Saturday, September 5, 2009

St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr of Jacob's Well

Central photograph of St. Philoumenos the New Righteous Hieromartyr, the Cypriot, at Jacob's Well where Christ spoke with St. Photini. Surrounding are other pictures and icons of St. Philoumenos and associated scenes. He was martyred on November 16th/29th 1979 (taken from:; for the center picture larger see:
The Life of St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr
"The holy martyr of the 20th century, Philoumenos the Cypriot, came from the village of Orounta of the province of Morphou. From a young age, he along with his brother Elpidios apprenticed the sacred letters of Christ near their grandmother. They namely studied the lives of the Saints and hymns of the Church. The Saint at the time, along with his brother left for the Monastery of Stavrovouni and stayed there for five years. Afterwards, they both left for Jerusalem. Saint Philoumenos stayed in Jerusalem for 46 years. The Saint found a martyred death by fanatic Zionist Jews who massacred him in the evening while he was doing vespers at the Well of Jacob where he lived, a loyal guardian of the Holy Places and ways of centuries.
Icon of St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr (taken from:; more icons of new Saints and Holy Fathers available here:
The Church of Cyprus and especially the Holy Metropolis of Morphou today celebrate the memory of the martyr Saint Philoumenos the new, the Cypriot. The neomartyr was born in 1913 and was a child of George and Magdalene Hasapi or Ourountioti , and the twin brother of Archimandrite Elpidios. Even though his parents come from the village of Orounta of the metropolitan area of Morphou, they lived at the parish of St. Savvas in Nicosia, since his father had his own inn and bakery there. Together with his brother Elpidios, they showed a particular enthusiasm for prayer and read the lives of the Saints, particularly they where touched by the life of Saint John the Kalyvitis, who in some way made an impact on them, to the point of wanting to follow the life of monks. Also, apart from their mother, their grandmother Loxantra, had in particular influenced them in learning the ways of the Church and in developing a truly Orthodox conscience. At the age of 14 , the two brothers left for the Monastery of Stafrovouni and then left for Jerusalem, where they attended High School. After they finished High School in 1939, Elpidios served as a priest in different places and died on November 29th 1983. Philoumenos remained in Jerusalem and in 1979 was appointed as care taker of the Monastery of Saint Jacob's Well. While living there, on November 29, 1979 during the time when the Saint was doing vespers, he was murdered by Zionist Jews with an ax.
Icon of St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr (taken from:
The week before, a group of fanatical Zionists came to the monastery at Jacob's Well, claiming it as a Jewish holy place and demanding that all crosses and icons be removed. Of course, the Saint pointed out that the floor upon which they were standing had been built by Emperor Constantine before 331 A.D. and had served as an Orthodox Christian holy place for sixteen centuries before the Israeli State was created, and had been in Samaritan hands eight centuries before that, (The rest of the original church had been destroyed by the invasion of the Shah Khosran Parvis in the seventh century, at which time the Jews had massacred all the Christians of Jerusalem.) The group left with threats, insults and obscenities of the kind which local Christians suffer regularly. After a few days, on November 29th, during a torrential downpour, a group broke into the monastery; the saint had already put on his epitrachelion for Vespers. The piecemeal chopping of the three fingers with which he made the Sign of the Cross showed that he was tortured in an attempt to make him deny his Orthodox Christian Faith. His face was cloven in the form of the Cross. The church and holy things were all defiled.The body of the Saint was handed over to the Orthodox six days after his massacre, but retained its flexibility and was buried in the cemetery of Mount Zion.

The Martyrdom of St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr (
After four years, as is customary his body was exhumed. It was found to be substantially incorrupt and had a beautiful scent. Then, the tomb was closed and was reopened during the Christmas of 1984, when the body was found to be partially incorrupt and was placed in a glass shrine in the northern part of the sacred Holy Altar in Mount Zion. Hieromartyr Philoumenos was ranked among the Saints of the Church of Jerusalem on August 30th 2008, and hence then, his incorrupt body was transferred to the pilgrimage of Jacob's Well where he found martyrdom for the love of Christ. His memory is honored on November 29th, especially in the community of Orounta with an all night long church service." (taken from:

