sep 272011

I går eller i dag feres de hellige Kosmas og Damian, og på kan vi lese hvorfor den gamle og den nye kalenderen har to ulike dager: “Deres minnedag er i vest 26. september, de ble tidligere minnet den 27, men den dagen opptas nå av den hellige Vincent de Paul. 27. september var vigselsdagen for kirken Ss Cosma e Damiano i Roma. I øst feires de 1. juli, 17. oktober eller 1. november. De ble gjort til skytshelgener for alle leger og apotekere. De nevnes i messens romerske kanon (Eukaristisk bønn I) og i forberedelsene til den bysantinske messen.”

Mange katolikker husker sikker den lange listen av helgener i starten av kanon – Kosmas og Damian er de to siste helgene som nevnes:

… Sammen med hele din Kirke hedrer vi fremfor alt minnet om den ærerike, alltid rene jomfru Maria, vår Guds og Herres Jesus Kristus mor den salige Josef, hennes ekteviede, dine salige apostler og martyrer, Peter og Paulus, Andreas, Jakob, Johannes, Tomas, Jakob, Filip, Bartolomeus, Matteus, Simon og Taddeus, Linus, Kletus, Klemens, Sixtus, Kornelius, Kyprian, Laurentius, Krysogonus, Johannes og Paulus, Kosmas og Damian og alle dine hellige. …

I dagens matutinbønn (i den gamle kalenderen) leser vi følgende om de to helgenene (Kilikia ligger i Lilleasia):

Cosmas and Damian, who were eminent physicians in the time of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, were brothers, and Arabs by race, but born in the city of Aegea in Cilicia. Not more by their knowledge of medicine than by the power of Christ they healed diseases which had been hopeless for others. When the Prefect Lysias learnt to what faith they belonged, he commanded them to be brought before him, and questioned them as to their way of life, and the confession of their religion ; and then, forasmuch as they freely owned themselves Christians and the Christian faith needful to salvation, he commanded them to worship the gods, under threats of torments and a most cruel death. But when he found that it was but in vain to lay such things before them, he said : Bind their hands and feet together, and put them to the sharpest of the question. And he was obeyed, but nevertheless Cosmas and Damian abode still of the same mind. Therefore they were cast into the depth of the sea, bound as they were, but they came forth again, whole and unbound. The Prefect, therefore, who would have it that it came to pass so by force of art magic, cast them into prison. On the morrow he haled them forth again, and bade cast them upon a great fire, but the flame turned away from them. He was pleased then to have them tormented in divers and cruel sorts, and lastly, smitten with the axe. Thus did they bear witness for Christ Jesus even until they grasped the palm of their testimony.

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