Lives of all saints commemorated on November 1


Wonderworker and Unmercenary Cosmas of Asia Minor

The Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian and their mother St Theodota were natives of Asia Minor (some sources say Mesopotamia). Their pagan father died while they were still quite small children. Their mother raised them in Christian piety. Through her own example, and by reading holy books to them, St Theodota preserved her children in purity of life according to the command of the Lord, and Cosmas and Damian grew up into righteous and virtuous men.

Trained and skilled as physicians, they received from the Holy Spirit the gift of healing people’s illnesses of body and soul by the power of prayer. They even treated animals. With fervent love for both God and neighbor, they never took payment for their services. They strictly observed the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Freely have you received, freely give.” (Mt. 10:8). The fame of Sts Cosmas and Damian spread throughout all the surrounding region, and people called them unmercenary physicians.

Once, the saints were summoned to a grievously ill woman named Palladia, whom all the doctors had refused to treat because of her seemingly hopeless condition. Through faith and through the fervent prayer of the holy brothers, the Lord healed the deadly disease and Palladia got up from her bed perfectly healthy and giving praise to God. In gratitude for being healed and wishing to give them a small gift, Palladia went quietly to Damian. She presented him with three eggs and said, “Take this small gift in the Name of the Holy Life-Creating Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Hearing the Name of the Holy Trinity, the unmercenary one did not dare to refuse.

When St Cosmas learned what had happened, became very sad, for he thought that his brother had broken their strict vow. On his deathbed he gave instructions that his brother should not be buried beside him. St Damian also died shortly afterward, and everyone wondered where St Damian’s grave should be. But through the will of God a miracle occurred. A camel, which the saints had treated for its wildness, spoke with a human voice saying that they should have no doubts about whether to place Damian beside Cosmas, because Damian did not accept the eggs from the woman as payment, but out of respect for the Name of God. The venerable relics of the holy brothers were buried together at Thereman (Mesopotamia).

Many miracles were worked after the death of the holy unmercenaries. There lived at Thereman, near the church of Cosmas and Damian, a certain man by the name of Malchus. One day he went on a journey, leaving his wife all alone for what would be a long time. He prayerfully entrusted her to the heavenly protection of the holy brothers. But the Enemy of the race of mankind took on the appearance of one of Malchus’ friends, and planned to kill the woman. A certain time went by, and this man went to her at home and said that Malchus had sent him to bring her to him. The woman believed him and went along. He led her to a solitary place intending to kill her. The woman, seeing that disaster threatened her, called upon God with deep faith.

Two fiercesome men then appeared, and the devil let go of the woman and fled, falling off a cliff. The two men led the woman home. At her own home, bowing to them deeply she asked, “ My rescuers, to whom I shall be grateful to the end of my days, what are your names?”

They replied, “We are the servants of Christ, Cosmas and Damian,” and became invisible. The woman with trembling and with joy told everyone about what had happened to her. Glorifying God, she went up to the icon of the holy brothers and tearfully offered prayers of thanksgiving for her deliverance. And from that time the holy brothers were venerated as protectors of the holiness and inviolability of Christian marriage, and as givers of harmony to conjugal life. From ancient times, their veneration spread also to Russia.

The Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Asia Minor should not be confused with the Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Rome (July 1), or the Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Arabia (October 17).


Wonderworker and Unmercenary Damian of Mesopotamia

The Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian and their mother St Theodota were natives of Asia Minor (some sources say Mesopotamia). Their pagan father died while they were still quite small children. Their mother raised them in Christian piety. Through her own example, and by reading holy books to them, St Theodota preserved her children in purity of life according to the command of the Lord, and Cosmas and Damian grew up into righteous and virtuous men.

Trained and skilled as physicians, they received from the Holy Spirit the gift of healing people’s illnesses of body and soul by the power of prayer. They even treated animals. With fervent love for both God and neighbor, they never took payment for their services. They strictly observed the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Freely have you received, freely give.” (Mt. 10:8). The fame of Sts Cosmas and Damian spread throughout all the surrounding region, and people called them unmercenary physicians.

Once, the saints were summoned to a grievously ill woman named Palladia, whom all the doctors had refused to treat because of her seemingly hopeless condition. Through faith and through the fervent prayer of the holy brothers, the Lord healed the deadly disease and Palladia got up from her bed perfectly healthy and giving praise to God. In gratitude for being healed and wishing to give them a small gift, Palladia went quietly to Damian. She presented him with three eggs and said, “Take this small gift in the Name of the Holy Life-Creating Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Hearing the Name of the Holy Trinity, the unmercenary one did not dare to refuse.

