Holy Martyr Kallinikos of Asia Minor
Holy Martyr Kallinikos, a native of Cilicia, was a Christian from childhood. Grieving that many misguided people would perish for eternity because they worshiped idols, he went through the cities and villages to proclaim Jesus Christ and His teachings to the pagans, and 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 Sacerdonos, a fierce persecutor of Christians. The governor, threatening tortures and death, ordered the saint to offer sacrifice to the idols. 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 aroused still greater fury in Sacerdonos, and he ordered that sandals with sharp nails be placed on the saint’s feet, and that they should drive the martyr with whips to the city of Gangra to be burned.
The pathway was arduous, and the soldiers who accompanied the condemned man were weak from thirst. 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. 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, St Kallinikos joyfully offered thanks to the Lord, Who had vouchsafed him the crown of martyrdom. He went into the blazing fire and gave up his soul to God. Believers reverently buried his body, remaining unharmed.
Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)
Your Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for You received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since he possessed Your strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ powerless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.
Kontakion (Second Tone)
You rightly inherited delight on high, for you waxed hot with burning love for Christ Your God, O Kallinikos, for Whose sake you courageously brave the fire; as you stand before Him now, cease not interceding with Him for us all.
Holy Virgin Martyr Theodota
Concerning Saint Theodota, little is known except that she was a virgin who was horribly tormented and slain for her confession of Christ.
Kontakion of Virgin Martyr Theodota in the Fourth Tone
As a mother doth rejoice
over her children,
so is Theodota now
filled with divine and boundless joy
over the martyrdom she hath borne,
which is her glory and comfort for evermore.
Also today we celebrate:
Theodota the Martyr and her Children
Constantine III, Patriarch of Constantinople
Pious King Theodosius the New
Seraphima the Virgin-martyr of Antioch
Olaf of Norway