Edessa, Greece, October 15, 2020
The uncovering of the relics of the newly-canonized St. Kallinikos of Edessa was festively celebrated at Holy Protection Cathedral in Edessa last night and this morning. The 20th-century holy hierarch was canonized by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on July 23.
The celebrations began with the festal Hierarchal Vespers served by 19 hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church, including Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos, who was a spiritual child of St. Kallinikos, and Metropolitan Joel, the ruling hierarch of the Edessa Metropolis today, and a host of clergy from throughout Greece, reports Romfea.
The service was also attended by local authorities and relatives of the newly-glorified saint.
During his brief address, Met. Joel thanked Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople for the glorification of Met. Kallinikos of Edessa among the saints. In turn, Met. Hierotheos thanked Met. Joel for initiating the canonization process for St. Kallinikos.
He also emphasized that the saint was characterized by the hesychastic spirit, as revealed by his life and his letters. The revered Elder George (Kapsanis) of the Athonite Grigoriou Monastery described St. Kallinikos as a man of “quiet heart, a tireless pastor and missionary,” Met. Hierotheos noted. He then read selections from St. Kallinikos’ letters to share his hesychastic spirit with those present.
Met. Hierotheos also underlined that during the saint’s 7-month illness at the end of his life, he himself took care of him, and already approached his weak and weakening body as the relics of a saint.
The celebration continued this morning with the festal Orthros and Divine Liturgy. Before the Doxology in the Orthros service, the hierarchs joyously greeted the holy relics of St. Kallinikos at the entrance of the cathedral, singing his troparion.
“Today our holy diocese rejoices for our local saint, the bishop of Edessa Kallinikos,” said Met. Joel of Edessa in his address, highlighting various aspects of the saint’s personality.
“He was a prophet, as he announced the counsels of God, a wonderful minister, a philanthropist, an excellent shepherd with a rich ecclesiastical spirit. He was an indefatigable prelate without envy, who cultivated the virtues,” the Metropolitan emphasized.
He always had the Kingdom of God before him, and ever asked for God’s mercy for himself and for his flock, Met. Joel noted. He excelled in both administrative and priestly matters, and made sure that all those who became priests were pious and had no obstacles to the priesthood.
He had Christophilia (love of Christ), Met. Joel concluded.