ΑΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ ΠΡΙΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ, ΔΕ ΘΑ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ ΟΤΑΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ

(ΠΑΡΟΙΜΙΑ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΩΝ ΜΟΝΑΧΩΝ)

Τετάρτη, 30 Νοεμβρίου 2011

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 here; for the center picture larger see here)


Full of Grace and Truth
ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΟΝ ΑΓΙΟ ΕΔΩ
 
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 here; 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 (from here)

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. 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 here)

Another icon of St. Philoumenos, inscribed in many different languages (taken from here)

The transfer of the Sacred Relics of the hieromartyr Philoumenos the Cypriot to Jacob’s Well

By ARISTEIDI VIKETOU

"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 here)


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. - www.phileleftheros.com - Www.phileleftheros.com (amateur translation)


St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr (here)


For more information see here.
For the first icon of St. Philoumenos larger, and more pictures from his pilgrimage, see here & here.

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.


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


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


For the Patriarchal Proclamation of St. Philoumenos' Sainthood (in Greek), see here.

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 (taken from here)


 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!


Apolytikion of St. Philoumenos (amateur translation)
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.

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.

Μεγαλυνάριο.
Χαίροις, της Ορούντης σεπτός βλαστός, χαίροις, νήσου Κύπρου πολυτίμητος θησαυρός, χαίροις, Εκκλησίας της Μόρφου ωραιότητης, Φιλούμενε, μαρτύρων νέων υπόδειγμα!
(taken from here)


Megalynarion (amateur translation)
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!


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 here; see the link for additional information about St. Philoumenos)


November 16/29 Synaxarion excerpt on St. Philoumenos:


Σ υ ν α ξ ά ρ ι ο ν

Τ ατ μρα, 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 γί
Πόλει.

Στίχοι
ντως Φιλούμενος π Χριστο φιλετο
Κα πορφυρίδι περιεβλήθη λαμπρ τομαρτυρίου.
Φιλούμενος ρτι στυγνς πεκτάνθη
ς Θεν φιλν παρ᾿ ακβ τ Φρέαρ.
(from here)

Synaxarion (amateur translation)

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.


For the full service of St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr in Greek, see here.
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Two miracles of St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr 

 

St. Philoumenos the Cypriot, the New Hieromartyr of Jacob's Well. His scroll above reads the words of Christ: "And do not fear those who kill the body..." (from here)

Full of Grace and Truth
  
Two miracles of St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr (amateur translation/summary)

After a recent radio program from the Station of the Metropolis of Piraeus of the life of St. Philoumenos, the station received many messages with personal miracles of the Saint for the faithful. May this be offered to the glory of Christ and His new Hieromartyr Philoumenos, who celebrates on November 29 (new calendar).


First letter from Xanthi

Regarding the righteous life and martyrdom of St. Philoumenos, I learned of it from the Monastery of St. David in Evia, from a hierodeacon from the Metropolis of Morphou. In reality I was struck by his life, and especially his terrible martyrdom. Later, I found myself in Cyprus for work reasons, where I learned first-hand about the wonders of his earthly life and his heavenly glory. In August 2008 I was in the Holy Land, and I of course visited the Well of Jacob and the newly-built Church of St. Photini, to which was translated the relics of St. Philoumenos from the Patriarchal School. There I entreated the Saint fervently to grant us a child, as we had been married for eight years without having yet conceived a child. In reality, the Saint hearkened to our prayers, and he appeared full of glory to my brother, a hierodeacon, who said: “The children, Apostolos and Elizabeth, should not worry, for the temptation will soon pass and they will soon conceive a child, though they will try to adopt a child.” Thus we continued to try to have a child, but in the summer of 2009, we tried to adopt. Our joy was indescribable! However, our Lord's will was different: suddenly the adoption agency stopped our application, as we had just moved to Greece, and because of this the managers in Cyprus froze the application. As you can see, our saddness was great, as we saw our dream moving away! But besides this, we did not loose our courage, and we continued to pray to St. Philoumenos to grant us a child.


