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St. Callisthene and her father, Audactus of Ephesus


Commemorated on October 4

The holy martyr Callisthene was born in Ephesus. She was to marry Emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311), but her father, Audactus, would not consent to the match because the emperor was a pagan. Audactus was deprived of his wealth and position and was exiled to Armenia where he was beheaded.

Callisthene hid for a time in Nicomedia and healed a young woman of an eye ailment. After the death of Emperor Maximian, Licinius (311-324) became the last pagan emperor. Callisthene became friends with his Christian wife, Constantia, the daughter of St. Constantine. She told Constantia of all that had happened to her, and she helped Callisthene to regain her father’s wealth and possessions. Callisthene did not want these things for herself, but gave everything away to the poor. She also brought her father’s body back to Ephesus and built a church which was dedicated to him.

St. Callisthene devoted the rest of her life to Christ, and died in Ephesus in the first half of the fourth century.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (