The holy wonder-workers and Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian and their mother, St. Theodota, were natives of Asia Minor (some sources say Mesopotamia). Their pagan father died while they were still quite small children. Their mother raised them in Christian piety. Through her own example, and by reading holy books to them, St. Theodota preserved her children in purity of life according to the commands of the Lord, and Cosmas and Damian grew up into righteous and virtuous men. Trained and skilled as physicians, they received from the Holy Spirit the gift of healing people’s illnesses of body and soul by the power of prayer. They even treated animals. With fervent love for both God and neighbor, they never took payment for their services. They strictly observed the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Freely have you received, freely give.”(Mt. 10:8). The fame of Saints Cosmas and Damian spread throughout the surrounding region, and people called them unmercenary physicians.
Holy unmercenary healers and wonderworkers, Cosmas and Damian, treat us in our weakness; freely you received, so freely give to us.
O most glorious physicians and wonderworkers who have received the grace of healing, you grant health to those in need. By your visitation, defeat our shameless enemies and by your miracles heal the world.
1 Thessalonians 2: 1-8
Brothers and sisters, you know well enough that our coming among you was not without effect. Fresh from the humiliation we had suffered at Philippi – about which you know – we drew courage from our God to preach his good tidings to you in the face of great opposition. The exhortation we deliver does not spring from deceit or impure motives or any sort of trickery; rather, having met the test imposed on us by God, as men entrusted with the good tidings, we speak like those who strive to please God, “The tester of our hearts,” rather than men.
We were not guilty, as you well know, of flattering words or greed under any pretext, as God is our witness! Neither did we seek glory from men, you or any others, even though we could have insisted on our own importance as apostles of Christ.
On the contrary, while we were among you we were as gentle as any nursing mother fondling her little ones. So well disposed were we to you, that we wanted to share with you not only God’s tidings but our very lives, so dear had you become to us.
Luke 11: 42-46
The Lord said: “Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes on mint and rue and all the garden plants, while neglecting justice and the love of God. These are the things you should practice, without omitting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the front seats in synagogues and marks of respect in public. Woe to you! You are like hidden tombs over which men walk unawares.” In reply one of the lawyers said to Jesus, “Teacher, in speaking this way you insult us too.” Jesus answered: “Woe to you lawyers also! You lay impossible burdens on men but will not lift a finger to lighten them.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Tuesday, October 31 –