Another icon of St. Philoumenos, inscribed in many different languages (taken from:
The transfer of the Sacred Relics of the hieromartyr Philoumenos the Cypriot to Jacob’s Well
"Twenty-nine years after his death by martyrdom by fanatical Jews, Saint Philoumenos the Hieromartyr the Cypriot «returned» to Jacob’s Well, the holy pilgrimage, where he served as abbot and the guardian. Recently the Metropolitan of Morphou, Neofytos, with the blessing of His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, transported the relics of the holy martyr Philoumenos from Holy Zion, in Jerusalem, [where he was buried originally] to the Well of Jacob in the Palestinian town Nablus (Neapoli). The transfer coincided with the consecreation by the Patriarch Theofilos of the sacred church of St. Photini the Samaritan woman. The sacred relic, which remains essentially incorrupt and fragrant, is kept in a wooden reliquary and was placed in the right chapel of the church of St. Photini, which is devoted to the Hieromartyr Philoumenos. The Metropolitan of Morphou Neophytos spoke with us with much emotion about the transfer of the relics of the Holy Hieromartyr Philoumenos, stressing that it was the most important event for him in the ten years which he has been a bishop. «The Diocese of Morphou contributed to the honor of the Saint», explained Mr Neophytos. The sacred relic is clad with the sacred vestments. The skull of the Hieromartyr remained uncovered to be visible to pilgrims. The martyred St. Philoumenos suffered a terrible death, as men beat him mercilessly with an ax. «They hit him brutally on the head, and they cut his face both horizontally and vertically, so the whole top of the skull has been removed. We have a skull divided in half», said Metropolitan of Morphou Neophytos. Before the transfer of the relics the Divine Liturgy was performed in Holy Zion, while the blessing of the holy water service occurred for the altar of St. Philoumenos’ chapel in the church of St. Photini by Neophytos of Morphou, again with blessing of Patriarch Theophilos.
The Church of St. Photini at Jacob's Well in Nablus as it appears today. The church has a chapel dedicated to and the holy relic of St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr who served there. There is also a chapel dedicated to St. Justin the Martyr, who was from Nablus. (taken from:
His righteous life, his martyrical end, and the miracles of the martyr Philoumenos revealed him as a true new Hieromartyr of the faith in the minds of believers. In 1999 at the initiative of Neofytou of Morphou, the service of the Hieromartyr Philoumenos was written by the hymnographer Dr. Charalambos Bousia. Iconography of the martyr is in the katholikon of the monastery of Stafrovounio, and the brotherhood of the monastery of Agios Nikolaos in Orountas compiled the life of the martyr Philoumenos. The blessed Geronda Seraphim of the monastery of St. Sava of Palestine said about the Hieromartyr Philoumenos «He was a holy man. He lived a righteous life, and that is why God made him worthy to become a martyr, giving him with the incorruption and fragrance of his body the grace of healing as an affirmation from above of his being in the land of the Righteous». The Well of Jacob, where St. Philoumenos was martyred is «a historically and spiritually important historical monument for three monotheistic religions», notes the Metropolitan Morphou Neophytos and explains: «because of the well of Jacob it is a sacred place for the Jews, and because of the Samaritan Woman and Christ it is a holy site for Christians, and Muslims consider the site holy, because Jacob is one of the prophets of Islam». The Hieromartyr Philoumenos, as related by his successor, Fr. Justin (who is from Kerkyra) «kept the Christian pilgrimage Christian, and therefore the region of Nablus did not become a Jewish settlement, which is why even Arabs consider Philoumenos as their own martyr», the Metropolitan of Morphou added that the Palestinian Authority gave permission to the inauguration of the church of St. Photini and the chapel of St. Philoumenos. Metropolitan Neophytos notes "It was the most important event for me in the ten years that I have been bishop". There was contrition at the sacred services which took place in an atmosphere of great devotion, as Bishops and priests from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, clerics from the Metropolis of Morphou, the Monks of the Monastery of St. Nicholas Orountas who had written the life of the Holy Hieromartyr, clerics from Greece and a multitude of faithful from Greece and Cyprus all participated…"
© 2001 Ο Φιλελεύθερος Λτδ. © 2001 The Liberal Ltd. - - (amateur translation)

The following post has a video from a Salutations service chanted to St. Philoumenos, in which his sacred relic can be seen, along with the Church of St. Photini:

Here is another video with pictures from the Church of St. Photini and St. Philoumenos:

For numerous videos from the service of the "Agiokatataxh" ("Numbering-among-the-Saints") at the Church of St. Photini, see:

For the Patriarchal Proclamation of St. Philoumenos' Sainthood (in Greek), see:
The Metropolitan of Morphou Neophytos talks here about the Saint, his life and martyrdom, his canonization, and many of his miracles (in Greek):
May St. Philoumenos intercede for us all and help us!

Icon of the Holy New Righteous Hieromartyr Philoumenos the Cypriot, of the Well of Jacob (

 Απολυτίκιο. Ήχος α΄. Της ερήμου πολίτην.
Της Ορούντης τον γόνον, νήσου Κύπρου του βλάστημα * και ιερομάρτυρα νέον Ιακώβ θείου Φρέατος, * Φιλούμενον τιμήσωμεν, πιστοί, ως πρόμαχον της πίστεως ημών, * και αήττητον οπλίτην Χριστού της αληθείας, πόθω κράζοντες * δόξα τω σε δοξάσαντι Χριστώ, * δόξα τω σε αφθαρτίσαντι, * δόξα τω σε ημίν χειραγωγόν προς πόλον δείξαντι!

Κοντάκιο. Ήχος πλ. δ΄. Τη Υπερμάχω.

Τον ανατείλαντα ως άστρον νεαυγέστατον * τη Εκκλησία του Χριστού αρτίως μέλψωμεν, * μαρτυρίου ταις ακτίσι και θαυμασίων * ταις βολαίς νεοφανέντα ιερόαθλον, * ού ηφθάρτισε το σκήνωμα ο Ύψιστος, * πόθω κράζοντες χαίροις, μάκαρ Φιλούμενε.

