The Miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem
The Miracle of the Holy Fire is an ancient and celebrated Christian tradition that happens each year on Holy Saturday in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. According to tradition, a miraculous fire spontaneously appears in the tomb of Jesus Christ, located inside the church, and is then used to light candles and lamps held by the faithful. I shot the street photography below of the Holy Fire miracle during a trip to Jerusalem in 2013.
Holy Fire Origins
The exact origins of the Holy Fire are unknown, but the tradition dates back to the 9th century AD. According to legend, the miracle first occurred during the time of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine the Great, who ordered the construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the 4th century AD.
Each year, pilgrims gather in the church to witness the Holy Fire. The ceremony begins with the entrance of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, who enters the tomb of Christ and prays for several minutes. Then, a flame suddenly appears inside the tomb. The Patriarch uses it to light a bundle of candles, which the faithful receive.
The festivity is a powerful symbol of the resurrection of Christ and the triumph of light over darkness. For many Christians, it is a spiritual experience that reaffirms their faith and strengthens their connection to the Holy Land.
Moreover, the Miracle of the Holy Fire is a unique and powerful expression of Christian faith and devotion. It continues to be celebrated yearly in The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
Is the Holy Fire Miracle a Hoax?
However, the miracle has also been the subject of controversy and scepticism. Some critics argue that the Holy Fire is a hoax or a staged event and that someone lights the flame with matches or other artificial means. Others point to the fact that science has not investigated the miraculous fire. And that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has a history of sectarian conflict and disputes over control of the site.
Despite these criticisms, many worshippers celebrate the Miracle of the Holy Fire yearly. The event draws pilgrims and tourists from around the world. For many, it remains a powerful and inspiring symbol of the enduring power of faith. And the mystery of divine intervention.
Below are more street pictures I took in Jerusalem during the Holy Fire ceremony.
Canon EOS 5D camera with a 24-105mm lens.
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