November 29, 2021

The Nephew of Saint Philoumenos Talks About His Uncle's Martyric Death

(left) Fr. Elpidios, (right) Fr. Philoumenos

On November 29, 1979, the brother of Fr. Elpidios, the holy hieromartyr Philoumenos, was martyred in the shrine of Jacob's Well in Neapolis of the Holy Land. At the same time as when the martyrdom was taking place, Elder Elpidios, while he was in his cell in New Skete [on Mount Athos], saw in a miraculous way his martyrdom and heard him shout to him:

"My brother, they are killing me! My brother, they are killing me! Do not be indignant, to the glory of God!"

"After the martyrdom of Saint Philoumenos," says his nephew Aimilios Hatzipavlis, "I called New Skete, to inform Fr. Elpidios. But I was very worried about how he would react because I knew they were very connected.

'Do you know, uncle?' I asked him, 'A sad event has happened, about which I wanted to inform you. The exarch of the Patriarchate called us and said that Fr. Philoumenos had been killed.'

Then he, with complete calm and without any surprise at all, as if I had told him something he already knew, simply replied:


After a few seconds of silence, he told me:

'And, tell me, how did they kill him?'

'I do not know the details,' I told him, 'but as far as we know, they threw a grenade at the shrine, and the bomb killed him.'

'Well,' he told me meaningfully, 'you go to the funeral, because I do not have time to go, and when you return, call me again.'

Fr. Philoumenos with his mother Magdalene and his brother Fr. Elpidios

When we returned from Jerusalem, I called him again. Although we had been informed that the Saint had reposed in a martyric manner, I had decided not to convey many details to him, so as not to upset him. But as we were talking he asked me again:

'So, tell me, how did they kill him?'

'As I told you, uncle,' I told him, 'they dropped a grenade.'

Then he tells me loudly:

'Is that how they killed him? Is that how they killed him? Good… Good… We will discuss it when I come down to Athens.'

When he came down to Athens, I asked him if he had felt anything at the time of the Saint's martyrdom, and he only told me:

'Yes! A white dove approached me...'

Then he immediately stopped.

'These things are not said… These things are not said…,' he said and left.

However, he had told everything to their spiritual father, Fr. Anastasios Kallianos, who, after the Elder's repose, told us what he entrusted to him."

What Fr. Elpidios experienced he narrated in detail to the fathers of his brotherhood, emphasizing that: "Saint Philoumenos is with the choirs of the martyrs."

Source: From the book Γέροντας Ελπίδιος (1913-1983). Translation by John Sanidopoulos.