Tuesday, April 14, 2015

St. Tounom the Emir (+1579)

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
St. Tounom the Emir - Commemorated on April 18th and on Bright Tuesday (source)
From Monk Parthenios, who visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in 1846:
"At the Great Gates themselves, on the left side, stands a column made out of marble with a fissure from which the grace, that is, the Holy Fire, came forth. This column is honored by Orthodox as well as non-Orthodox, and even the Armenians. I would like to write a little about this incident, how the Orthodox Eastern Christians unanimously speak of it and the Turks themselves confirm it. In the wall there is an inscribed marble slab, and they say that this very incident is written on it; but we could not read it because it is written in Syrian letters, in the Arab tongue; and I only heard about it, but did not read it. But the incident happened something like this: At one time when the Greeks were completely oppressed by the Turkish yoke, some rich Armenians took it into their heads to force the Greeks out of the Holy Sepulchre and out of the Church of the Resurrection. They gathered a large sum of money and bribed the Ottoman Porte and all the Jerusalem authorities, assuring the unbelievers that the Holy Fire comes forth not simply for the sake of the Greeks, but for all Christians, and "if we Armenians are there, we also will receive it!" And the Turks, who are greedy for money, accepted the bribe and therefore did as the Armenians wished, and they affirmed that only the Armenians would be allowed to receive the Holy Fire. The Armenians rejoiced greatly and wrote to all their lands and to their faithful, that more of them should go on a pilgrimage. And a great multitude of them did come. Holy Saturday approached: the Armenians all gathered in the church, and the Turkish army drove the poor Greeks out. Oh, what unspeakable grief and sorrow filled the Greeks! There was only one comfort for them -- the Grave of the Saviour, and they were being kept away from it, and the Holy Gates were locked to them! The Armenians were inside the church and the Orthodox were on the streets. The Armenians were rejoicing and the Greeks were weeping. The Armenians were celebrating and the Greeks were bitterly lamenting! The Orthodox stood opposite the Holy Gates on the court and around them stood the Turkish army, watching so that there would not be a fight. The Patriarch himself with all the rest stood there with candles, hoping that they would at least receive the Fire from the Armenians through the window. But the Lord wished to dispose things in a different way, and to manifest His true Faith with a fiery finger and comfort His true servants, the humble Greeks. The time had already come when the Holy Fire issues forth, but nothing happened. The Armenians were frightened and began to weep, and ask God that He send them the Fire; but the Lord did not hear them. Already a half hour had passed and more, and still no Holy Fire. The day was clear and beautiful; the Patriarch sat to the right side. All of a sudden there was a clap of thunder, and on the left side the middle marble column cracked and out of the fissure a flame of fire came forth.

The pillar that was cracked and shows the signs of being burnt to this day, in the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (source)
The Patriarch arose and lit his candles and all the Orthodox Christians lit theirs from his. Then all rejoiced, and the Orthodox Arabs from Jordan began to skip and cry out, "Thou art our one God, Jesus Christ; one is our True Faith, that of the Orthodox Christians!" And they began to run about all of Jerusalem and raise a din, and to shout all over the city. And to this day they still do this in memory of the incident and they jump and shout, running around the Holy Sepulchre, and they praise the one true God, Jesus Christ, and bless the Orthodox Faith. Beholding this wonder, the Turkish army, which was standing around on guard, was greatly amazed and terrified. From amongst them one named Omir [other places written as Tounom the Emir], who was standing at the St. Abraham's Monastery on guard, immediately believed in Christ and shouted, "One is the true God, Jesus Christ; one is the true faith, that of the Orthodox Christians!" And he jumped down to the Christians from a height of more than 35 feet. His feet landed on the solid marble as if though on soft wax. And to this day one can see his footprints imprinted as though in wax, although the non-Orthodox tried to erase them. I saw them with my own eyes and felt them with my own hands. And the column with the fissure still bears the scorch marks. As for Omir the soldier, having jumped down, he took his weapon and thrust it into the stone as though into soft wax, and began to glorify Christ unceasingly. For this, the Turks beheaded him and burned his body; the Greeks gathered up his bones, put them into a case and took them to the Convent of the Great Panagia, where they gush forth fragrance until this day."
St. Tounom The New Martyr (source)
Selected hymns to the New-martyr Tounom the Emir (amateur translations below)

