The Life of St. Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr
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.
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."
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:Synaxarion
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.