My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
NOVEMBER 1ST--THE HOLY FEAST-DAY OF SAINTS COSMAS AND DAMIANOS (DAMIAN) THE HOLY UNMERCENARIES AND WONDERWORKERS
Unmercenaries and Wonderworkers (Miracleworkers), they were brothers in the flesh and in the spirit, born somewhere in Asia of a pagan father and a Christian mother. After their father's death, their mother Theodota devoted all her time and energy to the bringing-up of her sons as true Christians. God helped her, and her sons grew as two choice fruits and as two holy lamps. They were skilled in medicine and command: "Freely have you received; freely give" (Saint Matthew 10:8). They were so strict in their unpaid ministry to men that Cosmas became greatly enraged with his brother Damianos (Damian) when he took three eggs from a woman, Palladia, and gave orders that, after his death, he should not be buried with his brother. In fact, holy Damianos had not taken those eggs as a reward for healing Palladia's sickness, but because she had sworn by the Most Holy Trinity that he should have them. However, after their death in Fereman, they were buried together in obedience to a revelation from God. These two holy brothers were great wonderworkers (miracleworkers) both during their lifetime and after their death. A farm laborer, on lying down to sleep at one time, was attacked by a snake, which entwined itself around his mouth and stomach. This poor man would have breathed his last in the greatest torment had he not at the last moment invoked the help of Saints Cosmas and Damianos. Thus the Lord glorified forever by miracles those who glorifies Him here on earth by their faith, purity and mercy.
--on the call to all Christians to be saints.
"To the saints which are in Ephesus" (Ephesians 1:1)
The Apostle calls the Christians in Ephesus saints. He does not call one or two of them saints, or any one group of them, but them all. Is this not one of God's great Wonders (Miracles): that men, not in the desert but in the city, and that an idolatrous and dissolute city, should be saints? That married men should be saints, men who had children, who worked and traded. Such were indeed the first Christians. Their dedication, faithfulness and zeal in the Faith, as well as their holiness and purity of life, gives them the right to be called saints. If saints have become the exception in these latter days, the unholy were the exception in those first days. Saints were the norm. We must not, therefore, be surprised that the Apostle calls all baptized souls in Ephesus saints--and has another, yet more lofty, name for all Christians: that of sons, sons of God (Galatians 4:6). The Lord Christ Himself gave us the right to call ourselves such, when He taught us to address God as "Our Father".
Oh, my brethren, do we not say to God every day: "Holy God"? Do we not call the Angels Holy? Do we not call the Mother of God Holy? And the Prophets and Apostles, and the Martyrs and the Righteous? Do we not call heaven, and the Kingdom of Heaven, Holy? Who, then, can dwell in the Holy Kingdom but the saints? If we hope for salvation, we hope also for sanctity.
Oh, Holy God, Who dwellest in the Holy place and restest among the saints, calling the holy of Thyself and having mercy on them; help us also, that we be sanctified in thought, word and deed--to Thy glory and our salvation. To Thee be glory and praise for ever. Amen.
[Source: The Prologue from Ochrid]
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of the Feast-Day. Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Sainted Unmercenaries and Wonder Workers, regard our infirmities; freely you have received, freely share with us.
Kontakion Hymn. Second Tone
O glorious, wonderworking physicians, having received the grace of healing, you reach out and restore health to those in need. But also, by your visitation you cast down the arrogance of the enemy, healing the world through miracles.
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry)
The sinner and unworthy servant of God