The Anargyroi in the church calendars

Even a brief survey of the Menaia and Heortologia currently in use would provide us with a list of over forty commemorations associated with the Anargyroi saints and other holy physicians. This clearly demonstrates the significance of the Anargyroi in the cycle of the Orthodox Church year and, by implication, the relevance of this group to the faithful and the centrality of this model of sanctity in traditional teaching. Of course, not all the feasts listed are widely celebrated today but those relating to the 'Twelve and Twenty' certainly do not pass unnoticed. This list could legitimately include saints such as Zotikos and Stephen of Armatiou, who apparently supervised rather than worked as doctors in hospitals. Basil the Great and Patriarch Photios have been included in such compilations, presumably on the basis of having founded or supported medical institutions.

The feast of the Life-Giving Spring commemorates the Theotokos as heavenly intercessor and healer but the offices of this movable celebration (the first Friday after Easter) most clearly encapsulate Eastern Christian thought relating to ministering to the sick and healing. As noted, in the posthumous miracles attributed to the Theotokos there is a clear focus on healing. Therefore, the implicit suggestion is that in freely 'receiving and giving' the Theotokos intervenes in the lives of the faithful as one of the heavenly Anargyroi.

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