A number of years back, there were two twin brothers, the eldest of a widowed single-mother’s five sons. From their youth, they had a profound love for their Catholic faith and they viewed God’s creations, especially the human body, with great wonder. The two brothers studied medicine and became general practitioners.
Two things made them stand out among other doctors in their profession: first, their willingness to share their Catholic faith with others; and second, their refusal to accept payment for their work. The two worked for free, pro bono, for the good. They healed the sick, in both body and soul. And they were gratefully admired by many. But then it happened that their government instituted new laws which were contrary to the Catholic faith, offensive to human dignity, and universally binding without exception.
The two brothers might have said to each other, “Our work helps so many people. If we don’t go along with this we won’t be able to practice medicine anymore. We should compromise, for the sake of the greater good.” However, these two doctors were adamant in their convictions. They understood that if they chose to forfeit their Catholic faith, then they would have nothing else of truly lasting value to offer to anyone. They did not yield, and it cost the two of them their careers, and much more, but the brothers preserved their faith, their clear consciences, and their heavenly rewards in Christ.
You’ve heard of the names of these brothers before, but you’ve probably never heard their story until today. The twin brothers, the two doctors who were unwilling to compromise on their Catholic faith when the Emperor Diocletian decreed in the year 303 that everyone worship idols or be killed, these men are the saints we celebrate today: Saints Cosmas and Damian.
May we learn from their example and benefit from their prayers.
Saints Cosmas and Damian are the patron saints of physicians, surgeons and pharmacists. Let’s pray for those who care for the sick… We pray to the Lord.
Through the intercession of Saints Cosmas and Damian, may Catholic healthcare workers in our time never have to face a test of faith like theirs because of unjust laws… We pray to the Lord.
Through the intercession Saints Cosmas and Damian, may we have the courage to share our faith in the workplace, by both our silent deeds and our spoken words… We pray to the Lord.
For my intention in this Mass, for Congress which is now considering amendments to the healthcare bill which would grant conscience exceptions and prohibit the federal government from subsidizing, reimbursing, and paying for abortions, and for your Mass intentions… We pray to the Lord.