Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenaries

 "Honour a physician with the honour due unto him for the uses which ye may have of him: for the Lord hath created him. For of the most High cometh healing, and he shall receive honour of the king. The skill of the physician shall lift up his head: and in the sight of great men he shall be in admiration. The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them. Was not the water made sweet with wood, that the virtue thereof might be known? And he hath given men skill, that he might be honoured in his marvellous works. With such doth he heal men, and taketh away their pains. Of such doth the apothecary make a confection; and of his works there is no end; and from him is peace over all the earth, My son, in thy sickness be not negligent: but pray unto the Lord, and he will make thee whole.  Leave off from sin, and order thine hands aright, and cleanse thy heart from all wickedness. Give a sweet savour, and a memorial of fine flour; and make a fat offering, as not being. Then give place to the physician, for the Lord hath created him: let him not go from thee, for thou hast need of him.  There is a time when in their hands there is good success. For they shall also pray unto the Lord, that he would prosper that, which they give for ease and remedy to prolong life. He that sinneth before his Maker, let him fall into the hand of the physician."
Wisdom of Sirach 38:1-15

"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."
Matthew 10:8

A Vision of the Holy Unmercenaries by Elder Theophylactos of New Skete (amateur translation)
"Another time I had the same battle and despair afflicted me terribly. I knew of course what a battle was, but I could not change. Because of my inexperience I did not fight with it from the beginning, when this passion first appeared to me, and this became my personal cross. As I sat to rest, I saw a band of men of different ages climbing the road up from the Kyriakon, and heading to where my kalyve was; they were talking among themselves. I tried to see who they were and where they were going. When they passed the cross in the road, and approached my outer gate, they stopped for a short time and I heard them clearly say:

“Won’t we pass by our dwelling place?”

In reality, they opened my door and entered in line chanting their apolytikion:
“The twenty-numbered godly phalanx, that shines with heavenly grace, the radiant band of Unmercenaries let us hymn...”

Leading them all was St. Panteleimon: young, blonde, magnificent and with a physician’s medal on his chest. The rest followed him chanting their hymn melodiously. They climbed the stairs of the kalyve above where the church is, and entering, they stood in two lines as two choirs and began to chant hymns from their service. When they finished the psalmody, they returned and exited towards the upper area of the Skete, having left me their blessing and much consolation; for many days I was full of joy and spiritual happiness.”

The following is a list of Saints that are Holy Unmercenaries (in Greek, οι Ανάργυροι, literally without silver), or those Saints that were physicians by trade, but used their training to heal everyone free of charge, and used their faith in Christ to spread the Gospel. For the full life stories, see the following book:

THE HOLY UNMERCENARY DOCTORS: The Saints Anargyroi, Physicians and Healers of the Orthodox Church by Georgia Hronas (Translated from the Greek Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church). Light and Life Publishing 1999.

Each Unmercenary Saint (or group of Saints) has his individual feastday, while all of them are celebrated together (i.e. the Synaxis of the Unmercenaries), either on October 17th (the Greek tradition) or the Sunday after November 1st. The following is the list of Holy Unmercenary Saints and their feastdays (on the New Calendar):

Icon of the Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenaries (Icon courtesy of www.eikonografos.com used with permission)

The Holy Unmercenary Saints

-Sts. Kosmas and Damian of Asia Minor - November 1st

-Sts. Kosmas and Damian of Rome - July 1st

-Sts. Kosmas, Damian, Leontios, Anthimos, and Eutropios of Arabia - October 17th

-Sts. Cyrus (Kyros in Greek) and John - January 31st and June 28th (the latter celebrates the translation of their relics)

-St. Tryphon - February 1st

-St. Julianos - February 6th

-St. Mokios - May 11th

-St. Thallaleos - May 20th

-St. Sampson the Innkeeper - June 27th

-St. Ermolaos - July 26th

-St. Panteleimon the Great-martyr - July 27th

-Sts. Anikitos and Photios - August 12th

-St. Diomedis - August 16th

Additional Physician / Healer Saints:
-St. Luke the Apostle, Evangelist and Physician - October 18th
-St. Luke Archbishop of Simferopol the Surgeon - June 11th
-Sts. Hermione (September 4th), Zenais and Philonilla (October 11th), the Daughters of St. Philip the Deacon (http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2009/09/st-ermione-hermione-daughter-of-st.html, http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2009/10/holy-apostle-philip-of-seventy-one-of.html)
-St. Paul the Physician of Corinth - June 28th
-Sts. Carpos and Papylos the Martyrs of Pergamus - October 13th
-St. Orestes the Physician and Martyr of Cappadocia - November 10th
-St. Sophia the Physician and Martyr - May 22nd
-St. Agapit the Righteous Unmercenary of the Kiev Caves - June 1st
-St. Hypatius the Healer of the Kiev Caves - March 31st
-St. Moses the Wonderworker of the Kiev Caves - July 26th
-St. Poimen the Much-ailing of the Kiev Caves - August 7th
-St. Damian the Healer of the Kiev Caves - September 28th
-St. Joseph the Much-ailing of the Kiev Caves - April 4th
-St. Angelis the Physician and New Martyr - December 3rd
The Holy Russian Healers (St. Luke of Simferopol, and the Righteous Healers of the Kiev Caves: Sts. Agapit, Hypatius, Moses, Damian, Poimen and Joseph) (http://www.rusicon.com/liki/Celeb.jpg)
The following were mentioned in the Doxastikon of the Sitchera from the Vespers of the Synaxis of the Unmecenaries from the OCA at: http://www.ocadow.org/music/menaion/11_02_unmercen_vespers.pdf. I have not seen the following Saints referred to anywhere else as Unmercenaries, however, they are wondrous healers of afflictions of soul and body, so they deserve honor and supplication. Additional information from http://oasigr.5.forumer.com/a/_post1688.html and related sites.

