.
They pleased Christ, the Merciful One,
The greatest Unmercenary Physician.
They received the gift, and became physicians;
They received the gift, but did not sell it.
They gave the gifts of God to the poor,
And in the name of Christ healed them.
Time has not covered God's saints with darkness;
Thus it has always been, and thus it is now.
Nor has it covered the wonderworking physicians;
They shine today as they once did,
And help the infirm and the unfortunate
By mighty and willing prayers
Before Christ's heavenly throne.
Honor and glory to the wondrous physicians!
Icon of Sts. Kosmas and Damian with scenes from their lives (taken from:
Hymns to the Holy Unmercenaries Sts. Kosmas and Damian
Sicheria in Tone 6. Model melody.
Placing all their hope in heaven, the Saints treasured up for themselves an inviolable treasure; freely they received, freely they give remedies to the sick; in accordance with the Gospel they possessed neither gold nor silver; their kind deeds they shared out to humans and beasts alike; that being in all things obedient to Christ they might intercede with confidence on behalf of our souls.

They spurned all perishable matter on earth, while like Angels in the flesh they were declared citizens of heaven, the united comradeship, the like-minded and harmonious pair of saints. And so to all who suffer they award healings, granting their kindness without payment for the needy. Let us worthily sing their praise with yearly feasts as they intercede with confidence on behalf of our souls.

Bringing all the Trinity to dwell in them, the holy pair, inspired Cosmas and Damian, like fountains pour out waters of healings from a life-bearing source; whose relics too heal passions through a touch; and their names alone drive sicknesses from mortals; they are saviours for all who flee to them as they intercede to Christ with boldness on behalf of our souls.

Apolytikion. Tone 8.
Holy Unmercenaries and Wonderworkers, visit our weaknesses; freely you have received, freely give to us.
(from Fr. Ephraim Lash:

Sts. Cosmas and Damian the Holy Unmercenaries (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!


Lucky Archer - Λάκης Βελώτρης said...
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Agioi_Anargyroi said...
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Agioi_Anargyroi said...

I apologize for not making it clear before I deleted the previous post, but I request that all comments to a post be directly relevant to the topic at hand. I now discuss this (among other issues) under "Blog Notes / Guidelines" along the right side of the Blog. Once again, sorry for the confusion, and thanks for your cooperation.