April 7, 2017

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Kalliopios (who was crucified on Great Friday)

St. Kalliopios the Martyr (Feast Day - April 7)


Kalliopios inverted is nailed to the wood,
Glorifying the Word who was nailed upright.
On the seventh Kalliopios found life without end.

The Holy Martyr Kalliopios lived during the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-305). He was the son of Theoklia, who had been taught the Christian faith, and was from Perge of Pamphylia. Raised therefore in piety near his mother, he studied the Divine Scriptures.

When Maximian ordered a persecution against Christians, then this brave combatant strengthened himself, and was advised by his mother to die a martyric death for Christ. Thus he freely presented himself to Governor Maximus, who was occupied in Pompeiopolis of Galatia, named after Pompey who defeated Mithridates in that city, which beforehand was called Eupatoria. There Saint Kalliopios presented himself before the governor, and he proclaimed the name of Christ. For this his hands were tied behind his back, and he was beaten with iron rods. Then he was bound to a wheel, with a fire burning underneath. An Angel of the Lord came however, stopped the wheel, and extinguished the flame. With the bodily members of the Martyr mangled, which made him look misshapen, he was thrown in prison. His mother visited him there, and sponged away the blood running from the wounds of her most dearest son. Hence she distributed to the poor all her belongings, freed her male and female servants, all of whom numbered five hundred and fifty, she cared for her son in prison, and they chanted together to God. Because a heavenly light shined in the prison at around midnight, and a voice came from above that blessed and praised the boldness and confession of the Martyr, for this reason the athlete of Christ was strengthened even more in the contest of martyrdom.

Finally, because the Martyr remained firm in his confession for Christ, he was condemned to be crucified. By this the blessed one would have in common the Despotic Passion and Crucifixion of the Lord, not only in the manner of death (for just as the Lord endured His Passion and Crucifixion, so also would the renowned Kalliopios), but also according to the timing when he would be crucified. For when the decision came for his death, it was Great Thursday, when we celebrate the terrible passions of the Lord. His mother pleaded with the persecutors to not kill her son with any other death except by that of a cross, and to ensure this she gave them five golden nomismata.

The Saint was therefore crucified upside down, and when the third hour of Great Friday came, then the Martyr who longed for Christ delivered his spirit. When the body of the Martyr was brought down from the cross, his child-loving mother fell and embraced her beloved son, and having him in her arms she fainted, and she also delivered her soul into the hands of God. Thus the dearest mother was buried with her dearest son by pious and faithful men.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone
Thou didst blossom like an unfading rose, and gladden Christ's Church by thy contest, and the fragrance of thine exploits; by thy witness in the stadium, thou didst share in thy Master's Passion, O blessed Kalliopios.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
When thy mother saw thee adorned with the sacred wounds of martyrdom, in conformity to the Lord's holy Passion, her will was one with thine. Together with her entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.