Our Patron Saint - Saints Anargyroi

Saints Anargyroi - Cosmas and Damian

These Saints, who are different from those that are celebrated on the 1st of November, were from Rome. They were physicians, freely bestowing healing upon beasts and men, asking nothing from the healed other than that they confess and believe in Christ. They ended their life in martyrdom in the year 284, under the Emperors Carinus and Numerian. Apolytikion of Unmercenaries Cosmas & Damian

The name of our church can be a tough one to pronounce or for us to spell for others, whether we say the English Saints Anargyroi or the Greek Agioi Anargyroi. The combination of a trilled alveolar flap r with the voiced velar and palatal fricative gs make for a mouthful to say for even the strongest native Greek speaker. But it is well worth learning how to properly voice the title of Saints Cosmas and Damian, the Holy Anargyroi or Unmercenaries (even the translation of Anargyroi is unwieldy and rarely used in English).

These twin brother saints lived in the third century and were physicians who refused monetary payment for their services. Anargyroi literally means “without silver” and is a reference to this practice. They did their work in Asia Minor and their strong faith put them at odds with the prevailing paganism of the Roman Empire under Diocletian, a ferocious persecutor of Christianity. Cosmas and Damian ultimately were tortured and beheaded for their refusal to renounce Christianity, and have been venerated as saints ever since. There have even been other twins through the centuries named after our patrons who followed them in their good works and have been recognized as saints.

The saints with the hard title to pronounce live on as powerful examples and intercessors for us. Their troparion is sung on Holy Wednesday throughout the Orthodox world, and most churches have an icon of them holding their distinctive medical boxes and spoons (some icons show them holding urine flasks, for analysis of urine was one way in which doctors examined health). They are the patron saints of the national and of each individual Philoptochos. 

Third Tone

Sainted Unmercenaries and Wonder Workers, regard our infirmities; freely you have received, freely share with us. Kontakion of Unmercenaries Cosmas & Damian

Second Tone

Having received the grace of healing, ye extend health to those in need, O glorious and wonderworking physicians. Hence, by your visitation, cast down the audacity of our enemies, and by your miracles, heal the world.