St. Cosmos and St. Damian

These two twins, physicians and pharmacists, were born in Arabia in the 3rd century A.D. They worked in Aigai and Cilicia. Their art of healing was well known by both Christians and pagans. They took care of the health of their patients but also provided them with religious consolation and led them to penance. They converted many pagans to Christianity. They did not take any money for their services. During the rule of Emperor Diocletian, Christians Cosmos and Damian were judged before a court and subjected to inhumane torturing that, however, did not hurt them. In the year of 287 or 303, they were beheaded. The Cosmos and Damian cult came to Europe in the 6th century. The relics of both physicians were kept in Sázava, Osek as well as in the Chapel at Karlstein. Cosmos and Damian are patrons of physicians, pharmacists, the ill, druggists and confectioners and, since the 17th century, they are also co-patrons of the Czech Lands. Their attributes are containers for ointments, pillboxes, urine vials and mortars and sometimes a staff with a serpent.


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