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Celebration of our Patron Saints: Cosmas and Damian

“Competent, Committed, Compassionate”, are the values the University expects from each one of its graduates, and more often than not, have been the common attributes associated to a Thomasian Doctor.

The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery has been and continues to be the “Cradle of Medical Education” in the country. This title is not simply given because of its age, but because it continues to be the hallmark of medical education. Its pursuit of excellence has led it to be the first university in the country with a Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rating of five –stars and a continuing pioneer in the region.

While all doctors are expected to be competent and compassionate, it still is a challenge to follow the footsteps of Saints Cosmas and Damian, the patron saints of the FMS.

ca. 1370–75, Master of the Rinuccini Chapel (Matteo di Pacino) (Italian, active 1350–75), tempera and gold leaf on panel. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Born in Cilicia, now known as Arabia, Saints Cosmas and Damian were the first children of a family with seven (7) sons. Following the death of their father, their mother has raised them in Christian piety and has influenced the twins to live a life of righteousness. After studying and training for medicine, Cosmas and Damian became well-known and had great success. They have set- up their practice and are even credited to the first attempt of a limb transplant. Even with this, through their devotion to the Lord and love for their neighbors, they have greatly been faithful to “Freely have you received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). They refused payment for their services, for rich and poor alike, thus earning the title “Anargyroi” or the penniless ones. Their lives were cut short under the Diocletian’s rule which saw the severest persecution of Christians. Along with three of their other brothers, they were tried and sentenced to death by torture. They have survived drowning, burning, and flogging but finally met their demise through decapitation as they refused to renounce their faith. Liturgically, the memorial or feast day is on September 26.

Thomasian doctors take pride in their compassionate approach to medicine. Not only do they hone their heads and hands, they also extend their hearts. Many alumni over the years have demonstrated this virtue, through their participation in medical missions, supporting and founding organizations, charities, and foundations. The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is one of the grateful beneficiaries of many kind-hearted Thomasian doctors.

With a thankful heart, FMS gives due recognition to its alumni with its St. Cosmas and Damian Allegiance Award. This award gives credit to those whom have shown loyalty, allegiance, and generosity to their Alma Mater.

This year, FMS will celebrate this with a Thanksgiving mass along with a short program on September 24. May we all have a glorious and blessed celebration of the Feast Day of Saints of Cosmas and Damian!