Chambésy, Switzerland, June 24, 2020
The bells of the Holy Metropolis of Edessa and Pella of the Greek Orthodox Church rung out joyfully yesterday with the news that a 20th-century hierarch of the Metropolis is now officially numbered among the saints of the holy Orthodox Church.
Meeting at its Orthodox Center in Chambésy, Switzerland, yesterday, June 23, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, under the chairmanship of Patriarch Bartholomew, resolved to canonize Blessed Metropolitan Kallinikos of Edessa (1918-1984), reports Romfea.
Metropolitan Joel of Edessa, joined by clergy and faithful from throughout the diocese, gathered at the saint’s grave to joyfully chant his troparion, kontakion, and magnification. The service to the new saint was composed by Met. Joel.
His feast will be celebrated annually on August 8. The celebration of the canonization will take place in Edessa in the presence of Pat. Bartholomew.
St. Kallinikos (Dimitrios Poulos in the world) was born in the village of Sitaralona, Agrinio on January 26, 1919 to pious parents.
After graduating from high school, he entered he Theological School of the University of Athens where he excelled in his studies. He also worked as the secretary for the Holy Metropolis of Aetolia and preached to the people of Messolonghi.
He was tonsured as a monk on November 23, 1957 at the Holy Monastery of the Entrance of the Theotokos in Myrtia with the name Kallinikos. He was ordained as a hierodeacon the following day, and as a hieromonk on December 1.
After 25 years of service in the Diocese of Aetolia, he was elected Metropolitan of Edessa and Pella on June 24, 1967 and was consecrated the next day. He worked zealously and tirelessly to properly prepare the clergy under his care.
He set up a boarding school for young students and a nursing home for the elderly. He also promoted monasticism in his diocese and rebuilt the first monastery, in honor of the Archangel Michael.
As often happens with the saints, he was subjected to unjust and defamatory attacks despite his virtue and integrity. He treated those who attacked him with meekness and love.
He was an ascetic bishop, full of missionary, self-sacificing zeal. His speech was deeply theological and spiritually invigorating.
He suffered a 7-month illness, which he faced boldly, placing his fate in God’s hand. Shortly before his repose, he said: “I am a sinful bishop, but I love God and the Church.” St. Kallinikos gave his soul to the Lord on August 8, 1984.
His funeral was attended by 29 hierarchs, numerous clergy, and a large number of the faithful. He was buried in the Edessa Public Cemetery at his own request, because he wanted to be close to the people he served and loved.
Many hierarchs, clergy, and laity continued to feel his presence as though he were alive, and many testified to miraculous healings and the expulsion of demons by his prayers.