St. Cosmas and Damian

Sts Cosmas and DamianArabian twin brothers who are the patron saints of pharmacists, physicians, and surgeons, Sts. Cosmas and Damian were celebrated for their great medical science skills. They were known for the spirit of charity by always refusing money for their services. They were born at Egaea in Cilicia, which is now in Turkey. They were famous pharmacists in Ayas, Adana, a Roman province in Syria.

Christian persecution by Diocletian greatly affected Cosmas and Damian who were prominent in the community. Lysias, the Cilicia governor, ordered them arrested. They were publicly beaten and tortured before being beheaded with Leontius, Anthimus, and Eutropius in 283.

Cosmas and Damian often are pictured together holding large spoon handles or feathers shaped as a cross and medical boxes. Their feast day was Sept. 27, but moved to Sept. 26 in 1969 to allow for the more widely revered St. Vincent de Paul to take Sept. 27.

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