St. Cosmas of Maiuma – the Hymnographer

Saint Cosmas of Maiuma, also called Cosmas Hagiopolites, Cosmas of Jerusalem, or Cosmas the Melodist, or Cosmas the Poet, was a bishop and an important hymnographer of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

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Saint Cosmas was left an orphan when he was still very young. He was adopted by Sergius, the father of Saint John of Damascus (4 Dec.), and a man of high rank and great wealth in that city. Sergius saw to it that his own son John and his adopted son Cosmas received an excellent education at the hands of a Sicilian monk, himself called Cosmas, who taught them all he knew.

Both young men were very able students and it was not long before everyone was amazed at their knowledge of grammar, philosophy, music, astronomy and geometry. They both became monks in the Lavra of St Sabas, and so concluded their study of earthly wisdom by applying themselves to the ‘Science. of sciences’, ascesis and prayer, which is the true philosophy.

After John became a priest, the members of the synod of jerusalem prevailed upon Cosmas to accept the bishopric of Maiuma, a Church dependent on Jerusalem. He
tended his spiritual flock in peace for many years and fell asleep in the Lord. He is well-known as the composer of many poetic canons, mainly for .the Great Feasts of the
Lord. The Holy Spirit gave him the ability to express the essence of the theological
teaching of the Fathers of the Church in the form of hymns, thereby making their doctrine accessible to all the faithful as they come together in the churches to sing the glory of God.

Adapted from the Synaxarion By
HIEROMONK MAKARIOS OF SIMONOS PETRA
Holy Convent of The Annunciation of Our Lady
Ormylia (Chalkidike)
1998

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