The Holy Martyr Callinikos
Commemorated on July 29
The Holy Martyr Callinikos (III-IV), a native of Cilicia, was raised from childhood in the Christian faith. In grief that many misguided people would perish for eternity in their worshipping of idols, he went through the cities and villages to proclaim Jesus Christ and His teachings to the pagans. With the Word of God he converted many to Christianity. In the Galatian city of Ancyra the holy confessor was arrested and brought to trial before a governor named Sacerdonus, a fierce persecutor of Christians. The governor, threatening martyrdom and death, ordered the saint to offer sacrifice to the idols. But the saint fearlessly declared that he was not afraid of martyrdom, since every believer in Christ receives from Him strength in ordeals, and through death inherits an eternal blessed life. They cruelly beat the saint with ox thongs and tore at his body with iron hooks, but he endured everything with patience and calm. This led to a still greater fury in Sacerdonus, and he commanded to shod the saint in sandals with sharp nails within, and that with whips they should drive the martyr to the city of Gangra for burning. The pathway was arduous, and the soldiers who accompanied the condemned man, were weak from thirst. In despair they began to implore the saint, that he beseech the Lord for saving water. The unassuming saint, taking pity on his tormentors, with the help of God drew forth from a stone a miraculous spring of water. The astonished soldiers were pervaded with a sense of sympathy for their rescuer and they wanted even to set him free, but fear of execution compelled them to convey the martyr further. In Gangra Saint Callinikos, with joy having offered up thanks to the Lord, Who had vouchsafed him the crown of martyrdom, went himself into the blazing bonfire and gave up his soul to God. His body, remaining unharmed, was reverently given burial by believers.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.