Doxastikon of the Stichera
Plagal of the Second Tone
Today, as a radiant lamp shining on the heavenly firmament, is the memory of Tounom, who was enlightened by God, and he was the deposer of error, mystically shining upon the hearts of the faithful. For he, having beheld the Holy Light mystically, saw it sent from God to the pillar in the courtyard of the Church of the Resurrection, and lighting the lamps of the Orthodox, who were locked out by the wrath of the Heterodox. This dissolved the darkness of faithlessness, and this made him a confessor, and a fervent preacher, and now he is an inheritor of the heavenly Kingdom, as a confessor and all-perfect Martyr, who ceaselessly intercedes to Christ that we be granted the good transformation before our end.

Doxastikon of the Aposticha
Plagal of the Fourth Tone
He Who sent down from on high the Holy Light like a tongue of fire upon the Orthodox Patriarch alone, and consumed and rent the pillar of the courtyard of the All-sacred Church of the Resurrection, filled you with wonder, and changed you towards the good, O Martyr Tounom, therefore you were born again as not only a confessor, but also a Martyr of piety. You became an inheritor of the good things prepared as reward for the world, and you beheld the Lord, the Giver-of-Light. Do not cease to intercede that He might dissolve the darkness of soul-destroying ignorance and the trials of life.

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the First Tone.
Like the Thief who cried, "Remember me", O Christ, at the eleventh hour, and proceeded to faith in Christ, Tounom the Emir steadfastly suffered with holiness at the hour of the receiving of the Holy Light by the Orthodox. Let us honor him with hymns.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone.
Let us hymn him who beheld the Holy Light as fire descending strangely upon the Orthodox, in the pillar of the courtyard of the Church of the Resurrection, and was changed for the good, and became a preacher of Christ and a Martyr at the eleventh hour. Let us cry out with fervor: Rejoice, O blessed Tounom.
A perfect Champion, you were shown to be before your end, O Tounom the Emir, honored by God, for you saw the Holy Light descending strangely upon those of true dogma, and you faithfully glorified Christ, Who rose radiantly. We cry out to you:
Rejoice, O lamp of Jerusalem,
Rejoice, energy of noble Martyrs.
Rejoice, wondrous adornment of the faith,
Rejoice, holy impress of struggle.
Rejoice, for you confessed Christ before your end,
Rejoice, for you drove out the error of the sons of Hagar.
Rejoice for you increased the army of the Lord,
Rejoice, you who struggled perfectly as in the stadium.
Rejoice, the deposing of the error of the faithless,
Rejoice, the boast of Martyrs of the faith.
Rejoice, you who were equal to the [Good] Thief,
Rejoice, you who took up Christ's calling.
Rejoice, O blessed Tounom.
On the 18th of this Month (or Bright Tuesday), the Holy New Martyr Tounom the Emir, who believed through the miracle of the Holy Light in the year 1579, and was perfected with in fire.

The Holy Light, O Tounom, enlightened your darkness,
Leading you towards Christ, the Light of the world.

Doxastikon of the Praises
Plagal of the First Tone
Let us praise the Martyr of Jerusalem, who came forth as a rose from among thorns, pouring forth fragrance through his martyrical confession for the world. Let us cry out: O Tounom who was glorified by God, who received the crown of the eleventh hour from the hands of the Lord, Who grants the rewards to the last as to the first, and made you worthy to partake of the Tree of Life in the heavenly pasture. Do not cease to intercede on behalf of those who honor your memory.

Rejoice, O you who confessed the name of Christ, having seen the divine Light, O martyr Tounom, the lamp of the Orthodox, and lamp-lighter of the Martyrs, who received a crown.
The Resurrection of Christ (source)
Christ is risen from the dead, by dead, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life! Truly the Lord is risen! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out and add (hopefully you will put this on the article) that the Holy Light was not lit because the Armenians were Oriental Orthodox and not the True Faith of Eastern Orthodox. The Eastern Orthodox know that the Jesus Christ has two natures and two wills, human and Divine. The Oriental Orthodox believe that the two natures/wills of Jesus Christ are fused into one. This is not true.
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