Metropolitan Kallinikos of Edessa (+August 7, 1984) was canonised yesterday (June 23, 2020) by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate under the chairmanship of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. His feast will be celebrated on August 8.
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St Kallinikos (Dimitrios Poulos in the world) was born in the village of Sitaralona, Agrinio on January 26, 1919 to pious parents.
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 graduating from high school, he entered the 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.
After 25 years of service in the Metropolis of Aetolia and Akarnanias, 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 reconstituted the first monastery, in honor of the Archangel Michael.
As often happens with holy people, he was subjected to unjust and defamatory attacks despite his virtue and integrity. He treated those who attacked him with meekness and love.
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. He was a man of almsgiving, prayer, meekness, and had many pastoral activities in his metropolis. He was an ascetic bishop, full of missionary, self-sacificing zeal. His speech was deeply theological and spiritually invigorating.
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.
The celebration of the canonisation will take place in Edessa on August 8, 2020 in the presence of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Through the prayers of St. Kallinikos, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!