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Author Topic: This Year's Pic Of 'Holy Fire'  (Read 3286 times) Average Rating: 0
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Orthodoc
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« on: April 16, 2004, 02:58:31 PM »

For pictures of the Holy Fire taken this past Holy Saturday access -

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1115411/posts


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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2004, 04:46:41 PM »

Dear Bob:

Pardon my inquisitive Latin mind, but has there been a recorded and verified picture of either the Greek Orthodox Patriarch or the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch showing how, when, and where the INITIAL candle is miraculously lit up?

All the pictures thus far being shown are the light being passed from inside the tomb to the faithful waiting outside and to the others in and outside of the Church.

I think this "gap" leads some people to believe in this alleged "first person" account of the event:

http://www.holyfire.org/eng/doc_Guardian2001.htm

Be that as it may, I do believe in real miracles!

Amado
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2004, 05:51:02 PM »

Dear Bob:

Pardon my inquisitive Latin mind, but has there been a recorded and verified picture of either the Greek Orthodox Patriarch or the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch showing how, when, and where the INITIAL candle is miraculously lit up?

All the pictures thus far being shown are the light being passed from inside the tomb to the faithful waiting outside and to the others in and outside of the Church.

I think this "gap" leads some people to believe in this alleged "first person" account of the event:

http://www.holyfire.org/eng/doc_Guardian2001.htm

Be that as it may, I do believe in real miracles!

Amado


If you read the story you will see that on Holy Thursday the Tomb is searched for matches, lighters etc. by both Israeli and Moselm guards, Then the doors are closed and a wax seal is attached to the doors which those who searched the Tomb mark seals into the wax.  On Holy Saturday prior to the Patriarchs entrance the doors are checked to see that the wax and seals are intact.  The Patriarch is searched and disrobes down to a plain whte robe prior to his entrance.

I have a video of the whole thing but it is allin Russian.  Many times not only does the light come from inside the Tomb but from the Dome of the Church like lighting bolts or static electricity.  Many of the candles of the
people  waiting are lit by these blots from the dome.  You can also access the following two sites to see and read more.  One of these two sites also has video which can be downloaded for you to see.  For the first five minutes or so the fire DOES NOT BURN!  The video shows most (if not all) of what you disbelieve -

From an email I sent to my cousin on this very thing -

Here are some websites that explain the miracle of the Holy Fire which occurs every Orthodox Pascha (Easter) in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre -

(look to the left to access the video clips that can be downloaded)
 
http://www.holyfire.org/eng/


 
http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/St.Pachomius/hvidt-fire.html
 
To see actual pictures taken this past Holy Saturday access the following site -
 
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1115411/posts
 
======
 
What Is The Holy Fire?
 
This ceremony takes place in the Orthodox Church of the Resurrection in the Holy city of Jerusalem in such a way that bewilders the soul of the Christians. It takes place every single year, at the same time, in the same manner, and on the same spot.

On Easter Saturday, at noon, the Orthodox Patriarch, or any other Orthodox Archbishop, enters the Holy Sepulchre, recites special prayers and remains waiting. Sometimes the waiting is long, sometimes short. The crowd, in the darkened church, repeats continually with a loud voice: "Lord, have mercy." (Kyrie eleison). At a certain moment the Holy Light flashes from the depth of the Holy Sepulchre in a supernatural way, miraculously, and lights up the little lamp of olive oil put on the edge of it. The Patriarch (or the Archbishop), after having read some prayers, lights up the two clusters of 33 candles he is holding, and begins to distribute the Holy Light to the multitude of pilgrims, who receive it with great emotion, accompanied with the pealing of bells, acclamations, and an unbridled enthusiasm.

The Holy Light is not only distributed by the Archbishop, but operates also by itself. It emits from the Holy Sepulchre having a gleam of a hue completely different from that of natural light. It sparkles, it flashes like lightning, it flies like a dove around the tabernacle of the the Holy Sepulchre, and lights up the unlit lamps of olive oil hanging in front of it. It whirls from one side of the church to the other. It enters to some of the chapels inside the church, as for instance the chapel of the Calvery (at a higher level than the Holy Sepulchre) and lights up the little lamps. It lights up also the candles of certain pilgrims. In fact there are some very pious pilgrims who, every time they attended this ceremony, noticed that their candles lit up on the own accord!