When St Cosmas learned what had happened, became very sad, for he thought that his brother had broken their strict vow. On his deathbed he gave instructions that his brother should not be buried beside him. St Damian also died shortly afterward, and everyone wondered where St Damian’s grave should be. But through the will of God a miracle occurred. A camel, which the saints had treated for its wildness, spoke with a human voice saying that they should have no doubts about whether to place Damian beside Cosmas, because Damian did not accept the eggs from the woman as payment, but out of respect for the Name of God. The venerable relics of the holy brothers were buried together at Thereman (Mesopotamia).

Many miracles were worked after the death of the holy unmercenaries. There lived at Thereman, near the church of Cosmas and Damian, a certain man by the name of Malchus. One day he went on a journey, leaving his wife all alone for what would be a long time. He prayerfully entrusted her to the heavenly protection of the holy brothers. But the Enemy of the race of mankind took on the appearance of one of Malchus’ friends, and planned to kill the woman. A certain time went by, and this man went to her at home and said that Malchus had sent him to bring her to him. The woman believed him and went along. He led her to a solitary place intending to kill her. The woman, seeing that disaster threatened her, called upon God with deep faith.

Two fiercesome men then appeared, and the devil let go of the woman and fled, falling off a cliff. The two men led the woman home. At her own home, bowing to them deeply she asked, “ My rescuers, to whom I shall be grateful to the end of my days, what are your names?”

They replied, “We are the servants of Christ, Cosmas and Damian,” and became invisible. The woman with trembling and with joy told everyone about what had happened to her. Glorifying God, she went up to the icon of the holy brothers and tearfully offered prayers of thanksgiving for her deliverance. And from that time the holy brothers were venerated as protectors of the holiness and inviolability of Christian marriage, and as givers of harmony to conjugal life. From ancient times, their veneration spread also to Russia.

The Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Asia Minor should not be confused with the Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Rome (July 1), or the Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Arabia (October 17).


St Theodota the Mother of the Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian

Saint Theodota was the mother of Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian of Mesopotamia. They were all natives of Asia Minor. Her pagan husband died while her children were still quite small, but she raised them in Christian piety. Through her own example, and by reading holy books to them, St Theodota preserved her children in purity of life according to the command of the Lord, and Cosmas and Damian grew up into righteous and virtuous men.


Hieromartyr John the Bishop of Persia

Saint John the bishop was martyred in Persia about 345, at the time of King Sapor II.


Hieromartyr James the Presbyter of Persia

Saint James the presbyter (known as “the Zealot”) was martyred in Persia around 345, at the time of King Sapor II.


Martyr Cyrenia in Cilicia

The Holy Martyrs Cyrenia and Juliana of Clicia were arrested for confessing the Christian Faith under the governor of Cilicia, Marcian, during the reign of the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311). They led St Cyrenia, stripped and with shorn head, around Tarsus to be mocked, and then they went to the city of Rosa with St Juliana, where the martyrs were burned alive.


Martyr Juliana in Cilicia

The Holy Martyrs Juliana and Cyrenia of Clicia were arrested for confessing the Christian Faith under the governor of Cilicia, Marcian, during the reign of the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311). They led St Cyrenia, stripped and with shorn head, around Tarsus to be mocked, and then they went to the city of Rosa with St Juliana, where the martyrs were burned alive


Martyr Hermeningilda the Goth of Spain

The Holy Martyr Hermeningilda, Prince of the Goths in Spain (+ 586), abandoned the Arian heresy and was converted to Orthodoxy. His father, Leovigild, was King of the Goths, and an Arian. Neither by flattery nor by threats was he able to sway his son to return to his former faith. Therefore, Leovigild gave orders to throw him into prison.

On Pascha, as Hermeningilda lay there in his fetters, Leovigild sent an Arian bishop to the prison so that his son might receive the vile communion of the heretics. The king offered to free Hermeningilda and restore him to his former position if he would partake of that communion. The saint, however, drove the Arian bishop away, upbraiding him for his heresy. An Orthodox priest came to the prison secretly and imparted the Life-Giving Mysteries of Christ to St Hermeningilda.

When the Arian bishop reported St Hermeningilda’s words to the king, he ordered him to be executed. After he was beheaded, angels were heard singing over his holy relics. The faithful glorified God when they heard of this, and the martyr’s father repented of his evil deed.

Although he did not accept Orthodoxy himself, he nonetheless permitted the holy Bishop Leander to convert his successor Rekhardt to the true Faith. After he became king, Rekhardt affirmed Orthodoxy in his domain.

The full account of St Hermeningilda may be found in St Gregory the Great’s Dialogues (Book I, Ch. 31).


Martyr Caesarius at Damascus

Saint Caesarius suffered martyrdom with Sts Adrian, Dacius, Savas, Sabinian, Agrippa, and Thomas at Damascus in the seventh century.


