Our Symbols

The Putto bearing the Pharmacy’s motto

At the entrance of the Pharmacy a wooden putto from the end of the 17th century, bears our motto:

“Nos medicinam Paramus, Deus dat nobis salutem .”

“We prepare medicines, God gives us health.”

For the friars of the Convent of Sant’Anna, God has provided in nature all the necessary substances to stay healthy and has given us the intelligence to learn how to use them in the best way.

Icon of Saint Cosmas and Damian

“Saints Cosmas (or Cosmo) and Damian are also known as medical Saints”

(… – Cirrus, Syria,303)

According to the hagiographic tradition, the two were twins originating in Arabia, belonging to a wealthy family and lived during the reign of Diocletian (284 – 305 AD).

Their father converted to Christianity after their birth, but died during a persecution in Cilicia. Their Christian mother took their early education.

These healers and martyrs are revered by all Christian churches, for their prodigious “healings” and “miracles”.

They provided their work without ever asking any compensation, hence the epithet “Anargiri”(from Greek Anargyroi, without money) , a term that designated Saints who practiced medicine without remuneration, applying the Gospel precept: “Gratis accepistis, gratis date” (Freely you have received, freely give).

One of their most famous miracles, handed down by tradition, was to have replaced the ulcerated leg of a patient with that of a recently deceased Ethiopian.

Cosmas and Damian are the patrons of physicians, pharmacists, and therefore also of Sant’Anna’s Old Pharmacy.

For this reason an image of the Saints with the prayer of the sick is given to all visitors of the convent:

“O Lord Jesus Christ,
physician of souls and bodies,
through the intercession of Saints Cosmas and Damian
grant me the healing of my body
and the conversion of my heart.
Help me to accept Your will for me
even when it seems too heavy and undeserved.
Help me to be an instrument of Thy grace
through the joys and pains of today.

The Pharmacy Logo

The Pharmacy logo, that draws on the Carmelite Order crest, was already known in the 19th century as the drawing of the old labels.

The Carmelite Order is identified with a shield-shaped coat of arms, which generally has a stylized mountain – projected towards the sky – in the centre: it is Mount Carmel, in Palestine, place of origin of the Order; over it three gold stars, usually with six points, probably representing the Virgin Mary and the prophets Elijah and Elisha, or a Carmelite friar on the way to the summit of Mount Carmel and two others who have already completed their journey of faith; the crown surmounted by twelve stars representing the Virgin Mary is a call to the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Carmelite crest appeared for the first time on the cover of a book containing the stories from the life of St. Albert, in 1499.

From the 17th century, the Discalced Carmelites, reformed branch of the Order, added a cross on the mountain top.