|Pope Felix offers the Basilica of |
SS Cosmas and Damian to the saints.
Thursday of the Third Week of Lent is the official half-way point of Lent, though we defer any real celebration of it until the coming Sunday (Laetare). In fact we are really already past the mid-way point, due to a number of 'get out of Lent' solemnities coming up (St Patrick's Day in many places, St Joseph, St Benedict and the Annunciation).
Nonetheless, the collect of the day is of SS Cosmas and Damian, reflecting the official Station Church in Rome of the day (there is one for each day of Lent where pilgrims are supposed to go, singing the litany of the saints). Their actual feast day is September 27.
According to Dom Gueranger's Liturgical Year, these saints are thought to have been physicians, and so were deemed particularly suitable to offer their aid to us, fatigued as we must be from fasting...
Regardless of the extent or otherwise of of our fasting, Dom Gueranger urges us to pray to the two martyrs for strength to persevere in our Lenten disciplines. Sounds like good advice!