Today the Holy Church celebrates the life of two glorious martyrs who Mother Church commemorates in the Canon of the Mass: Saints Cosmas and Damian. The Roman Martyrology entry for the saints reads as:
At Aegea, during the persecution of Diocletian, the birthday of the holy martyrs Cosmas and Damian, brothers. After miraculously overcoming many torments from bonds, imprisonment, fire, crucifixion, stoning, arrows, and from being cast into the sea, they were beheaded. With them are said to have suffered three brothers: Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius.In addition to being mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, the two saints are mentioned explicitly in the Litany of the Saints. And additionally, during the Stational Churches of Lent, the stational church of pilgrimage for Thursday in the Third Week of Lent is at the Church of Ss. Cosmas and Damian:
This church, made from two pagan temples, holds the bodies of the holy martyrs, Cosmas and Damian, who were put to death during the Diocletian persecution. The sick came in crowds to visit the tomb of these two brothers, doctors by profession, imploring them to restore their health.St. Cosmas and his twin brother, St. Damian labored as physicians in Syria for no payment for their services. Through their works of mercy and charity, they brought many both bodily and spiritual healing. In one reported miracle, the ulcered leg of a man named Justinian was replaced with the leg of a man who had recently died.
The "unsalaried" physicians, Cosmas and Damian, devoted time and talents to the service of the poor and the sick, so that, by curing the infirmities of the body without renumeration, they might more easily win immortal souls for Christ.
Like so many of the early saints, the two faced great persecution for following the Divine Savior of the World, Jesus Christ. There were arrested under the persecutions by the Emperor Diocletian and then tortured, yet suffered no injury. Afterwards, they were martyred and inherited the crown of martyrdom in Heaven.
May Ss. Cosmas and Damian pray for us to have their courage, and may they pray for those in the medical profession to forsake financial gains for the sake of charity.
O Almighty God, today we are celebrating the birthday of Your blessed martyrs Cosmas and Damian. Hear their prayers and rescue us from all the dangers that threaten us. Through our Lord . . .
Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal