November 29, 2021

Testimony of the Dressing of the Martyred Body of Saint Philoumenos

The testimony of Fr. Sophronios the Agiotaphite, who received the sacred relic of the Holy Martyr Philoumenos (+ 1979) to clothe it and prepare it for burial, is shocking, in that his body remained warm and flexible for five days after his martyrdom.

"They took him to the morgue. He was then autopsied in Tel Aviv and they notified us on November 21. I went with three other Fathers of the Patriarchate and they gave him to us naked. When we asked them where his clothes were, they told us they were in Neapolis. Fortunately, we had taken with us everything we needed to dress him. But you cannot imagine the sight, when he was handed to us in pieces, his face unrecognizable, bearing the marks of martyrdom just as when the Persians slaughtered the Fathers of Saint Savvas and other Monasteries. So today a new martyrdom followed with Fr. Philoumenos.

They kept him in the fridge for five days, and yet he was very soft, as if he had not died. When I started to dress him - because the others could not, they were unable to bear to look at him from the afflictions he had - I said to him as if he were alive: 'My Elder, now you will help me to dress you, because you see I am alone.' When I started and put on his shirt, the first hand immediately lowered on its own. The same with the other hand. And the legs as well. I would gather his legs to put on his clothes and when I finished he would lay them out himself. Below the left leg, he had been hit with the axe. From the morgue, we brought him to the Patriarchate."

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.