A Prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian

For Physical and Spiritual Healing

Saints Cosmas and Damian depicted in an intaglio print

duncan1890 / Getty Images

Other than the fact that they existed and were buried in the Syrian city of Cyrrhus, very little is known for certain about Saints Cosmas and Damian (also written Kosmas and Damianos). They practiced their profession in the seaport of Ayas, Adana, then in the Roman province of Syria.

The Lives of the Saints

Tradition declares that they were twins and both were doctors and places their martyrdom around the year 287. Renowned during their lives for their healing arts, they are said to have brought many pagans to the Christian Faith by offering their services free of charge, led to them being named 'Ανάργυροι', (Unmercenary). Their reputation for healing continued after their martyrdom, as many miraculous cures were attributed to their intercession. For that reason, they are known as the ​patron saints of (among others) doctors, surgeons, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, and barbers (who were the original surgeons). Specific miracles that were attributed to their intercession in the century after the saints' martyrdom, however, should be taken with a grain of salt, because many pagan stories of miraculous cures by the gods were "Christianized" by attributing them to Saints Cosmas and Damian.

In this prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian, we recognize that their skill came not through their own devices but through their reliance on Christ. And, while asking for physical healing for ourselves and others, we recognize that the greater need for healing is spiritual, and seek the intercession of Saints Cosmas and Damian for the renewal of our souls as well.

The feast day of Saints Cosmas and Damian is September 26; while you can pray this prayer at any time of the year, it makes an excellent novena in preparation for their feast. Begin praying it on September 17 to end it on the eve of their feast. We can also turn to Saints Cosmas and Damian whenever we are afflicted by, as the prayer says, "spiritual and corporal diseases."

Prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian

Oh Saints Cosmas and Damian, we honor and venerate you with all the humility and interior affection of our hearts.
We invoke you, glorious martyrs of Jesus Christ, who during life exercised the art of healing with admirable charity and sacrifice, curing the incurable and ministering to dangerous illnesses, not so much with the aid of medicine and skill, but by the invocation of the all powerful Name of Jesus Christ.
Now that you are more powerful in heaven, graciously bestow your merciful glance upon us miserable and afflicted souls; and at the sight of the many ills which oppress us, the many spiritual and corporal diseases that surround us, hasten your help. Assist us, we pray, in every distress.
We do not ask for ourselves only, but for all our relatives, families, friends, and enemies, so that, restored to health of soul and body, we can give glory to God, and honor to you, our saintly protectors. Amen.
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Richert, Scott P. "A Prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian." Learn Religions, Aug. 25, 2020, learnreligions.com/prayer-to-saints-cosmas-and-damian-542574. Richert, Scott P. (2020, August 25). A Prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/prayer-to-saints-cosmas-and-damian-542574 Richert, Scott P. "A Prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/prayer-to-saints-cosmas-and-damian-542574 (accessed May 29, 2023).