November 1st (old calendar) / November 14 (new)
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November 1st (old calendar) / November 14 (new)

Fast

November 1st

Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian of Mesopotamia, and their mother, St. Theodota. Hieromartyrs John the Bishop and Jacob (James) the Presbyter, of Persia (ca. 345). Martyrs Cyrenia and Juliana in Cilicia (4th c.). Martyr Hermenegild the Goth of Spain (586). Martyrs Cæsarius, Dacius, Sabbas, Sabinian, Agrippa, Adrian, and Thomas, at Damascus (7th c.). Monk Martyrs Jacob, Jacob the Deacon, and Dionysius, of Prodromou (Mt. Athos—1520).

SAINTS COSMAS AND DAMIAN

The Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian and their mother Saint 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, Saint Theodota preserved her children in purity of life according to the command 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 all the surrounding region, and people called them unmercenary physicians.

Once, the saints were summoned to a grievously ill woman named Palladia, whom all the doctors had refused to treat because of her seemingly hopeless condition. Through faith and through the fervent prayer of the holy brothers, the Lord healed the deadly disease and Palladia got up from her bed perfectly healthy and giving praise to God. In gratitude for being healed and wishing to give them a small gift, Palladia went quietly to Damian. She presented him with three eggs and said, “Take this small gift in the Name of the Holy Life-Creating Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Hearing the Name of the Holy Trinity, the unmercenary one did not dare to refuse.

When Saint Cosmas learned what had happened, became very sad, for he thought that his brother had broken their strict vow. On his deathbed he gave instructions that his brother should not be buried beside him. Saint Damian also died shortly afterward, and everyone wondered where Saint Damian’s grave should be. But through the will of God a miracle occurred. A camel, which the saints had treated for its wildness, spoke with a human voice saying that they should have no doubts about whether to place Damian beside Cosmas, because Damian did not accept the eggs from the woman as payment, but out of respect for the Name of God. The venerable relics of the holy brothers were buried together at Thereman (Mesopotamia).

Many miracles were worked after the death of the holy unmercenaries. There lived at Thereman, near the church of Cosmas and Damian, a certain man by the name of Malchus. One day he went on a journey, leaving his wife all alone for what would be a long time. He prayerfully entrusted her to the heavenly protection of the holy brothers. But the Enemy of the race of mankind took on the appearance of one of Malchus’ friends, and planned to kill the woman. A certain time went by, and this man went to her at home and said that Malchus had sent him to bring her to him. The woman believed him and went along. He led her to a solitary place intending to kill her. The woman, seeing that disaster threatened her, called upon God with deep faith.

Two fiercesome men then appeared, and the devil let go of the woman and fled, falling off a cliff. The two men led the woman home. At her own home, bowing to them deeply she asked, “My rescuers, to whom I shall be grateful to the end of my days, what are your names?”

They replied, “We are the servants of Christ, Cosmas and Damian,” and became invisible. The woman with trembling and with joy told everyone about what had happened to her. Glorifying God, she went up to the icon of the holy brothers and tearfully offered prayers of thanksgiving for her deliverance. And from that time the holy brothers were venerated as protectors of the holiness and inviolability of Christian marriage, and as givers of harmony to conjugal life. From ancient times, their veneration spread also to Russia.

The Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Asia Minor should not be confused with the Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Rome (July 1), or the Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Arabia (October 17).

Troparion of the saints, tone 8
Holy unmercenaries and wonderworkers, Cosmas and Damian, heal our infirmities. Freely you have received; freely you give to us.

Kontakion of the saints, tone 2
Having received the grace of healing, you grant healing to those in need. Glorious wonder workers and healers, Cosmas and Damian, visit us and put down the insolence of our enemies, and bring healing to the world through your miracles.

EPISTLE

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

1
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2
not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
3
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
4
who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5
Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
6
And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
7
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
8
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
9
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
10
and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
12
that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

GOSPEL

Luke 15:1-10

1
Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.
2
And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.”
3
So He spoke this parable to them, saying:
4
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
5
And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6
And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
7
I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
8
Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?
9
And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’
10
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

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About the Author

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne was born and raised in France. She taught English before entering the Cistercian Order. She translated and published articles relevant to her interest in Cistercian spirituality, the Middle Ages, and Orthodoxy. She moved to the United States in 2001, converted to Orthodoxy in 2008, and married. Her husband is an Orthodox priest. She continued to publish articles, a Cistercian texts anthology, then finally launched her career in literary translation, while teaching French. If you are interested in having your book translated into French, she can be contacted here https://wordsandpeace.com/contact-me/

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