Feast Day: September 26 (Eastern Church: July 1, October 17, & November 1)
Patrons of Physicians, Apothecaries, Surgeons, Chemists, Pharmacists, Midwives, Barbers, Hairdressers, Marital Harmony, The Blind, and Gaeta, Italy
Some of the symbolic imagery:
Cosmas the physician and Damian the apothecary were twin brothers born in the third century AD in the Middle East, where they were called anargyroi, “the silverless” or “the unmercenaries” because they treated patients free of charge.
The brothers are approaching their home/practice after being out in the streets (notice the dirty, torn robes). Cosmos (holding the Rod of Asclepius) offers his hand to an ailing man while Damian offers a medicinal plant. Inside, a bedridden patient can be seen. In the foreground is a lemon tree with a pair of nesting birds (symbolizing marital harmony). The dog symbolizes fidelity and compassion. A caduceus and mortar & pestle motifs are on the porch.
A beehive and bees, planter with aloe, an amphora, grapes, and an owl also symbolize various aspects of healing and wisdom.
A personal note: This Anachron was years in the making - finally in September 2006, it all come together. My grandfather was a physician and beekeeper who believed in the healing properties of honey. My grandmother, an RN, planted a lemon seed she found in glass of lemonade she had made for a patient (about 100 years ago!). It grew into a tree, and that same tree is now bearing fruit in my Michigan garden. The dog is Kenai, granddog of Ruth (see her collection), whose daughter Allison had just become an MD -PB