St. Cosmas and St. Damian were twin brothers, who practiced medicine. They refused all payments in order to convert their patients. Roman Proconsul Lysias ordered them to be chained together and thrown into the sea, but an angel brought them ashore. Then they were tied to a post to be burnt alive, but the flames flared up against their executioners. Lysias tried to have the brothers stoned, but the stones all fell short. Finally they were both beheaded.
St. Cosmas and St. Damian are patron saints of medicine, doctors and pharmacists. In fine art they are usually depicted in lined robes, hoods or cylindrical physicians’ hats, carrying surgeons’ bags and instruments.
Feast day: in the West 26 September; in the East 1 July or 1 November.
See: Botticelli Madonna
and Child with Six Saints.
Fra Angelico. San Marco Altarpiece: The Healing of Palladia. San Marco Altarpiece: Cosmas and Damian before Lycias. San Marco Altarpiece: Cosmas and Damian Are to Be Burnt Alive. San Marco Altarpiece: The Beheading of Cosmas and Damian. San Marco Altarpiece: Burial of Cosmas and Damian. San Marco Altarpiece: The Healing of the Deacon Justian.
The Book of Saints: The Lives of the Saints According to the Liturgical Calendar by George Angelini, Victor Hoagland (Editor). Regina Press, Malhame & Company, 1986.
Orthodox Saints: Spiritual Profiles for Modern Man Vol. 4 Oct.-Dec by George Poulos. Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1992.