Philoumenos (Hasapis) of Jacob's Well

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Saint Philoumenos (Hapsis)
Wall painting of Saint Philoumenos of Jacob's Well Church in Palestine.jpg
Wall painting of Saint Philoumenos of Jacob's Well Church in Nablus, West Bank
New-Hieromartyr of Jacob's Well
Born October 15, 1913
Orounta, Morphou, Cyprus
Died November 29, 1979
Nablus, West Bank
Feast November 16 (ns) / 29 (os)[1][3][4]
November 29 (ns)[5][6]

New Martyr Archimandrite Philoumenos (Hasapis) of Jacob's Well (Greek: Φιλούμενος Χασάπης; Φιλούμενος ο Κύπριος; or Φιλούμενος Ορουντιώτης), October 15, 1913 – November 29, 1979, was the Igumen of the Greek Orthodox monastery of Jacob's Well,[note 1] near the city of Samaria, now called Nablus (Neapolis), in the West Bank.


Saint Philoumenos was born Sophocles Hasapis[7] on October 15, 1913, in the village of Orounta in the province of Morphou, in Cyprus.

At the age of 14, he and his twin brother, the future Archimandrite Elpidios, left their home to become monks at the Stavrovouni Monastery in Cyprus where they stayed for 6 years and then left for the Holy Land to continue their monastic life and attended the local High School. He was ordained a priest and became a trusted priest of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, later being raised to the office of archimandrite.

In 1979, he was assigned as the guardian of the Monastery of Jacob's Well.

Over a couple of weeks the local Jewish settlers had been coming to pray there and demanded that Christian symbols be removed.[note 2] Philoumenos complied. Despite this, the settlers threatened him.[9] After his guard left home, Philoumenos was hacked to death with axes by Jewish Zionists,[10][11][12] while serving Vespers on November 29, 1979.[13][14][15] According to Rupert Shortt, a religion editor of the Times Literary Supplement,[16] Philoumenos eyes were gouged out, and the fingers of his right hand were hacked off.[17] A grenade was also thrown into the church, which was ransacked.[18][19]


The police confirmed the cause of the death.[note 3] The funeral was attended by local and international civil and church dignitaries.[18][19] Some sources claim that no-one was arrested[note 4], while others, e.g. the historian William Dalrymple" after an on-site research, that an Israeli from Tel Aviv had been charged with this and other murders.[20][21]

In 2009 the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem declared him a saint thirty years after his martyrdom.[1] His feast day is celebrated on November 16 (N.S.) / 29 (O.S.),[1][3][4][note 5] as per the decision of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 2009,[note 6] seconded by the same resolution by the Patriarchate of Moscow and all Russia in 2010.[note 7]

Churches on the New Calendar list his feast day directly on November 29 (N.S.).[5][6]

Orthodox Hymns[edit]

Troparion (Tone 3)

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.[22]

Troparion (Tone 4)

At Jacob's Well you were proved well named:
loving Christ, confessing Him, pouring out your sacred blood.
Being faithful in small things you were set over great.
Worshipping in Spirit and in Truth,
you are now Guardian of the Holy Places forever.[8]