This divine light also presents some special peculiarities: As soon as it appears it has a bluish hue and does not burn. At the first moments of its appearance, if it touches the face, or the mouth, or the hands, it does not burn.

The appearance of the Holy Light is an event which occurs every year in front of thousands of visual witnesses. Nobody can deny it. On the contrary, this miracle can reinforce those who have lack of faith.

======

The Testimony of the Patriarch

When the tomb has been checked and sealed, the whole Church chants the Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy). At 1:45 PM the Patriarch enters the scene. In the wake of a large procession he encircles the Tomb three times, whereupon he is stripped of his royal liturgical vestments, carrying only his white alba, a sign of humility in front of the great potent of God, to which he is about to be the key witness. All the oillamps have been blown out the preceding night, and now all remains of artificial light are extinguished, so that most of the Church is enveloped in darkness. With two big candles the patriarch enters the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre - first into the small room in front of the tomb and from there into the tomb itself.

It is not possible to follow the events inside the tomb, so I asked the patriarch of Jerusalem, Diodorus, about the center of the events.

"Your Beatittude, what happens when you enter the Holy Sepulchre?"

"I enter the tomb and kneel in holy fear in front of the place where Christ lay after his death and where he rose again from the dead. Praying in the Holy Sepulchre in itself is for me always a very holy moment in a very holy place. It is from here that he rose again in glory, and it is from there that he spread his light to the world. John the Evangelist writes in the first chapter of his gospel that Jesus is the light of the World. Kneeling in front of the place where he rose from the dead, we are brought within the immediate closeness of his glorious resurrection. Catholics and Protestants call this Church "The Church of the Holy Sepulchre". We call it "The Church of the Resurrection". The Resurrection of Christ for us Orthodox is the center of our faith. In his resurrection Christ has gained the final victory over death, not just his own death but the death of all those who will stay close to him.

"I believe it to be no coincidence that the Holy Fire comes on exactly this spot. In Matthew 28:3, it says that when Christ rose from the dead, an angel came, dressed all in a fearful light. I believe that the striking light that enveloped the angel at the Lord’s resurrection is the same light that appears miraculously every Easter Saturday. Christ wants to remind us that his resurrection is a reality and not just a myth; he really came to the world in order to give the necessary sacrifice through his death and resurrection so that man could be re-united with his creator.

Blue Light

"I find my way through the darkness towards the inner chamber in which I fall on my knees. Here I say certain prayers that have been handed down to us through the centuries and, having said them, I wait. Sometimes I may wait a few minutes, but normally the miracle happens immediately after I have said the prayers. From the core of the very stone on which Jesus lay an indefinable light pours forth. It usually has a blue tint, but the color may change and take many different hues. It cannot be described in human terms. The light rises out of the stone as mist may rise out of a lake - it almost looks as if the stone is covered by a moist cloud, but it is light. This light each year behaves differently. Sometimes it covers just the stone, while other times it gives light to the whole sepulchre, so that people who stand outside the tomb and look into it will see it filled with light. The light does not burn - I have never had my beard burnt in all the sixteen years I have been Patriarch in Jerusalem and have received the Holy Fire. The light is of a different consistency than normal fire that burns in an oillamp.

"At a certain point the light rises and forms a column in which the fire is of a different nature, so that I am able to light my candles from it. When I thus have received the flame on my candles, I go out and give the fire first to the Armenian Patriarch and then to the Coptic. Hereafter I give the flame to all people present in the Church."

