|St. Kallinikos the Martyr (Feast Day - July 29)|
Kallinikos was thrown into the furnace,
Finding a good victory and divine crown.
On the twenty-ninth Kallinikos was devoured by the flames.
The Holy Martyr Kallinikos, a native of Cilicia, was raised from childhood in the Christian faith, and had the fear of God planted in his heart, and became for others a teacher of salvation.
Grieving that many misguided people worshiped soulless idols, he went through the cities and villages to proclaim Jesus Christ and His teachings to the pagans, thus converting many to Christianity and introducing them to the Creator of all.
In the Galatian city of Ancyra, Saint Kallinikos was arrested and brought to trial before a governor named Sacerdonus, a fierce persecutor of Christians. The governor, threatening tortures and death, ordered the Saint to offer sacrifice to the idols. The Kallinikos 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 sinew and tore at his body with iron hooks, but he endured everything with patience and calmness. This aroused still greater fury in Sacerdonus, and he ordered that sandals with sharp nails be placed on the Saint’s feet, and to run in front of a horse while being whipped to the city of Gangra, which was ten miles from Cilicia.
The pathway was arduous, and the soldiers who accompanied the condemned man were weak from thirst at around the seventh mile. In despair they began to implore the Saint to pray the Lord for water. The Saint, taking pity on his tormentors, with the help of God caused a miraculous spring of water to gush forth from a stone, which could be seen for many centuries. The astonished soldiers were filled with sympathy for their rescuer, and they wanted even to set him free. Fear of execution, however, compelled them to bring the Martyr farther.
In Gangra, Kallinikos was cast into a blazing fire and gave up his soul to God, thus receiving the crown of martyrdom. His body, remaining unharmed, was reverently buried by believers. His Synaxis was celebrated in Constantinople near the Bridge of Justinian, near Petrion.
Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O Kallinikos, thou didst receive a worthy crown and prize, for thy victory over tyrants, for thou didst finish thy course and wast glorified as a noble athlete. O glorious Martyr, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.
Kontakion in the Second Tone
Thou hast rightly inherited the joyful dwellings on high, for thou wast aflame with love for Christ, O Kallinikos. Therefore thou didst bravely endure the fire. As thou dost stand in God's presence intercede for us all