In reality, the same year my wife conceived our little girl, who was born on November 6th. It is worth noting that her due date was November 16th, the day of the Saint's martyrdom on the old calendar, as it is celebrated in the Holy Lands. Of course, before our child was born by the will of God, my hierodeacon friend saw a vision in which the Saint appeared full of glory and revealed the birth of our child! He saw the baby crawling to the Well of Jacob, and await there to be born! Our little girl took the Saint's name—through the prayer of naming—and today is 3 weeks old. We unworthy ones are so blessed, through the intercessions of St. Philoumenos to our Lord Jesus Christ, to receive this heavenly blessing.”

A. and E. B. from Xanthi


Second letter, from Moschato 
To the glory of God, and St. Philoumenos

I'm glad to have the opportunity to thank St. Philoumenos in this way. Let me share with you how I came to know this Saint.


We call upon him as “The Saint of Parking”, and I'll explain why.


It was the winter of 2008 when I was in my car in the area of Old Phalerou, and tried to find parking. I had a very important business meeting at 7, and I had tried for 20 minutes to find parking, and it was 6:55. On the radio I was listening to the Church of Piraeus talk about some martyr who was killed in Jerusalem, and due to my agony, I did not give care to the name of the new martyr, whether it was Philemon or Philoumenos. Loosing hope, I then said: “O Saint Philoumenos or Philemon, I didn't understand your name, but find me parking, and from now on I will honor you and seek you out.” I did not finish this phrase when miraculously I found a parking spot, and left at that instant for my work. I glorified the Saint, and could not believe my eyes.


Of course this could seem comical, that I connect the Saint with parking, but in Athens especially, the issue of parking is a great difficulty in the lives of people.


From then on my family calls upon the Saint for parking, and unbelievably quickly he works wonders.


Another time I had a rehearsal at the Greek Odeion in Exarcheia, and as I was afraid of that area (this was at the time of a famous murder) my friend and I entreated the Saint to find parking close to the Odeion. We could not believe that we found a spot right outside the door, and my friend was amazed, having never seen anything like this before. I told her about the Saint, and she was amazed, and the next day when we had another practice, she confirmed this. The same thing occurred, and so I said to her: “And what do you have to say now?” Then she began to ask me more about this Saint.


When I told my family about the Saint (I am married in Athens-Moschato, and my parents live in Corfu), all of them believed, with the exception of my father, who doubted until the following incident. It was Holy Friday 2009, and my father had to descend to the city for the Epitaphio to lead the church choir. During this period on Corfu, the area is almost impassible. He left early, but he was looking for 40 minutes for parking, to no avail. At that point he thought, “Why don't call upon that Saint to help me, as I am so worried right now?” And as soon as he finished this thought, he immediately found a spot in front of him! He related this to us with joy.


I will tell you one more incident. I had gone to Corfu to the monastery of St. Athanasios, and I spoke to the sister who was the director of the bookstore about St. Philoumenos, whom she had never heard of. I told her about a book with his life that I had found in Athens, so she would order it for the monastery. Later the same nun related to me: “I had descended to the city with some difficulty by the car of a woman who was helping the monastery. We tried to find parking for a long time, and being without any success, I told the woman: 'let us call upon St. Philoumenos', though we continued to not find a spot. Then I said: 'Help us find this, my Saint, and tomorrow I will go order the book with your life for the monastery's bookstore.' I said these words out loud, and at that instant, we found parking. We were struck by the Saint's speed, and we glorified God.”


So as to not go on and on with similar stories, I will say that there is much to relate. Of course beyond the subject of “parking”, the Saint has helped us many times when we call upon him.


If you decide to distribute some of these stories that I have related, I would rejoice, for thus the world could learn more about this new Saint, who helps us so much in our everyday lives!!


May we all have his blessing.
E.K., age 30, Moschato

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