(3rd Century AD), holy persons
Patron of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
Feast Day: September 26
Cosmas and Damian were Arabian-born twin brothers who embraced Christianity and practiced medicine and surgery without a fee. They reputedly cured blindness, fever, paralysis and reportedly expelled a breast serpent. According to the Legenda Aurea, their most famous posthumous miracle happened in a dream when they transplanted the black leg of a recently-deceased Ethiopian onto the white body of a devout Church official with a gangrenous leg. When the man woke up, he reached for his leg and realized that he now had two healthy legs although one was not his! When he recovered, he leapt out from his bed and announce the good news.
In his attempt to wipe out Christianity, Emperor Diocletian (243/245-311) ordered the arrest of the brothers through Lysias, governor of Cilicia, because of their faith and fame as healers. The twins and their three brothers were sentenced to death. The family were thrown into the sea but were saved. The authorities then tried burning them at the stake but they remained unharmed. They were then stoned, crucified and shot with arrows but to no effect. They were finally beheaded and their bodies carried to the ancient Syrian city of Cyrrhus. Having been cured of a dangerous illness through their intercession, Emperor Justinian (482-565) rebuilt and adorned their church at Constantinople in gratitude for their aid, and it became a celebrated place of pilgrimage. Pope Felix IV (526-530) built a church in Rome in their honor.
Through the inspiration and prayers of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, patrons of physicians and surgeons, whose charity and Christian witness won many converts to the faith and earned them a place of prominence in the Christian communities of Asia Minor, the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is committed to the pursuit of excellence in medical education, health science research and community services, guided by Christian ethics and values. Furthermore, it is their task to develop and form competent, compassionate, and committed Thomasian physicians in the delivery of healthcare services of global standards and in accord with the needs of the nation.
- The Pharmaceutical Journal, September 2016; Online: DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201708.
- Meier, Gabriel. “Sts. Cosmas and Damian.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 19 Apr. 2021.
- Voragine, Jacobus (1275), and Caxton, William (1483; trans.), Legenda Aurea, Ch. 82.