Feast of the Holy Unmercenaries Saints Cosmas and Damian

Oct 27, 2015

November 1, 2015

Feast of the Holy Unmercenaries Saints Cosmas and Damian

When you give a feast invite the poor, the maimed,the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.

Luke 14:13-14

To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks
and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek
Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical
Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos
Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek
Orthodox Family in America

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On this feast of the Holy Unmercenaries, Saints Cosmas and Damian, we are
reminded by their faithful witness of the priority of serving those in
great need, especially the sick, the poor, the elderly, and the orphaned.
These two selfless and holy men gave their lives and abilities to helping
any who had need of healing and comfort. They were true stewards of the
power of Christ and the hope, restoration, and eternal life He offers.

Saints Cosmas and Damian affirmed the teachings of our Lord who said, *he
who humbles himself will be exalted *(Luke 14:11). They did not seek great
earthly reward or recognition for what they did. In knowing and seeing the
mighty and miraculous work of God in healing those in need, they offered
glory, honor, and praise to Him. Through compassionate care, artful
healing, and miraculous cures, they guided each person into the presence of
Christ. Their lives were a constant invitation to others, especially those
burdened by the struggles of life, to come to the great feast of love and
hope offered to them by God.

As Orthodox Christians we are led by the example of the Holy Unmercenaries
and called by Christ to *go out into the highways and hedges, and compel
people to come in that the master’s house may be filled* (Luke 14:23). As
we come together to celebrate the great feast in the Holy Eucharist, we are
guided and inspired to go out and *invite the poor, the maimed, the lame,
and the blind* (Luke 14:13-14) through service to anyone in need and in
loving concern for their well-being and salvation. Through our lives,
generosity, and care, and in the healing and renewal found in Christ, we
give honor and glory to God. In humility we acknowledge that these great
gifts come from above, from the Creator and Sustainer of life.

This exaltation of the power of God to heal and to save is the witness of
the philanthropic ministries of our beloved Ecumenical Patriarchate. On
this feast each year, we recognize this vital work of the faithful in
Constantinople by offering our prayers and support for these ministries.
Led by our National Ladies Philoptochos Society and local parish chapters,
we are asked to give generously to help with the ongoing care of the sick,
elderly, and orphans.

This support is also essential for the broader humanitarian work of the
Ecumenical Patriarchate under the leadership of His All Holiness Ecumenical
Patriarch Bartholomew. Many are suffering and experiencing tremendous
needs due to crises in the region. Through the compassionate and humble
service offered by Orthodox Christians, the power of fear is being overcome
by the power of hope, and real threats to life and well-being are met with
grace and faith. Knowing that our gifts and prayers provide strength and
resources to our beloved brothers and sisters in Constantinople, let us
continue to support this work as we have done so faithfully in previous
years; and as we help them may we also continue to offer to anyone in need
an invitation to the great feast of love, healing and life.

With paternal love in Him,


Archbishop of America

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