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St. Theoclea, along with her son, Calliopius, Martyrs

Commemorated on April 7

Calliopius was the only son of a senator from Pamphylia and his wife, Theoclea, who had long prayed to God for a child. The devout Theoclea reared her son in purity of life and love for God from infancy.

When the persecution of Christians broke out under Maximian, Theoclea put Calliopius aboard a ship bound for Pompeiopolis to save him from the persecutors. But Calliopius, as soon as he disembarked, encountered a pagan festival, where he was arrested after he refused to make sacrifice to the idols.

Brought before Governor Maximus, he freely confessed that he was a Christian. For this he was cruelly tortured and thrown into prison. His mother, hearing of this torture, sold her goods and hurried to comfort and encourage him in his martyrdom.

Calliopius was sentenced to death by crucifixion on Holy Thursday; but Theoclea bribed the officials to postpone the execution by one day, so that her son might imitate the Lord’s Crucifixion on the day that He endured it. She also prevailed upon the torturers to crucify Calliopius upside-down (like St. Peter) in humility toward the Lord.

When her son’s lifeless body was taken down from the cross, Theoclea cast herself upon it and died.

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