'The image of Father Philumen, which was always in front of me, helped me survive'

Saint Martyr Philumen was killed near the altar of his church of Jacob’s Well in Nablus (Samaria) in the Holy Land in 1979

"A week before, the fanatics came to the monastery of Jacob’s Well in Nablus. They demanded to take crosses and icons away; they said it was a place only for Jews. They shouted blasphemous anti-Christian blasphemous words, four-letter words, and threats against Christians.

Then, on November 29, the Jews rushed into the monastery in a downpour. Father Philumen was already getting ready for the evensongs. Father Philumen was tortured, and he was forced to disavow Christ; this is proved by the cut fingers of his right hand, the fingers that Christians use for the sign of the cross. His face was chopped crosswise. The church itself and all the holy things inside were desecrated. However, nobody was detained or brought into criminal responsibility for the crime.

I must say that, if I didn’t know Martyr Philumen, I would probably lose my faith. As many people in those days suffered when they saw the desecrated truth and the triumphant lie. There are just few good pastors among us, and there are few who seek the God; however, there is much heresy and many sects. No matter how disgusting they are, they do attract many followers. The image of Father Philumen, which was always in front of me, helped me survive.”

This is an abstract from an article by Iegia Ienovkian (Ellisville, Mississippi, U.S.A.), published by Orthodox America magazine.

«On November 30, 1983, Patriarch Diodor of Jerusalem and the whole of Palestine accompanied by Greek bishops, archimandrites, priests, and monks opened the relics of Martyr Philumen, who had been martyred to death in the church of Jacob’s Well in Nablus.

The coffin with the relics of Father Philumen was carefully taken out of a grave at the cemetery on the Sion mountain. When the coffin was opened and the cover was lifted, the body of Father Philumen was without any signs of decay. Then, the body was washed in wine and wrapped; after that, a service was held.

Archimandrite Philumen was the keeper of the Greek monastery of the Jacob’s Well in Samaria (today it’s Nablus in the West Bank). He was known to the clergy of the Holy Land as a devoted servant of God. Shortly before the murder of Father Philumen, a group of Jewish fanatics demanded that he take down the cross and icons from the church of Jacob’s Well under the pretext that the Orthodox symbols impeded their prayers in the church, which they considered to be their holy place. However, Father Philumen refused to remove the cross and the icons; he explained that the church of Jacob’s Well had been for many years and still remained an Orthodox sacred place. In response, the Jews threatened that if he didn’t leave, he must prepare for the worst.

The killers rushed into the monastery on the Day of Saint Apostle Mathew. They violently killed Father Philumen. However, the killers decided that the murder wasn’t enough and they desecrated the church. The Israel civil authorities declared that an investigation would be held; however, nothing happened.

"With the prayers of Martyr Philumen, let God give the suffering people of the Holy Land the power to oppose the wave of anti-Christian violence and send them His help and grace.”

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: https://www.pravda.ru/faith/7957-philoumenos/

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