StZenaida & Philonella Menologion of Basil 11thC

Saints Zenaida and Philonella were sisters of a wealthy Jewish family in Tarsus; some sources say they were related to St. Paul. They were educated at home, then trained in the medical arts of the day. They took their skills to Thessaly, where they set up cells and a clinic to compete with pagan physicians who only saw rich patients, to whom they sold amulets, potions and nostrums. The sisters treated everyone alike and refused to accept any payment; thus the Church called the “unmercenaries.” Zenaida concentrated on experimental medicine for incurable diseases, while Philonella became a pediatrician. (Menologion of Basil, 11th C., Vatican Museums)

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