=======

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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2004, 12:16:56 AM »

Orthodoc,
Thanks for the pictures!
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2007, 02:36:38 PM »

Has anyone heard about the accusation that the candles that are spontaneously lit are dipped in white phosphorus beforehand (which would make them light spontaneously after about 20 min.)?  Supposedly a Greek TV reporter made this accusation. 


http://www.greatlie.com/en/


I'm wondering if anyone has ever responded to his claims? 
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2007, 10:54:36 AM »

Having been there a few Paschas ago I know of no technology that could reproduce what we saw - the way the blue light travelled over the Sepulchre.
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2007, 11:09:14 AM »

Myrrh,  Could you please describe your visit there?  I am interested to hear from someone who personally attended.  Thanks,   Juliana Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2007, 07:04:00 AM »

Hello Juliana.  It would take an essay to do it justice..  On the actual day I began queuing around five in the morning having heard the crowd would be huge and wanting to be assurred of a place where I could view the proceedings. Consequently I was well padded for the cold and when at last we were allowed to enter and rush around the circular corridor to the Sepulchre where I found myself squashed, and claustrophobic, but near the front and the view was great!

Getting hotter by the minute and like a lobster as the water heats up too uncomfortable to realise I could have taken some layers off as I stood trapped the people around me produced tissues to wipe the rivers of sweat as I continued to watch one chanting group after another of the non-Orthodox Orthodox sharing the same Pascha as they processed around the Sepulchre until finally after an hour or so I thought I'd boil over and pass out. Although only a few back from the front found it impossible to leave that way so tried to turn around in the hope that I could get through the solid wall of people behind me and my heart sank at the prospect, as I attempted it anyway I found myself practically lifted out to the front by the good folk around me who saw my distress and an Israeli policeman moved me to the other side of Sepulchre where there were much fewer people (ticket holders of one kind or another) and sat me down on the ground to recover. It took a while and as I cooled down I hoped I wouldn't be moved...

Then the moment we'd all been waiting for arrived, Patriarch Irenaios entered the Sepulchre. And the excitement was strangely very much mixed with fear that nothing would happen or that I wouldn't see anything.  After a few minutes I found my self in unison with the crowd as we gasped in delighted awe in seeing a sort of wave of blue light, as Patriarch Dorotheos describes, as it moved now one way now another over the outside of the Sepulchre as if the stones were invisibly a fire, like the coloured flames one sometimes sees in the hearth but so much larger travelling randomly over the tomb and rising until it all disappeared. And then again several times more our collective ooohs broke the mounting excitement until the patriarch came out and a great shout went up as he began transferring the light from his candle and it was passed from one to another.  I didn't see any candles spontaneously lit around me, but I don't know what was happening among the mass of people in the Church of the Resurrection packed through the circular corridor or among the huge crowd still outside and I was too focused on what I was seeing to notice much else anyway. There's nothing in modern technology that could create what we saw, let alone through all the past centuries this has been happening.

Christ is in our midst!

Myrrh
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2007, 08:00:11 AM »

I note that the method of the critics would be dangerous as to the possibility of igniting early. Given the search by the authorities, and the vigilance of the Armenian Patriarch (in whose interest it would be if he could catch the Greek with a mechanism) the evidence points to something other than a method that would have been caught by now. Which means, it isn't explainable. After all, it is given to the faithful - it occurs within a gathering of the Church, and not outside.
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2007, 10:07:32 AM »

Quote
and the vigilance of the Armenian Patriarch (in whose interest it would be if he could catch the Greek with a mechanism)

I don't find any legitimate reason that would inspire the conclusion that it would be in the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch's interest to catch the Greek Orthodox Patriarch with a mechanism. Reasons challenging such a conclusion would be: 1) If the miracle turned out to be a hoax, then this would indicate poor discernment and spiritual delusion on behalf of the Armenian Orthodox in Jerusalem who have been attending the event yearly--attending for the purpose of witnessing a miracle, not to catch the Greeks doing some shifty, and 2) needless to say, the Armenian Orthodox do not ridiculously interpret the miracle as suggesting the "validity" of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch over and above the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch--if such was the case, then they, and the Patriarch, would not support the event--either that, or they simply wouldn't be Armenian Orthodox.

I have seen many caught up in EO-OO debate who have attempted to refer to 1579 incident as some sort of divine stamp of approval of the EO side, which is needless to say, quite an inane polemical tactic that could only stem from a sense of insecurity and/or desparation. Assuming the alleged miracle to be legitimate (which is not to say that I necessarily don't believe it to be so--but my personal opinion is not important for the purpose of the point i'm trying to make), one could interpret it a number of other ways.

