“Saint Kalliopi the Holy Virgin-Martyr” is book #64 in the "Paterikon For Kids" series by Potamitis Publishing.
“Little is known about Saint Kalliopi’s childhood or where she was from. We know for sure, however, that she was raised in the love of Christ and whole-heartedly followed the teachings of the Lord throughout her short but bright life.” This is how the book starts.
We learn about Saint Kalliopi’s kind and humble personality and the dramatic events that lead to her imprisonment by the ill-famed eparch Decius.
In a concise and child-friendly way, we read about the young girl’s firmness in the Faith and how she was helped by an angel of the Lord.
Her martyrdom is mentioned in the book without any details, which makes it suitable even for the youngest readers or listeners.
“Having loved the beauty of the Savior from your soul, O comely-virgin lady, O all-praised Kalliopi, you struggled steadfastly on His behalf and were made worthy of divine glory. Because of this, we honor your holy memory and cry out to you: Glory to Him Who crowned you, Glory to Him Who grants to us, through you, remission of offenses.
Commemorated June 8
What to discuss with the youngest readers:
1. What was the name of the young girl they just read about?
2. Was she kind and humble or proud and selfish?
3. Whom did she love more than anything else in life?
4. Where was she put when she refused to deny Christ?
5. Print-out this free coloring page.
What to discuss with older readers:
1. What was the name of the young girl they just read about? Do they know anyone named Kalliopi? What does Kalliopi mean? (Kalliopi - Καλλιόπη is Ancient Greek for “the eloquent one”). According to Greek Mythology, Kalliopi, also written Kalliope, or Calliope, was one of the nine Muses, and she presided over eloquence and epic poetry.
2. How many other women saints can they name? Were any of them martyrs just like Saint Kalliopi? (Christina, Kyriake, Barbara, Paraskevi).
3. Ask them to describe Saint Kalliopi’s personality in as many words they can. Would they like to be like her? Do they think that would be difficult/easy? What could they change in their ways to become more like Saint Kalliopi?
4. Optional/bonus: Do they think it is easy to be a Christian? Were the Christians persecuted (or shamed) only in the old days? Do they know of any persecution of Christians that happen in our days? (If you feel that a child is emotionally ready to listen, you could tell them about Christian persecution in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, North Korea, or China)
Other themes you could talk about and words to introduce: idolatry, pure life dedicated to Christ (virginity), virtues.
Historical background: Roman Empire. Talk about the Roman Empire of appr. 250 A.D.
You can buy your copy of “Saint Kalliopi” book here. Remember to ask for The Box of Saints - a special box to store your Paterikon For Kids books when you buy 10 or more books from the series. Shipping is free!
"Potamitis Publishing - Orthodox Children's Books" is a family ministry, founded in 2007, that has published more than 160 new books for Orthodox children, in English, and another more than a total of 400 editions of their books in Greek, Romanian, and fifteen other languages.
Have the Potamitis family in your prayers.
Christ is ascended!