by wallpaperflare

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

These twin brothers from Syria were skilled doctors who never took money for their services; they regarded their work as part of their Christian duty of caring for others. Cosmas and Damian were consequently held in high regard in Aegaen, Cilicia, where they lived.

The pair were among the many Christians arrested during the persecution under Roman Emperor Diocletian. They suffered various tortures before being martyred around 287. But the influence of the Christian lives they had lived endured, to the extent that “Cosmas” became synonymous with “disinterest in money” during the Middle Ages.

Set our hearts on fire with love of thee, O Christ Our God, that in that flame we may love thee with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul and with all our strength, and our neighbours as ourselves; so that, keeping thy commandments, we may glorify thee the giver of all good gifts.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.