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Saint Cosmas the Hymnographer (Athos) Icon - S521

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Saint Cosmas was a native of Jerusalem. He was the foster brother of Saint John of Damascus, having been adopted by his parents.

The brothers entered the monastery of Saint Sabbas, where Cosmas achieved the heights of grace through his ascetic labor. He was elected bishop of Maiuma, the port of ancient Gaza.

As bishop, Cosmas defended the orthodoxy of the holy icons. He was also an accomplished poet, and he composed hymns and canons for the services of Jerusalem. The beauty of his writing caused his hymns to spread to Constantinople, and eventually became established as universal in the Orthodox Church. Many of these are still used today, especially for feast days and in the services of Holy Week.

He died about the year 787. His feast is commemorated on October 12.

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