The Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian, located in the comune of Santi Cosma e Damiano (Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 3), is dedicated to the patrons of the town. The original church was built during the Renaissance, but it was destroyed in the Second World War. It was rebuilt in 1946 under the guidance of the architect Eugenio Montuori.1
Historical sources about the origin of the church are not clear but, according to a folktale, it was built on the cave in which Saints Cosmas and Damian took refuge while persecuted by the pagans and lived in prayer like hermits during a travel to Rome. The travel's reasons are not certain too, perhaps the Saints were going to Rome to implore Diocletian to stop the persecution of Christians, or, as handed down from other oral sources, they were going to cure the stiff neck of the emperor Marco Aurelio Carino, Diocletian's predecessor.2
The cave under the church is still accessible and can be visited with permission.
- Photos and main text by Andrea Canicchio moc.liamg|69oihccinac.aerdna#| and Federico Fazio ti.kooltuo|oizaf_ociredef#| (December 2015), courtesy of Elio Verrico and Antonio Verrico.
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- Elio Verrico, Il paese che porta il nome dei santi, Parrocchia dei SS. Cosma e Damiano, Santi Cosma e Damiano (LT) 2009, pp 45
- Almerindo Ruggiero, I Santi Cosma e Damiano testimoni della Fede e della Carità, Parrocchia dei SS. Cosma e Damiano, Santi Cosma e Damiano (LT) 2007