  1. ^ (Greek): Αγιοταφίτης Αρχιμανδρίτης Φιλούμενος, καθηγούμενος της Ιεράς Μονής του Φρέατος του Ιακώβ.
  2. ^ "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. Father Philoumenos gently reminded them that the floor they were standing on had been built by the Emperor, St. Constantine, in 331 A.D. The shrine at Jacob’s Well had served as an Orthodox Christian holy place for sixteen centuries before the Israeli state was created, and had been in Samaritan hands before that..."[8]
  3. ^ "The church and the holy things were all desecrated."[8]
  4. ^ "[...] No one was ever arrested."[8]
  5. ^ The notation Old Style or (OS) is sometimes used to indicate a date in the Julian Calendar (which is used by churches on the "Old Calendar"); the notation New Style or (NS), indicates a date in the Revised Julian calendar (which is used by churches on the "New Calendar").
  6. ^ "Today, after the completion of thirty years since the day of his martyrdom, based on the Synodic decision of Our Holy and Sacred Synod, we officially place in the Synaxarion, the celebration of this new hieromartyr on this day of his martyrdom, 16th/29th of November each year, to the benefit of the souls and to the glory of Our Holy Triune God."[1]
  7. ^ (Russian): 5 марта 2010 года Священный синод Русской православной церкви постановил:
    «включить имя священномученика Филумена (Хасаписа) в месяцеслов Русской Православной Церкви с установлением празднования его памяти 16/29 ноября, как это установлено в Иерусалимской Церкви».[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e CLASSIFICATION TO THE HAGIOLOGION OF THE NEW HIEROMARTYR FILOUMENOS. Synodic Decisions. Jerusalem Patriarchate - Official News Gate. Holy City of Jerusalem, September 11th 2009.
  2. ^ a b (Russian) Журналы заседания Священного Синода от 5 марта 2010 года на сайте Патриархия.Ru. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b (Russian) 16 ноября (ст.ст.) 29 ноября 2013 (нов. ст.). Русская Православная Церковь Отдел внешних церковных связей. (DECR).
  4. ^ a b November 16/29. Orthodox Calendar (PRAVOSLAVIE.RU).
  5. ^ a b Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Φιλούμενος ὁ νέος Ἱερομάρτυρας. 29 Νοεμβρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  6. ^ a b Rev. Oeconomos Christopher Klitou. FEASTS AND SAINTS: 29th NOVEMBER. The Orthodox Pages. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  7. ^ (Greek) ΜΑΡΙΟΥ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΥ. Φιλούμενος, ο τελευταίος Άγιος της Κύπρου. Σημερινή ( 07/12/2009. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d Very Rev. Fr. Edward Pehanich. Father Philoumenos of Jacobs Well 1913-1979. In: The Church Messenger, American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A. Volume LXIV, Number 1, January 27, 2008. Page 7.
  9. ^ Luke Baker, Atef Sa'ad (September 8, 2006). "After a century of struggle, a new monastery rises". Reuters. 
  10. ^ William Dalrymple (21 October 1994). "The Spectator". p. 14. "a settler had poisoned his dogs, attacked him with an axe, then incinerated his remains with a grenade." 
  11. ^ Ken Parry, David J. Melling, Dimitri Brady, Sidney H. Griffith and John F. Healey (2001). The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity. ISBN 9780631232032. "was murdered by Zionist extremists determined to remove Christians entirely from this sacred Jewish site" 
  12. ^ "Hμέρα εορτασμού της Ελληνο-σιωνιστικής ... φιλίας...". Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  13. ^ Monk Yeghia Yenovkian Paradise Monastery, Ellisville, Mississippi. Tribute to a New Martyr - Our Holy Father Philoumenos of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre.
  14. ^ Yisca Harani, David Gurevich. "Philoumenos of Jacob's Well: New martyr and modern anti-semitism". "Perhaps the fact that the murderer was a Jewish observant person [...]" 
  15. ^ Cornelis Hulsman. "Jacob’s Well; the tragic end of a Christian Palestinian shrine". Religious News Service from the Arab World. "A mentally ill Israeli from Tel Aviv was charged with the murder, but before the murder Father Philloumenos had received many phone calls from Jewish zealots saying he must leave Jacob’s Well. He refused and was murdered." 
  16. ^ "Rupert Short". The Guardian. 
  17. ^ Rupert Shortt. Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2013. ISBN 9780802869852. "The killers had already warned Fr Philoumenos to remove Christian symbols from the well, claiming that their presence made it impossible for Jews to pray there. When he refused, they gouged his eyes out and hacked off the fingers of his right hand — the one he used to make the sign of the cross before ending his life." 
  18. ^ a b (Greek) 29/11 Hμέρα εορτασμού της Ελληνο-σιωνιστικής... φιλίας.... Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  19. ^ a b "ΑΓΙΟΣ ΦΙΛΟΥΜΕΝΟΣ Ο ΑΓΙΟΤΑΦΙΤΗΣ (ΕΟΡΤΗ ΜΝΗΜΗΣ 29 ΝΟΕΜΒΡΙΟΥ) SAINT FILOUMENOS The AGIOTAFITIS (FEAST MEMORY November 29th) - archive". Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. "Στη συνέχεια λεηλάτησαν την εκκλησιά και φεύγοντας έριξαν χειροβομβίδα, ολοκληρώνοντας το βέβηλο έργο τους." 
  20. ^ William Dalrymple (1999). From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East. "A mentally ill Israeli from Tel Aviv had been charged with the Jacob's Well murder, I learned, as well as with two other killings" 
  21. ^ "LETTERS No Israeli conspiracy". The Spectator. 1995. "After a police investigation the murderer was caught, tried and convict- ed. He was a Jew, not a 'settler'" 
  22. ^ Holy Hieromartyr Philoumenos. All Saints of North America Russian Orthodox Church. (Eastern American Diocese - Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia). Retrieved 29 October 2009.
    (All Saints of North America Church has been relocated to Harrisonburg, VA under the name Holy Myrrhbearers Church).

External links[edit]