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.
ON NOVEMBER 1ST OUR HOLY ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH COMMEMORATES THE FEAST DAY OF THE HOLY UNMERCENARIES SAINT COSMAS AND DAMNIANOS (DAMIAN)
Unmercenaries (Anargiroi) and Wonderworkers (Miracle workers), 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 ministered to the sick without payment (unmercenaries), and so fulfilled Christ's command: "Freely have you received, freely give" (St. Matthew 10:8). They were so strict in their unpaid ministry to men that Cosmas became greatly enraged with his brother Damianos 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 payment or 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 miracle-workers 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 glorified Him here on earth by their faith, purity, and mercy. (Source: The Prologue from Ochrid)
There was another man who lived near the church of the Holy Physicians Cosmas and Damianos, whose name was Malchus. Once, as he was about to depart on a long journey he took his wife to the church and said, "Since I shall be gone for a very long time, I commit you to the protection of Saints Cosmas and Damianos. Remain in our house until I send you a man who will show you a secret sign (which sign he showed her). I shall send him at a time pleasing to God, after which you may come to me."
Having entrusted his wife to the Saints, Malchus went on his way. A few days later, the devil assumed the appearance of a man who was their acquaintance and came to Melchus' wife. He showed her the sign her husband had revealed to her and told her to follow him, saying, "Your husband has sent me to take you to him."
The woman said, "I know the sign you showed me, but I do not intend to go. My husband committed me to the protection of the holy Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damianos. If you wish to take me to my husband, first come with me to the Saints' church, lay hold of the corner of the Altar, and swear that you will do me no harm along the way."
The devil agreed and went to the church with the woman, and grasping the corner of the Altar, declared this oath: "I swear by the might of Cosmas and Damianos that I will do you no harm along the way and that I will take you directly to your husband."
Believing the lying demon, the woman departed with him. The deceiver led her to a desolate and untrodden place where he meant to slay her. But she lifted up her eyes to heaven in desperation and cried out to God in her heart, "O God, by the prayers of Saints Cosmas and Damianos, deliver me from the hand of this murderer!"
Immediately those speedy helpers, the holy Unmercenaries Cosmas, and Damianos appeared, shouting at the devil. When he saw them, he abandoned the woman and fled. He ran to a high cliff and falling into the abyss below, vanished. After this, the Saints led the woman back to her home. She bowed down before them and said, "I thank you, my lords, for having delivered me from a bitter death. But I pray you, tell me who you are, for I will be indebted to you till the end of my life."
They answered her, "We are Christ's servants Cosmas and Damianos. Your husband committed you to us when he left on his journey; therefore, we hastened to your aid, and by the grace of God delivered you from the devil."
Hearing this, the woman fell to the ground, full of fear and joy, but the Saints became invisible. Then she cried out, praising God and giving thanks to the Lord and His holy servants Cosmas and Damianos. She went to the church, where she fell prostrate before the holy icons of the Saints and told all the people of the compassion the Lord had shown her through the prayers of His servants. These were the words of the prayer she uttered upon entering the church: "O God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and of their righteous see! I thank Thee, Who didst quench the fire of the furnace wherein the three youths were cast and didst help Thy handmaiden Thecla in the arena; for Thou didst deliver me also, who am a sinner, from the snares of the devil, by the intercessions of Thy servants Cosmas and Damianos. I worship Thee, Who workest wondrous and most glorious miracles; and I glorify Thee, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, unto the ages. Amen." (Source: The great collection of The Lives of the Saints)
DIVINE SERVICES AT SAINT ANDREW NOVEMBER 1:
Orthros (Matins) at 9:00 a.m.
Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m.
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" - Saint John Chrysostom
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God