Great are the accomplishments of faith, / for the Three Holy Youths rejoiced in the flames as though at the waters of rest, / and the prophet Daniel appeared, / a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep. / So by their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls!
Kontakion — Tone 1
(For when the Sunday before the Nativity falls on December 20-24) Rejoice, Bethlehem! Prepare yourself, O Ephratha! / The Lamb is on her way to give birth to the Chief Shepherd she carries in her womb. / The God-bearing forefathers will rejoice, beholding Him, / and with the shepherds, they will glorify the Virgin nursing Him.
Holy Wonderworking Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian at Rome
The Holy Martyrs, Wonderworkers and Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian were born at Rome, brothers by birth, and physicians by profession. They suffered at Rome in the reign of the emperor Carinus (283-284). Brought up by their parents in the rules of piety, they led strict and chaste lives, and they were granted by God the gift of healing the sick. By their generosity and exceptional kindness to all, the brothers converted many to Christ. The brothers told the sick, “It is not by our own power that we treat you, but by the power of Christ, the true God. Believe in Him and be healed.” Since they accepted no payment for their treatment of the infirm, the holy brothers were called “unmercenary physicians."