Patron Saints of Doctors and Pharmacists: Saints Cosmas and Damian

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Every Year, the Liturgy honours the memory of St. Cosmas and St. Damian, both brothers in blood and in faith; they are considered the patron saints of doctors and pharmacists.

Newsroom (October 2, 2021 06:00 PM, Gaudium Press) How to explain the fact that the two brothers did not die, when they were sentenced to death by stoning – the attendants throwing stones at the defendants? Surely it was by a miracle that the stones were turned against those who threw them.

Or how about the wickedness of the men who, seeing such a miracle, decided to kill them with arrows and received, as punishment, that the arrows shot at the two saints turned against those who shot them?

Even so, the hearts of these men were harder than the stones thrown with the intention of killing them…

Why kill them?

Imagine walking all day long with a stone in your shoe, and every time you step on the ground you feel that discomfort that doesn’t leave you in peace. The same happens when a virtuous person is in the presence of bad people, who feel as if they are constantly tormented by a stone in their shoe.

Indeed, one who is truly good, when faced with evil, immediately takes a censorious stance and will do everything in his power to reverse the situation. In the case of Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian, their presence bothered those pagans.

After several frustrated attempts to martyr them, they were forced to resort to the sword for beheading; an honor reserved only for Roman citizens, since they were from the region of Syria.

Thus, they were killed on the orders of Emperor Diocletian.

Out of charity

The two martyrs were doctors, and they healed not only people, but even animals. Both did this only out of charity, accepting no reward.

It is said that during one of San Damiano’s healings, he accepted a financial contribution from a woman named Palladia, who had been healed by him. This provoked a serious rebuke from his brother, St. Cosmas, to the point that he said he did not want to be buried together with the brother who had broken his commitment to charity.

After the death of both, the Christians decided to bury them separately, fulfilling the will of St. Cosmas. However, miraculously, a camel assumed the human voice and shouted for the brothers to be united, for Saint Damian, accepting the modest honor offered by Paladia, did so in the name of charity so as not to humiliate the poor lady.

Let us pray to these two great saints and ask them to heal us also from all bodily illnesses, but especially from spiritual illnesses, which are much more serious than physical ones.

In fact, the physical ones harm the body, and the spiritual ones harm the soul, which remains alive after death.

May they give us the strength of soul to face the difficulties of the present life, and through their intercession, may we enjoy eternal joys.

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