This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 29 -- Feast of Saint Kallinikos of Gangra

I'm no runner. I hate running. But if I do have to run anytime soon, I hope I remember Saint Kallinikos, whose last race was certainly extreme.

Kallinikos (Callinicus) was a wandering evangelist in Cilicia (Turkey). The governor, one Sacerdonus (Sack o' Doughnuts? How about deez nuts!), busted him and put him through the usual rigors in an attempt to force apostasy. Kallinikos wasn't having it, no matter how much they beat him with ox-thongs and tore his flesh with iron hooks. When Sacerdonus had finally resolved to make a martyr of him, he ordered the poor saint fitted with sandals that had nails driven up through the soles. Then he ordered his soldiers to run Kallinikos all the way to the city of Gangra, where he was to be roasted alive in a furnace.

Kallinikos ran along side the soldiers, though frankly I can't imagine what his motivation was. Kill me here or kill me there -- I think I'd pick here. But he ran in the hot sun until the soldiers were fainting from heat and thirst. They begged him to pray to his God for water, since they knew theirs would not deliver. Although he would not have asked for himself, he did pray on their behalf and a spring gushed forth from a rock.

They might have converted and let the poor man go except they were too afraid for their own lives. Too bad for them, since they could have traded life in the here-and-now for life in the hereafter. But they finished the run and delivered the saint to the furnace, where he went to his death though his body remained unburned.

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