Cosmas and Damian
Cosmas and Damian
were two brothers, Arabians bybirth, but they dwelt in AEgne, a city of Cilicia. Their father having died while they were yet children, their pious mother, Theodora, brought them up with all diligence, and in the practice of every Christian virtue. Their charity was such that they not only lived in the greatest abstinence, distributing their goods to the infirm and poor, but they studied medicine and surgery, that they might be able to prescribe for the sick, and relieve the sufferings of the wounded and infirm; and the blessing of God being on all their endeavors, they became the most learned and the most perfect physicians that the world had ever seen. They ministered to all who applied to them, whether rich or poor. Even to suffering animals they did not deny their aid, and they constantly refused all payment or recompense, exercising their art only for charity, and for the love of God; and thus they spent their days. At length those wicked emperors, Diocletiair and Maximian, came to the throne, in whose time so, many saints perished. Among them were the physicians, Cosmas and Damian, who, professing themselves Christians, were seized by Lycias, the proconsul of Arabia, and cast into prison. And first they were thrown into the sea, but an angel saved them; and then into the fire, but the fire refused to consume them; and then they were bound on two crosses and stoned, but of the stones flung at them none reached them, but fell on those who threw them, and many were killed. So the proconsul, believing that they were enchanters, commanded that they should. be beheaded, which was done. The Greek Church, however, celebrates three pairs of these brothers as saints:
(1) July 1, in the time of Carinus;
(2) October 27, Arabs, with their brothers Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius, martyred under Diocletian;
(3) November 1, sons of Theodotus. It is probable that all these are but variations or imitations of one legend.