Thecla of Iconium, Cosmas and Damianus

Date of news: 23 September 2016

Fol. 241v

Thecla of Iconium lived in the first century AD and is depicted in the middle of this miniature. She was converted to the Christian faith by Paul while she was still a virgin. She followed him wearing men’s clothes. As one of the first martyrs she was subjected to horrific tortures. She was exposed to wild animals and then burned at the stake. The animals and flames did not hurt her, but she eventually died a martyr’s death in Iconium. Her feast day is on 23 September. By her side we see the well-known saintly duo of Cosmas and Damianus. The twin brothers were known as ‘the selfless doctors’ because they helped their patients free of charge. They were decapitated in Syria early in the fourth century AD, but their relics were brought to Rome where a beautiful church was erected in their names. Cosmas and Damianus are often depicted as learned men, like in this miniature, wearing long robes and a cap. Their feast day is on 26 September.