Thousands Assemble for Holy Fire Miracle in Jerusalem

Culture | April 14, 2012, Saturday // 11:42|  views

File photo of the rite of the Holy Fire.

Crowds of many thousands have gathered at Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the yearly miraculous ignition of the Holy Fire.

The alleged miracle is key in Eastern Othodox and Armenian Apostolic Christian beliefs, and occurs each year on Holy Saturday, the Saturday before Easter.

The fire mysteriously ignites behind the altar of the Holy Sepulchre church, built at the site where Jesus Christ was buried and was resurrected on Easter.

At noon, a solemn ceremony presided by the Orthodox and Armenian patriarchs enter the church to bring out the Holy Fire.

Believers are allowed to touch it and venerate it. The fire is said not to burn people.

The Holy Fire is then transported via special flights to Christian Orthodox countries across the world, including Bulgaria, to be ignited in local churches for Easter.

The Holy Fire is probably the longest-attested miracle in the Western world, issuing first in 870 AD, and having been documented each year since 1106 AD.

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Tags: Jerusalem, Bulgaria, Easter, Holy Fire, Holy Saturday, Eastern Orthodox, Armenian, Christian, Orthodox, churches, Jesus Christ


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