Commemorations for Paona 22
On this day, the church celebrates the consecration of the church of St. Cosmas (Kozman), Damian, their brothers, Anthimus, Londius, and Abrabius and their mother Theodata. They were from one of the Arab countries. Their mother feared God and was compassionate and merciful towards strangers and the needy. She became a widow, while her children were young. She raised them and taught them the fear of God. Cosmas and Damian studied medicine, and they treated the sick freely. As for their brothers, they went to the desert and became monks.
When Diocletian renegaded the faith and ordered the worship of idols, he was told that Cosmas and Damian were preaching in the Name of the Lord Christ in every city and urging others not to worship the idols. He commanded them brought and delivered to the governor of the city, who tortured them with different kinds of tortures. Then he asked them the whereabouts of their brothers. Upon finding out, he brought the brothers and their mother. He ordered them to raise incense for the idols, but they refused. Then he ordered the five to be squeezed through the wheel. When they experienced no harm, he took them out and cast them in red-hot fire for three days and three nights then cast them in a hot steaming room. Finally, he placed them on red-hot iron beds. Through all this, the Lord strengthened and healed them.
When the governor became weary of torturing them, he sent them to the Emperor who also tortured them. Their mother constantly encouraged them and comforted them. The Emperor rebuked her, and she cursed him in his presence and also cursed his idols. He ordered her head cut off, and she received the crown of martyrdom. Her body remained on the ground, no one dared to bury it, because of their fear of the Emperor. St. Cosmas screamed at those present saying, "Men of the city, is there not one merciful person among you who will cover the body of this poor old widow and bury her?" Straightway, Victor, Ebn-Romanus, came forward and took the body, shrouded it, then buried it.
When the Emperor heard what Victor had done, he ordered him to be exiled to Egypt where he received the crown of martyrdom. The next day, the Emperor ordered the beheading of Sts. Cosmas, Damian, and their brothers. They received the crown of life in the Kingdom of Heaven. After the time of persecution was over, many churches were built for them, where God manifested many signs and wonders.
May their intercession be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.