My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
On the 1st of July, the Holy Orthodox Church commemorates
the holy and Wonderworking Unmercenaries
COSMAS and DAMIANOS of Rome.
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn. Plagal of Fourth Tone
O HOLY Unmercenaries and wonderworkers, visit our infirmities;
freely ye received, freely give to us.
Kontakion Hymn. Second Tone
HAVING received the grace of healing, ye extend health to those in
need, O glorious and wonderworking physicians. Hence, by your
visitation, cast down the audacity of our enemies, and by your
miracles, heal the world.
Cosmas (Kosmas) and Damian (Damianos), the holy Martyrs and brothers by birth, flourished during the years of the sons of Emperor Carus: Cariinus (250-254 A.D.) and Numerian (253-283 A.D.) Numerian died in 283, a mere Caesar, while Carinus, the elder brother, governed the Western Provinces as joint Augustus with his father. The brothers Cosmas and Damian were born in the great city of Rome, wherein their parents nurtured them in the fear of God. They were bred up to be well-trained physicians. They practiced their art in Rome. Through their labors, they first purged themselves of destructive passions so that they might cleanse others. These brilliant brothers led an active life of good deeds in showing love to their neighbors. They kept the Commandments of Christ. They preserved unsoiled the purity of their souls. their treatments and cures were extended not only to humans but to irrational animals as well. The standard fee that they requested from their patients–that is, those among the race of men whom they healed–was singular: BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST THROUGH WHOM THEY WROUGHT CURES. The brothers, indeed, never received material remuneration of themselves. The power of healing that worked mightily in them was a gift from God, for which they acknowledged the Gospel precept of Our Lord: "FREELY YE RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE" (Matthew 10:8). Many were brought to profess Christ as True God, not only by these signs but also by the brothers’ irreproachable lives and their acts of kindness. Since they charged NO FEE, they came to be known as UNMERCENARY PHYSICIANS. They lived in humility and reduced circumstances. By faith, they laid the foundation OF THEIR INCORRUPTIBLE RICHES IN THE HEAVENS.
It was about that time that reports came into the ears of the authorities regarding the activities of Cosmas and Damian. According to the skewed intelligence Carinus received regarding their medical practices and Wonderworkings, the brothers were clearly maligned. Carinus was informed that they employed magic in their works of healing. Carinus ordered the arrest of the unmercenary physicians. Some of the faithful in the Christian community discovered that a summons had been issued for the doctors’ arrest, so they urged them to conceal themselves. Carinus’ soldiers could not locate them, so they arrested other Christians in the neighborhood of the doctors’ clinic. Since the holy unmercenaries would not countenance that others would suffer on their account, they decided to surrender themselves. The soldiers were persuaded to release the Christians they apprehended if Cosmas and Damian came forward of their own accord. As the physicians did not want anyone to be punished or to incur the sin of delivering them up to the pagan authorities, they presented themselves voluntarily into the hands of Carinus.
The holy brothers, after being incarcerated, awaited trial. When they were made to stand before Carinus, they fearlessly spoke of their belief in Christ God. They maintained that the spiritual gift that they received from the Creator was not for sale. They added that they did not receive any payment for ministering among the sick. "We received," they said, "authority from God to heal all manner of infirmity." Carinus, willfully abiding in spiritual blindness, then demanded, with a commanding voice, that they offer sacrifice to the idols. But then a sudden reversal assailed the emperor. The outcome of the interview between the unmercenaries and the imperator was not what the slanderers of the physicians expected. The brothers, while remaining unpersuaded to deny The Christ, convinced Carinus to renounce impiety. This reaction of Carinus was facilitated when he became the recipient of a miraculous cure from the holy physicians…By virtue of this miracle, the Emperor came to believe in Christ.
After this extraordinary episode, the medical doctors who has been the former tutor of the brothers conceived much envy and jealousy at the success and fame of his pupils. The glory they achieved for Christ and the gratitude they won from thousands by healing every malady without reinbursement provoked him to such a degree that, with malice aforethought, he contrived to be ride of them. He invited them to ascend a mountain in the wilderness in order to collect botanicals and herbs for medicinal purposes. The deceitful old doctor, after they came to a remote spot by a mountain stream, rose up against the brothers and treacherously slew the sacred duo even as once did Cain against his brother Abel. The crime was commited when he pummeled them with rocks. He then pushed their bodies unto the river below. Their precious bodies were later discovered and buried honorably in the catacombs at Rome. After suffering reproach and persecution on account of righteouness, the holy unmercenaries now rejoice, for their reward is great in the heavens.
The synaxis (liturgical office) for the holy Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damianos and their feast day are celebrated in thier most hallowed temple in a place called Paulinus. The holy relics of the radiant wwain ceaselesly work miracles. Their holy relics by a touch make well every sufferer. Indeed, invoking their names alone has driven away incurable diseases. They also have been vouchsafed the grace to dispel unclean (evil) spirits. The holy Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damianos of Rome, who possess zeal like unto the holy Apostles, had been given–both then and now–great gifts by Christ Who also caslled His Twelve Disciples and "gave them authority over unclean (evil) spirits, so as to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every weaskness [Matthew 10:1]. (Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church)
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George