Saints Cosmas and Damian
The Roman stational church of today’s Mass is the Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian. Who were Cosmas and Damian? Tradition has it that they were twin brothers martyred in the third century, Arabs by race, and physicians, practicing their profession without claiming payment from their patients. Hence they were known as the “moneyless” or “unmercenary” physicians. Their knowledge of medicine was, according to tradition, perfected by their faith in Christ. Saints Cosmas and Damian were known to heal, by the power of Christ, cases of disease which others had pronounced hopeless. Ultimately, Cosmas and Damian gave their lives in witness to the Divine Physician Christ. They were first honoured in the East, and by the sixth century they had their own basilica in Rome where they are depicted in mosaics which can still be seen today.
This, then, is some of the background of today’s Holy Mass. It becomes clear that the Introit was chosen in reference to the healing gifts of the Holy Physicians Cosmas and Damian. The first word of the