‘These two saints, celebrated “physicians” of the ancient Church who used their art in the service of converting souls to Christ, are venerated as patrons by doctors and pharmacists. Their names occur in the Canon of the Mass and in the Litany of the Saints. The Martyrology reads: “In Aegea (Asia Minor) the holy martyr-brothers Cosmas and Damian. In the Diocletian persecution they were subjected to various tortures; they were cast into chains, locked in prison, thrown into the sea, tormented with fire, nailed to crosses, and shot at with arrows. Since with divine help they suffered all this unmaimed, they were beheaded” (about 360).
In imitation of their Saviour our two physician-saints sought to heal sick bodies in order to win and heal sick souls. The same procedure is still followed in mission lands. Care of sick bodies and care of sick souls lie very close to the Church’s heart, because no one is more ready for God’s kingdom than the sick. Every true Christian should have one or the other ill or disabled person to take care of’.
from The Church’s Year of Grace, 1953, by Pius Parsch, 1884-1954
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that we who celebrate the heavenly birthday of Saints Cosmas and Damian, thy Martyrs, may by their intercession be delivered from all evils that beset us; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon