In an atmosphere of religious devoutness and magnificence, the Holy Fire marking Jesus Resurrection appeared again in the Church of Holy Supulchre in Jerusalem on Great Saturday. Thousands of people had gathered in the church to get the Holy Fire directly from the hands of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theofilos.
Orthodox Christians consider the Holy Fire as a miracle that occurs on Great Saturday noon.
Patriarch Theofilos entered the Holy Sepulcher with two bundles of 33 candles each one representing years of age of Jesus Christ.
A priest from the Armenian Patriarchate followed him in the chapel of Angelus. Then Theofilos entered the Holy Supulchre alone. The crowd of pilgrims was cheering “Worthy!”
Shortly after 2.30 noon, Patriarch Theofilos accompanied by archbishops, priests and deacons, exited the Holy Sepulcher, in his hands the 33 candles with the Holy Fire.
The bells were tolling in joy as the Patriarch handed over the Holy Fire to the pilgrims and the joyful message of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Arab-speaking locals and Orthodox Christians from Greece, Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Poland, Cyprus, took the Holy Fire and carried through the streets of the Old City of Jesusalem.
After the ceremony concluded, Patriarch Theofilos gave the Holy Fire to the representative of the Greet State who will bring it to Greece with an airplane.
From the airport of Elefina, the Holy Fire will be distributed to all churches across the country and Greeks will chant “Jesus is Risen!” at midnight.
The Holy Fire is the most renowned miracle in the world of Eastern Orthodoxy. It is taking place at the same time, in the same manner, in the same place every single year for centuries. No other miracle is known to occur so regularly and so steadily over time. It happens in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the holiest place on earth, where Christ was crucified, entombed, and where He finally rose from the dead.
It is a “real miracle” as it occurs at Holy Saturday noon, although the date of Greek Orthodox Easter varies each and every year.
The strict procedure of how the Patriarch of Jerusalem receives the Holy Light remains also the same over the years.
The Holy Fire remains a mystery or better say a miracle among believers with atheists to challenge its divine origin.
Greeks were shocked when a local journalist claimed that the Holy Light is not the result of a divine miracle but the product of the physical interaction between a human hand and a …lighter.
In his recently published book “Lamentation – About the Holy Fire” journalist Dimitris Alikakos writes that there is strong evidence that the Holy Light lights up by a human hand and not by some divine and mysterious power.