Martyr Dacius at Damascus

Saint Dacius suffered martyrdom with Sts Caesarius, Adrian, Savas, Sabinian, Agrippa, and Thomas at Damascus in the seventh century.


Martyr Sava at Damascus

Saint Sava suffered martyrdom with Sts Adrian, Dacius, Caesarius, Sabinian, Agrippa, and Thomas at Damascus in the seventh century.


Martyr Sabinian at Damascus

No information available at this time.


Martyr Agrippa at Damascus

Saint Agrippa suffered martyrdom with Sts Caesarius, Adrian, Savas, Sabinian, Dacius, and Thomas at Damascus in the seventh century.


Martyr Adrian at Damascus

Saint Adrian suffered martyrdom with Sts Caesarius, Dacius, Savas, Sabinian, Agrippa, and Thomas at Damascus in the seventh century.


Martyr Thomas at Damascus

Saint Thomas suffered martyrdom with Sts Caesarius, Dacius, Savas, Sabinian, Agrippa, and Adrian at Damascus in the seventh century.


Monkmartyr James of Prodromou on Mt Athos

The monastic martyrs James of Kastoria and his disciples, the Deacon James and Dionysius of Prodromou Monastery on Mt. Athos. St James was tonsured on Mt. Athos at the Docheiariou monastery. Transferring to the neglected Georgian skete of St John the Baptist, the monk restored it under the supervision of the Elder Ignatius.

Fulfilling various obediences in the monastery, St James scaled the heights of purity. He was granted heavenly revelations, just like the Apostle Paul, so the saint also saw the mansions of Paradise and the depths of Hades. By a gift from above, St James perceived the heart’s mysteries and the secret thoughts of those who came to him.

The saint also was found worthy of the gift of wonderworking. Visiting with disciples in Aetolia, he worked many miracles, healing the sick and instructing all. The Turkish authorities, fabricated false charges against the monk that he allegedly intended to foment rebellion. In this manner, they attempted to force the saint into renouncing Orthodoxy. But St James and both his disciples, Deacon James and St Dionysius, endured the fiercest of torments over a period of many days. They suffered martyrdom on November 1, 1520.

The relics of the Monkmartyrs, glorified by miraculous healings, were placed in the monastery of St Anastasia, Deliverer from Potions in the small town of Galatista, near Thessalonica. In a short time, the fame of the holy relics attractedabout 100 brethren to the monastery under St Theonas (April 4), who himself was a disciple of St James.


Martyr James the Deacon of Prodromou of Mt Athos

The holy monastic martyr Deacon James was a disciple of St James of Kastoria of Prodromou Monastery on Mt. Athos.

The Turkish authorities in Aetolia, fabricated false charges against St James of Kastoria that he intended to foment rebellion. In this manner, they attempted to force the saint into renouncing Orthodoxy. But St James and both his disciples, Deacon James and St Dionysius, endured the fiercest of torments over a period of many days. They suffered martyrdom on November 1, 1520.

The relics of the Monkmartyrs, glorified by miraculous healings, were placed in the monastery of St Anastasia, Deliverer from Potions in the small town of Galatista, near Thessalonica. In a short time, the fame of the holy relics attractedabout 100 brethren to the monastery under St Theonas (April 4), who himself was a disciple of St James.


Martyr Dionysius of Prodromou of Mt Athos

The monastic martyrs James of Kastoria and his disciples, the Deacon James and Dionysius of Prodromou Monastery on Mt. Athos. St James was tonsured on Mt. Athos at the Docheiariou monastery. Transferring to the neglected Georgian skete of St John the Baptist, James restored it under the supervision of the Elder Ignatius.

Fulfilling various obediences in the monastery, St James scaled the heights of purity. He was granted heavenly revelations, just like the Apostle Paul, so the saint also saw the mansions of Paradise and the depths of Hades. By a gift from above, St James perceived the heart’s mysteries and the secret thoughts of those who came to him.

The saint also was found worthy of the gift of wonderworking. Visiting with disciples in Aetolia, he worked many miracles, healing the sick and instructing all. The Turkish authorities, fabricated false charges against the monk that he allegedly intended to foment rebellion. In this manner, they attempted to force the saint into renouncing Orthodoxy. But St James and both his disciples, Deacon James and St Dionysius, endured the fiercest of torments over a period of many days. They suffered martyrdom on November 1, 1520.

The relics of the Monkmartyrs, glorified by miraculous healings, were placed in the monastery of St Anastasia, Deliverer from Potions in the small town of Galatista, near Thessalonica. In a short time, the fame of the holy relics attractedabout 100 brethren to the monastery under St Theonas (April 4), who himself was a disciple of St James.