Saints Cosmas And Damian
Saints Cosmas and Damian, the so-called Anargyroi, decorate the zone west of the northern door of the narthex. They were twin brothers, therefore the garments which they are depicted with are identical. The same applies for their insignia, a medicine box and a lancet and the way they hold them.
Cosmas and Damian were called unmercenary because as doctors they were offering their medical services without accepting payment from patients. Cosmas and Damian are among the most popular saints, a fact that complicated the hagiographical stories regarding them and led to the mention of three pairs of Anargyroi in the synaxarion of Constantinopolitan church. The original pair, according to scholars, were born in Arabia, studied medicine in Syria and tortured to death under the reign of Diocletian.
In the Menaia, the two saints are commemorated as body and soul healers and along with the earlier portrait of Anastasia Pharmakolytria, they are linked to the message of redemption and salvation expressed in the narthex of Asinu. Last but not least, another interplay exists between them: Saint Mamas and the inscription of hippiatros accompanying the portrait of Saint George based on their ability to save not only humans but also animals.