Lifelong CatechesisForming Catholic identity across generations
For a large part of the liturgical year, we devote ourselves to listening to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects unfolded as we seek God's truth and understanding.
Cosmas and Damian, Physicians and Martyrs, early Fourth Century
According to legend, Cosmas and Damian were twin brothers born in Arabia. They studied medicine in Syria and later became widely known for their medical skills which they offered, without charge, to all. Because of their charities, they were known in their time as the “moneyless ones.” They gained the love and respect of the people to whom they ministered, both for their medical assistance and the zeal of their Christian faith.
During the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian, Cosmas and Damian, together with three brothers, Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius, were arrested, tried, and beheaded for their faith. Over the years following their deaths, many people reported miracles that occurred in the names of Cosmas and Damian. Among them was the Emperor Justinian I, who attributed his cure from a serious illness to these saints. In thankfulness, the emperor enlarged a church which had been built on the site of the saints’ burial place.
Cosmas and Damian are patrons of physicians and surgeons, along with Saint Luke. An optional memorial celebrates the lives of these saints on September 26.
Cosmas and Damian's message today: The two brothers completely embraced and lived the Christian life. This was particularly exemplified by their unselfish behavior in caring for the sick. We are not asked to give nearly so much of ourselves as Cosmas and Damian did, but we are asked to give something.