-St. Antipas the Hieromartyr - April 11th (Healer of Teeth)

-St. Charalambos - February 10th (Protector against gastric distress and dysentery, infectious diseases, and regrettable (depressing) thoughts, the plague, protector of flocks and shepherds, trees, protector of marble-workers)

-St. Blaise (Vlassios) - February 11th (Healer of Throat Ailments)

-St. Spyridon - December 12th (the protector of ceramicists, protector from epidemics, smallpox, and diseases of the ears)
(http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2008/12/st-spyridon-wonderworker.html, http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2008/12/veneration-of-st-spyridon-on-kerkyra.html)

-St. Modescus (Modestos) - December 16th (Protector against diseases of animals and against locusts, protector of plows)

-St. Artemios - October 20th (Protector against psychiatric, neurotic, intestinal and hernia problems)

In Greek, the full service and Paraklesis of the Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenaries on October 17th has been published by Fr. Athanasios Lavriotis of Megiste Lavra by Brothers Schoina Publishing, and George Militstis in the series "Myripnoa Anthe", while another Paraklesis and Akathist has been composed by Dr. Charalampos Bousias (see: http://analogion.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4860, http://www.stamoulis.gr/vivliognosia/vivliognwsia_details.cgi?id=28383&join=0&title=&httpq=title%3d%26into%3d0%26join%3d0%26writer%3d%26ekdotis%3d%26sbA%3d0%26exec%3d1%26sb%3d0%26code%3d28383%26isbn%3d%26when%3d0%26etos%3d%26sel%3d10#)
Hymns to the Holy Unmercenary Sts. Kosmas and Damian - November 1st
(translated by Fr. Ephraim Lash: http://www.anastasis.org.uk/01nov.htm)

Stichera Automelon - Plagal of the 2nd Mode
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.

Apolytikion for the Holy Unmercenaries - Plagal of the 4th Mode
Holy Unmercenaries and Wonderworkers, visit our weaknesses; freely you have received, freely give to us.
The Holy Unmercenaries: Sts. Luke the Surgeon, Kosmas and Damian and Panteleimon (source)
Kontakion. 2nd Mode
You have received the grace of remedies, spread strength over those in need, glorious, wonderworking Physicians; but by your visitation, cast down the insolence of enemies, healing the world by wonders.

The Ikos.
The word of the wise Physicians surpasses all understanding and wisdom; for having received grace from the Most High, they invisibly bestow strength on all; therefore on me too they have bestowed the grace of narration, to sing their praise as God-bearing, well-pleasing to God and healers, who grant multitudes of cures; for they rescue all from pains, healing the world by wonders.

Selected hymns from the Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenaries - October 17th (amateur translations)

Apolytikion for the Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenaries in the Third Tone
The twenty-numbered godly band, that shines with grace from heaven, the radiant band of the Unmercenaries let us praise, for they deposed the power of the evil one, and with sympathy alleviate the illnesses of all those who cry out with reverence: glory to God in Trinity.

On this day (October 17th) we honor the Synaxis of all the Holy and Wonderworking Unmercenaries (twenty in number).

I ever honor together the Unmercenaries,
Being gathered here in their church.
The twenty-numbered band of the Unmercenaries,
O choir, save those you entreat you.
Twenty, therefore, Unmercenaries, I ever hymn.
Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenaries (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!


Unknown said...

Thank you for posting this!

GreenButterfly said...

Why was Saint Stylianos, not included on the list? I thought he was meant to be the Physician for children- but I might have misunderstood?

James the Thickheaded said...

Thank you for posting this. I believe we are all called to be unmercenaries... though only a few with the healing arts (and they are much the greater and more direct for it). This is not to take away from the unmercenary saints, but instead to challenge the rest of us. St. Panteleimon is a favorite... but there are so many other unappreciated, unknown saints, it is hard to narrow to just one or two and do this justice. Thank you again!

Unknown said...

Thank you for posting this and providing so many resources on the Holy Unmercenaries. I am hoping to become a physician, and my priest directed me to seek the help of the Saints who have become doctors and served Jesus Christ in this way already. This page is a great blessing. May Christ keep you and all of us in His Mercy.

ChristaK. said...

How fortunate to find this. Yesterday i looked up Our Lady of the Rocks and learned about St. Typhon's cathedral in doing so. Found this today and looked at the traditional calendar - since ido not follow the modern calendar as Vatican II was the revolt before the man of sin was revealed- and behold today is the feast of St. Tryphon and companions, who i guess are the Holy Unmercenary Drs. I will joyfully sing the hymns on this page today! THANK YOU ST. TRYPHON!

ChristaK. said...

How fortunate to find this. Yesterday i looked up Our Lady of the Rocks and learned about St. Typhon's cathedral in doing so. Found this today and looked at the traditional calendar - since ido not follow the modern calendar as Vatican II was the revolt before the man of sin was revealed- and behold today is the feast of St. Tryphon and companions, who i guess are the Holy Unmercenary Drs. I will joyfully sing the hymns on this page today! THANK YOU ST. TRYPHON!

Unknown said...