Born in Cilicia (now known as Arabia) in the third century, Cosmas and Damian were the first children born in a family of seven boys. The twins studied medicine and are credited for being the first to attempt a limb transplant on a human being. They devoted themselves to the rich and poor alike, accepting no payment for their medical services, thus earning their title, "The Silverless Ones". These miraculous patrons of medicine were accused of being Christians by two fellow doctors and arrested by Lisia, the governor of the city of Aega. They were tried in a court of Ceasar's and sentenced to death by torture.
The first torture was being cast into the sea with both hands and feet bound. A miracle occurred as they became free, enabling them to swim ashore. Their second torture was burning at the stake. A second miracle occurred as the flames failed to burn them. The third torture was flogging. A third miracle occurred as the whips would not hit their marks.
After a final demand that they renounce their Christian faith was refused, Saints Cosmas and Damian were decapitated. The day was September 27 in the year 287.
Saints Cosmas and Damian are the patrons of the city of Gaeta, Italy. It is believed that through their intercession the city's population was spared during an 18th century plague.