Kallinikos of Asia
The Holy Martyr Kallinikos, a native of Cilicia, was raised from childhood in the Christian Faith. He was distinguished by the love he had for Jesus Christ and His people. He cared as much for people's spiritual well being as he did for their physical. Grieving that many misguided people would perish for eternity because they worshiped idols, he went through the cities and villages of Asia Minor proclaiming Jesus Christ and His teachings to the pagan. Preaching 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 Sacerdonus, a fierce persecutor of Christians. At first, the governor tried to flatter the young Kallinikos in order to have him betray Christ, but the warrior of Christ did not yield. Offended, 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 Sacerdonus, 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. Angered, the governor had him tied to a wild horse which dragged his weakened body through the street. Not content with Kallinikos' sufferings, he had the saint cast into a blazing fire where he gave up his soul to God in a region called Petrion. His body, remaining unharmed, was reverently buried by believers.
Apolytikion - Tone 4
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 - Tone 2
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.