The relevant facts to consider are that a) the Armenian Patriarch at the time used bribery to selfishly take a position the Greek Patriarch has had by custom, and b) that he in fact excluded the Greeks altogether, in turn hurting them and leaving them feeling sorrowful, betrayed, and deprived of a blessing they felt they had a right to. In light of those facts, I think it would be more prudent, and more in accordance with a proper appreciation of who God is, that we incline ourselves to concluding that if the incident were an expression of some sort of message from above, that such a message was one motivated by pity and compassion for sorrowful hearts on the one hand, and disappointment with uncharitable deeds displayed towards fellow Christian brothers and sisters on the other, rather than concern for some Christological dispute and division that took place over 1500 years ago involving figures who have long been departed. I could even reiterate this point in my own polemical way if I wanted to; I could indicate that it was the Lord's way of saying to the Armenian Patriarch, "you may be the Orthodox Patriarch, but that does not give you the right to be uncharitable"--but the only point I make by suggesting this is to show the variety of ways rhetoric can be used to abuse a proper interpretation of something to promote one's own agenda.
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2007, 10:51:04 AM »

Myrrh, 
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us!  God bless you,   Juliana Smiley 
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2007, 10:54:02 AM »

Without getting into the whole Orthodox vs. Anti-Chalcedonian haggling over the significance of the Holy Fire, I have noticed that Roman Catholics are especially adverse to this yearly miracle.  They read a lot more significance into it than even I would be inclined to conceed.  I mean, it would like me freaking out because the blood of St.Januarius* still liquifies even though his relics are now in the possession of "schismatic & heretical Latins."

(St.Janaurius was an Orthodox Bishop martyred during the Diocletian persecution in about 305 A.D.  The first time the miracle associated with his blood is said to have occurred was only a few years later, in 313 A.D., after his relics were moved to Naples where they still remain to this day.)
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2007, 04:18:31 PM »

Without getting into the whole Orthodox vs. Anti-Chalcedonian haggling over the significance of the Holy Fire

I was never under the impression that there was a Pro-Chalcedonian vs. Orthodox haggling over the significance of the Holy Fire? As far as I'm aware the Orthodox have always regarded it a significant event.
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2007, 04:39:20 PM »

Has anyone heard about the accusation that the candles that are spontaneously lit are dipped in white phosphorus beforehand (which would make them light spontaneously after about 20 min.)?  Supposedly a Greek TV reporter made this accusation.
The "autoignition" of the Holy Fire is not the only miracle which occurs. Many of the observers candles and many of the oil lamps in the Church also self ignite. Another issue is the fact that the Holy Fire is not hot for the first 30 minutes or so of the miracle- for example, it doesn't burn you if you keep your hand in it for the first half hour. From what I understand, a team of Russian scientists is going to study this phenomenon next Pascha: http://www.russia-ic.com/news/show/2580/
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2007, 10:19:09 AM »

Spontaneous ignition of white phosphorus is difficult to control, and results in a very strong garlic smell.  I doubt they could hide this artifact.

In ignition it is very dangerous, burning through flesh, and can be fatal in smoke form as well.

Furthermore, it's not widely available, and wasn't known until the early 19th century as far as I can tell from a quick review - so what about all those centuries before that?

So..... I don't buy the theory.

George
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2009, 05:54:06 PM »

Spontaneous ignition of white phosphorus is difficult to control, and results in a very strong garlic smell.  I doubt they could hide this artifact.

In ignition it is very dangerous, burning through flesh, and can be fatal in smoke form as well.

Furthermore, it's not widely available, and wasn't known until the early 19th century as far as I can tell from a quick review - so what about all those centuries before that?

So..... I don't buy the theory.

George

Furthermore, they are prepared hours before and not touch, no?  If so, then 20 minutes is not plausible given that the church is packed and no one could fiddle with them for the 20 minutes needed. 
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2009, 07:25:01 PM »

As I understand it, lamps lit by the Holy Fire  are transported back to such places as Russia and Greece and are used to light lamps and candles across those nations. This cant be done in the USA because US regs wont allow an open flame aboard US bound planes.

