Metropolitan of Edessa
Metropolitan Kallinikos was an ascetic bishop, a great ecclesiastical figure, a blessed and charismatic leader, and a transparently honest man, whose life was theology in practice. A crucified and resurrected hierarch, he spent himself for the sake of his flock and sacrificed himself for the glory of God. With his noble love, he gave us the certainty of true life. Being transfigured, he experienced triumph over death and was an adornment to Christ’s Church.
Metropolitan Kallinikos' ecclesiastical way of thinking, his ascetical ethos, his missionary zeal, his devotion to God and the Church, his regenerating word and preaching, his entire pastoral ministry, which he passed ‘in fear and trembling’, his love for God and other people, the way in which he faced his illness, and his complete self-abandonment to God’s providence, arouse our admiration. The words that he said shortly before he died, ‘I am a sinful bishop, but I love God and the Church,’ show his spiritual state.
The author, His Eminence the Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos as the person closest to the hierarch of blessed memory, testifies that he was a saintly bishop, whose presence remains alive even after his death. Many bishops, clergy and laypeople bear spoken or written witness to his holiness. The demon that he cast out by his prayer and his miraculous interventions to cure sick people after his death make it clear that God has glorified him.
Kallinikos, Metropolitan of Edessa is both testimony and confession. As they read it, readers will realise that Metropolitan Kallinikos of Edessa, Pella and Almopia was a hallowed figure, who lived a saintly life and had a saintly end, and who rivalled the desert fathers and ascetics in his asceticism and love for God. Throughout his life he won great victories to the glory of God’s name and proved, true to the meaning of his name, a gloriously triumphant martyr. By common consent, he was a creative hierarch who, while quietly accomplishing remarkable and important work, wanted to keep it hidden and to conceal himself.