Χαίροις, της Ορούντης σεπτός βλαστός, χαίροις, νήσου Κύπρου πολυτίμητος θησαυρός, χαίροις, Εκκλησίας της Μόρφου ωραιότητης, Φιλούμενε, μαρτύρων νέων υπόδειγμα!
Σ υ ν α ξ ά ρ ι ο ν
Τ ατ μέρα, γιος νδοξος Νέος ερομάρτυς Φιλούμενος Κύπριος, τοπίκλην Χασάπης, τ ερν Προσκύνημα το Φρέατος ακώβ διαφυλάσσων ελαβς κα πιστς ν γίοις Τόποις, κα βδομήκοντα ψυχν ξ βραίων τν Βάπτισιν τελέσας, βδομηκοντάκις δι πελέκεως τν κεφαλήν πλήττεται π φανατικο βραίου κα μαρτυρικς τελειοται, ν τει χιλιοστ ννεακοσιοστ βδομηκοστ και ννάτ (1979). Τ δ ερν ατο σκνος νακομισθν ερέθη φθορον κα εωδιάζον, διατηρούμενον χρι το νν διαλώβητον ν τ γίΠόλει.

ντως Φιλούμενος π Χριστο φιλετο
Κα πορφυρίδι περιεβλήθη λαμπρ τομαρτυρίου.
Φιλούμενος ρτι στυγνς πεκτάνθη
ς Θεν φιλν παρ᾿ ακβ τ Φρέαρ.
Apolytikion of St. Philoumenos (amateur translations below)
The offspring of Orountas, and from the root of Cyprus, and new Hieromartyr of the divine Well of Jacob, O faithful let us honor Philoumenos as a defender of our faith, and an eternal soldier of Christ’s truth, we fervently cry out, glory to Christ Who glorified you, glory to Him Who kept you incorrupt, glory to Him who revealed you as our benefactor towards heaven.
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Let us fervently hymn he who shines as a newly-dawning star upon the Church of Christ, with the rays of martyrdom and wonders, the newly-revealed hieromartyr, whose body was kept incorrupt by the Most-high. Let us cry out in fervor: hail, O blessed Philoumenos.
Hail sacred root of Orounta, hail very-precious treasure of the island of Cyprus, hail the beauty of the Church of Morphou, Philoumenos, new exemplar of martyrs!
November 16/29 Synaxarion excerpt on St. Philoumenos:
On this day, we celebrate the Holy glorious New Hieromartyr Philoumenos the Cypriot, of the surname Chasapes, who preserved the Holy Pilgrimage of the Well of Jacob reverently and faithfully, and baptized seventy Jewish souls, and whose head was split seventy times with an axe by a fanatical Jew and was perfected in martyrdom, in the year 1979. His holy body was uncovered and found incorrupt and fragrant, and is kept now and ever unharmed in the Holy City.
Philoumenos, being befriended by Christ
Was arrayed in the radiant porphyry or martyrdom.
Philoumenos was recently slaughtered violently
As the friend of God by the Well of Jacob.
Additional Troparion, in the Third Tone:
Vanquisher of daemons, dispeller of the powers of darkness, by thy meekness thou hast inherited the earth and reignest in the Heavens; intercede, therefore, with our Merciful God, that our souls may be saved.

(taken from:; see the link for additional information about St. Philoumenos)

For the full service of St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr in Greek, see: (To download, one must register for free on the site)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!


Unknown said...

Thank you for posting such a complete story of the life and martyrdom and glorification of St. Philoumenos. I'm so glad to know about this saint who is not nearly well enough known. The icons and photos are also wonderful.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Thank you for posting such a complete story of the life and martyrdom and glorification of St. Philoumenos. I'm so glad to know about this saint who is not nearly well enough known. The icons and photos are also wonderful.

Anonymous said...

The service for the Saint is not opening... Dear brother or sister, could you kindly renew the link?

Agioi_Anargyroi said...

The site that I originally linked to took down that page.

If you register on the site linked to above ( you can download the service of the Saint in Greek. It is labeled "Φιλουμένου Κυπρίου ακολουθία.doc"

Unknown said...

I'm so happy to learn about this Saint but so angry that the story that a "group of Zionists killed him" when the Orthodox Church should correct itself and this story to what happened after police investigation: it was a mentally unstable Jew who had committed serial murders on other people, and he was committed to mental institution. If half truths like "killed by Zionist settlers" are perpetuated by the Church we aren't doing our full job in Christ. Christ expects us not to bear false witness against our neighbor - whether our neighbor is gentile or Christian.I'm sending this message to you because the YouTube Channel "the Mist Anchorite" has disabled all comments on his video regarding the story of the Saint, and refers back to your blogspot!

Agioi_Anargyroi said...

Clearly someone who would turn to murder is either mentally ill or terribly deluded by the evil one; this is without question. I, along with the author of the source document, clearly am not maligning all Israeli citizens. It is clear though that no matter what religion or culture one comes from, one can be tempted to turn to hatred and violence, hoping to achieve some religious or social or political end. This is always terrible and must be condemned. Beyond this though, St. Philoumenos withstood this hatred and confessed Christ, becoming a martyr for His love.