That is a real shame and I wonder if something can be done about it. Perhaps a private jet could be used and we could agitate for an exception to the rule.  Are there any Orthodox US Senitors left since Sarbanes retired?
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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2009, 07:33:58 PM »

As I understand it, lamps lit by the Holy Fire  are transported back to such places as Russia and Greece and are used to light lamps and candles across those nations. This cant be done in the USA because US regs wont allow an open flame aboard US bound planes.

That is a real shame and I wonder if something can be done about it. Perhaps a private jet could be used and we could agitate for an exception to the rule.  Are there any Orthodox US Senitors left since Sarbanes retired?

St. Nektarios' Monastery in Roscoe, NY gets the Holy Fire each year.  How, I don't know, but perhaps SakranMM, who blogged about visiting that monastery just last week, might know.

I also believe that the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in WV has a lamp light with the Holy Fire, as well.

One can easily fly into Canada or Mexico and drive the flame into the US.  Boats can also be used, I guess.
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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2009, 08:13:41 PM »

As I understand it, lamps lit by the Holy Fire  are transported back to such places as Russia and Greece and are used to light lamps and candles across those nations. This cant be done in the USA because US regs wont allow an open flame aboard US bound planes.

That is a real shame and I wonder if something can be done about it. Perhaps a private jet could be used and we could agitate for an exception to the rule.  Are there any Orthodox US Senitors left since Sarbanes retired?

St. Nektarios' Monastery in Roscoe, NY gets the Holy Fire each year.  How, I don't know, but perhaps SakranMM, who blogged about visiting that monastery just last week, might know.

I also believe that the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in WV has a lamp light with the Holy Fire, as well.

One can easily fly into Canada or Mexico and drive the flame into the US.  Boats can also be used, I guess.

Lets skip Mexico for a while.. Smiley

okay...................everyone panic
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« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2009, 08:38:03 PM »

As I understand it, lamps lit by the Holy Fire  are transported back to such places as Russia and Greece and are used to light lamps and candles across those nations. This cant be done in the USA because US regs wont allow an open flame aboard US bound planes.

That is a real shame and I wonder if something can be done about it. Perhaps a private jet could be used and we could agitate for an exception to the rule.  Are there any Orthodox US Senitors left since Sarbanes retired?

St. Nektarios' Monastery in Roscoe, NY gets the Holy Fire each year.  How, I don't know, but perhaps SakranMM, who blogged about visiting that monastery just last week, might know.

I also believe that the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in WV has a lamp light with the Holy Fire, as well.

One can easily fly into Canada or Mexico and drive the flame into the US.  Boats can also be used, I guess.

I don't remember exactly, but I think Canada was the way to go...
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« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2010, 11:24:00 PM »

Here's an article discussing the Holy Fire, with an interview with the Patriarch, and mentioning people who testify that their candles light automatically:
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/holyfire.aspx


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« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2010, 12:05:21 AM »

Quote
The light from Jerusalem
Saturday, 10 April 2010, http://marieredergard.blogspot.com/

The fire also travels through the Wall to the Christian communities at the West Bank. I was at the reception in Beit Sahour. It was a great party, people had dressed up and were crowding the streets, scouts were marching and playing drums and bagpipes. The sound of at least 40 bagpipes playing in unison is pretty intense!



After speeches, music and marching, at last the light came, the holy light of the resurrection -in a taxi! After it came the prime minister of the Palestinian authority, Salam Fayyad. People surrounded the two cars, out stepped the patriarch with the lantern, to the flashing of cameras and the smell of incense. Then we all started a procession through the streets of the Old City. On the balconies more people were watching, some throwing candy down at us. We arrived one of the many churches in Beit Sahour. There was a stage filled with scouts, and people could go into the church to light their own lanterns with the holy fire.

I am confused about something else:

Quote
On Palm Sunday there was a demonstration where 100 people managed to pass the checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem before they were stopped by police on the other side. This was part of an annual procession that used to go between the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem and the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem every Easter Sunday.

It says that there was an annual procession EVERY EASTER SUNDAY, but then it says that the procession where people got through the Wall was on PALM SUNDAY.

Is that a contradiction?

Or does it refer to the first sunday of Holy Week(Palm Sunday) as an "easter sunday", "every one" of which had a procession?


Thanks.
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