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Philoumenos (Hasapis) of Jacob's Well

Philoumenos (Hasapis) of Jacob's Well Cypriot saint

Cypriot saint
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Cypriot saint
A.K.A. Philoumenos Khassapis Archimandrite Philoumenos
Was Saint
From Cyprus
Type Religion
Gender male
Birth 15 October 1913, Nicosia
Death 29 November 1979 (aged 66 years)
The details

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


Saint Philoumenos was born Sophocles Hasapis on 15 October 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. Philoumenos complied. Despite this, the settlers threatened him. After his guard left home, Philoumenos was hacked to death with axes by Jewish Zionist settlers, while serving Vespers on 29 November 1979. According to Rupert Shortt, a religion editor of the Times Literary Supplement, Philoumenos eyes were gouged out, and the fingers of his right hand were hacked off. A grenade was also thrown into the church, which was ransacked.

Criticism of martyrdom narrative

The Britain Israel Public Affairs Center claims that "The Greek monk, Philloumeno, was brutally murdered at Jacob's Well near Nablus, in 1979. After a police investigation the murderer was caught, tried and convicted. He was a Jew, not a 'settler', and a pathological killer (he was also found guilty of the brutal axe-murders of a Jewish doctor in Tel Aviv and a Muslim)."

Dr. David Gurevich and Yisca Harani also criticize the popular narrative by claiming existence of anti-Semitic tropes: "The false accusations of Jews committing a ritual murder of Christians, inclusive Crucifixion murder, are known from the Middle Ages... Perhaps the fact that the murderer was a Jewish observant person, served a basis for a narrative which has a clear Anti-Semitic character".


The police confirmed the cause of the death. The funeral was attended by local and international civil and church dignitaries. Some sources claim that no-one was arrested, 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. Israeli newspapers named the killer as a mentally unstable mass murderer, caught by police in 1982, acting on religious motives to "stamp out the evil". After a court case he was involuntarily committed while the police files were sealed.


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

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

Orthodox Hymns

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.

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.
  • ^
  • November 16/29. Orthodox Calendar (PRAVOSLAVIE.RU).
  • 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).

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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