St Cosmos and St Damian

Martyrs (entered heaven probably sometime in the third or fourth century)

Dear Cosmo,

Your mother tells me that you are really making a name for yourself in college, winning all the academic awards and topping the grade charts semester after semester.  That is, I will admit, a sign that you will probably get into a competitive medical school (I assume you are still on the pre-med track), but at the risk of deflating your ego, I feel it is my duty to tell you that academic excellence does not automatically make great doctors.  As a Christian, you will be treating people, not “cases.”  Medicine is inherently a noble profession; our Lord performed many miracles of physical healing that eloquently showed forth God’s love.  Nevertheless, temptations to greed, vanity, and pride loom menacingly behind every white coat.  Stay close to today’s saints, and you should be able to resist them.

Cosmos and Damian were brothers.  They studied the medical arts in Arabia, and practiced their trade there for many years.  They made it a point to treat the souls of their patients with the healing truth of Christ in addition to treating their bodies.  To emphasize the sincerity of their concern, they always offered their services for free.  Their reputation for holiness and wisdom grew almost as rapidly as their reputation for being incomparable doctors.  As a result, they were among the first Christians to be apprehended during a local wave of persecution.  Under interrogation and repeated torture they courageously confessed their adherence to Christ, and the pagan authorities unceremoniously cut off their heads for it.  Miracles abounded at their tombs, and their relics were venerated for centuries afterwards

Maybe these two medical doctors didn’t rack up a hefty bank account on earth, but I am certain that God made up for it upon their arrival in heaven.  If you end up following their footsteps in the medical arts, I hope you won’t neglect to follow them to holiness as well.

God bless,

Uncle Eddy

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