More on St. Jacob of Hamatoura
"Saint Jacob of Hamatoura was mentioned in the Antiochian Hagiography briefly in a Balamand manuscript (# 149) on October 13th, but the saint was long forgotten because the local documents were replaced by translations from greek neglecting the local saints. He has always been present with the faithful: appearing to some and blessing them, healing others, and he has repeatedly been heard, by monks and visitors, chanting in the church encoraging them go deeper in their spiritual lives. He even asked a faithful woman once to inform the monks that he will show them his grave but they disregarded the subject. On July 3rd, 2008 while renewing the church floor, human bones were found buried in the chapel with a little grave containing two human skeletons, showing marks of torture and beating, some coagulated blood and some liquid blood on the skull. They also found a part of a 3 year old child's skull with some of his bones, and 2 other skeletons, according to modern laboratory testing conducted by Naji Saaiby M.D. specialized in legal medicine, date 650 years. One of these last two skeletons shows marks of fire, he was also decapitated and his second neck vertebra was lost, what implies according to the criteria of the Balamand manuscript that it is Saint Jacob's skeleton who was in his fifties when he was killed, his companion was in his fourties, as for the rest of the skeletons they date to 450 years ago.
The ancients considered these relics holy, since they did not bury them in common graves, but in the middle of the church, and in a hastened wayas a result of pressures and persecutions. Under the Holy Table, were found the some parts of a child's skull, therefore the ancients considered them martyrs. The church was reconsacrated on October 16, 1894 (114 years ago) because it was vandalized. A large number of the faithful visit teh monastery and are blessed by the prayers of the Holy Theotokos and Saint Jacob of Hamatoura.
After the blessing Metropoliton George of Byblos and Botrys, the Orthodox can add to their prayers the phrase: "The Fathers Martyrs of Hamatoura", whose relics were found in the monastery chapel. In addition to Saint Jacob, they will be commemorated on July 3rd the date of the finding of their Holy relics."
Inspired from a text written by Archimandrite Pandeleimon, Abbot of the Theotokos monastery Hamatoura (http://blog.habr.org/2009/06/saint-jacob-of-hamatoura-and-his.html)
The Holy Relics of St. Jacob the Hieromartyr and those with him have recently been found during excavations in the Monastery. For a short video depicting their procession, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiyICApc3Kw&feature=related.
For the Paraklesis to St. Jacob the Hieromartyr of Hamatoura, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysiHJkG4YZI, http://orthodoxnotes.com/byzantine-music/28/album.
Hymns to St. Jacob of Hamatoura
مثل أرزة لبنان تنمو، غير هياب موت الشهادة ، هكذا غدوت يا يعقوب منتصرا،إذ غلبت الموت في جسدك ، حينما ضبطت الأهواء بتواضعك، وباشتعالك كالبخور ذبيحة ، تشفع الى المسيح الاله ، ان يمنحنا الرحمة العظمى .
قد نسكت في حمطورة بقلب نقي، وانسلخت عن العالم وملاذه ، يا يعقوب البار الكلي الغبطة، لكن بما حبك متّقد بدت سيرتك للحسّاد تحديا، فصرت تصرخ الى المسيح : تعال يا سيد وخذني اليك .
ان الملاك حارسك يذهل في بهاء مجدك الذي احرزته يا يعقوب، فانه إذ يعرفك إنسانا بسيطا يدهش إذ يراك ككائن سماوي فيهتف بك معظّما :
+ إفرح يا يعقوب لانك بالنعمة برزت ، إفرح يا يعقوب لانك ألمع من الملائكة .
+افرح لانك بالجهاد نلت اكاليل ،إفرح لانك بموتك نلت لحياة .
+إفرح لانك ابرزت نفسا ألماسية،إفرح لانك أوضحت عزما غير متزعزع.
+افرح لانك بالتواضع حفظت نفسك،إفرح لانك اقتنيت سيرة مرضية لله .
+إفرح لانك بالتسبيح القويم اقتفيت أثر الآباء، إفرح لانك صرت في سحابة الشهود .
+إفرح يا متجّلى الرب يسوع، إفرح يا من تصرخ على الدوام :
تعال ياسيد خذني اليك