Edessa, Greece, October 18, 2021
On June 23, 2020, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople canonized the 20th-century Holy Hierarch Kallinikos of Edessa. His relics were solemnly uncovered and placed in the Holy Protection Cathedral in Edessa that October.
And last week, his glorification among the saints was officially celebrated in Edessa with the participation of a number of hierarchs from the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Church of Greece.
Vespers on the evening of October 14 was presided over by Metropolitan Andreas of Saranta Ekklisies with 11 other hierarchs concelebrating, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.
The service was also attended by relatives of St. Kallinikos and local officials.
During the service, the Patriarchal and Synodal Act of Canonization of St. Kallinikos from the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Greek Synod’s Message for the Canonization were both read out. Then Met. Andreas preached, emphasizing the great virtues that the saint managed to acquire while bearing the episcopal cross.
A procession with the saint’s precious relics and icon was held inside the church at the end of the service.
The festivities began early the next morning with Orthros served by Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon. Kolliva in honor of St. Kallinikos was blessed during the service. In his homily, Met. Emmanuel emphasized that the Holy Hierarch spent his entire life in the Church.
Watch the services for the canonization of St. Kallinikos:
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.