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Holy Land of Jerusalem and the Holy Light during Orthodox Easter

Church of Holy Sepulcher

By Antonia Patsidou /

The “Holy Light” from the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Jerusalem will be transferred to Athens on Bright Saturday (Orthodox Easter) with a government executive flight via Tel Aviv.

The aircraft will arrive at Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport at 18.30 and will be received with heads of state honors.

“The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem makes the historical existence of the oldest Christian church in Jerusalem, which was established there soon after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the year 33 AD, and for that reason it is called “Mother Churches of bass”. The first foundations of the church of Jerusalem are the Apostles who set consistently to accept the first persecutions of Christians and Jews. The first Martyr was Stephen who was stoned by his compatriots and Apostle James who was a victim of Jewish persecution against Christians. In “new ‘Church was the first meeting, known as the Meeting of the Apostles separated from Judaism to Christianity and of course the relations of Mosaic Law by the Gospel. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem divides the checkered history in three periods: Period A: From the establishment until the conquest of Jerusalem by the Arabs (33 – 638) Period B: From the Arab conquest by the Turkish (638 to 1517) and Period C: from the Turkish conquest to date. (1517 – present)”.


Jerusalem is the largest city of Israel. It is an ancient city, which is Jewish, Christian and Islamic center of religious and historical significance. Probably this is the ancient city of Salim, whose king was the Melchizedek. The city later was called Ievous.
After the separation of the nation of Israel, Jerusalem became the capital and holy city of Jews and the southern kingdom of Judah. In this city King Solomon built his magnificent Jewish temple which was destroyed a few centuries later by the Babylonians. Now survives only part of the wall from the period of the Second Temple, the famous “Wailing Wall” or rather “Western Wall”.
The old city of Jerusalem is a world heritage monument, surrounded by a fortified wall and divided into four quarters: the Armenian, the Christian, Muslim and Jewish.
Because of the above the Holy Land is a major tourist attraction. Sights include the Castle (24 BC), the Cathedral of St James of the 12th century, the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif), the Al-Aqsa mosque (705-715), the Dome (or Dome ) of the Rock, the Western Wall, the Antonia Fortress, Temple of the Holy Sepulcher, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Tomb of the Kings and the Mount of Olives.

Patriarchate of Jerusalem

The Jerusalem Patriarchate is the guardian of the Orthodox Church in the East and has received undiminished international interest from the time it was found until today. The whole story is driven by the continued struggles of “Agiotafitikis” (Holy tomb) Brotherhood to preserve and save the sacred shrines. The struggle reflects the heroic efforts of the guards-monks for the preservation of Greek identity and tradition of the Orthodox Patriarchate. This is because of the sacred shrines of the Holy Sepulcher. There was endless scope for conflict between Orthodox Christians and occasionally conquerors but also among Christians of other Bonds.

Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos C.

Theophilos III (born Elias Giannopoulos) is the patriarch of Jerusalem from August 22, 2005. Born in 1952 in Gargalianoi Messinia. At the age of 12 he went to Jerusalem and joined the Holy Sepulcher Brotherhood. He studied theology at the University of Athens, and holds a postgraduate degree from Durham University in England. He speaks Greek, English and Arabic. He became archdeacon of Patriarch Benedict A, and then he served as a priest in Cana of Galilee from 1991 to 1996. There, his flock was mostly Arab. He founded the association “Light of Christ» (Nour al Masih), for spreading the faith in the region. In 1996 he became the Exarch of the Holy Sepulcher in Qatar. In February 2005 he was elected Archbishop of Tabor. After the crisis that broke in the Patriarchate which resulted in the impeachment of Patriarch Irineos A, Theophilos was elected patriarch on August 22, 2005. He is the first Patriarch of Jerusalem who was elected unanimously.

Holy Land.

The term refers to the Holy Land area of Palestine and Israel. The Land has historical and religious value in Christianity in particular, but also in Judaism and in the Islamic Faith. The Land includes the places mentioned in the New Testament. Sights of Great Importance include the Holy Sepulcher and Golgotha in Jerusalem, the Cave and the manger at Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Mount of Olives where the Lord was taken, the Gethsemane where Theotokos slept, the Bethany where Lazarus was resurrected by the Nazareth, Tabor, Kana, the Jordan River and other towns and localities.

Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ in the year 33 AD

General Christendom called Resurrection, or Resurrection of Christ characterizes conviction for three days after the burial, resurrection – Corpus Christi. It is admitted in the sixth article of the Creed: “And resurrected Tuesday day at Scriptures, where the fact narrated at length by the four evangelists (Matthew, chapter 28, Marcus, chapter 16, Luke, chapter 24, and John. Cap. 20), as well as the Acts of the Apostles (3:36) “God lifted him from the dead” who claimed to validate what the Old Testament foretold that on the life of the Prophets.

The celebration of the Resurrection of Christ.

The Resurrection of Christ for the Orthodox Church is celebrated Easter Sunday (on the Jewish religion, which means exit and transferred to Christianity), and it is a movable feast, which occurs on the first full moon ( residue worship ancient lunar) after the first vernal equinox (the combination of ancient residue Solar worship).

The celebration is considered the largest and most important in Eastern Christianity . It is preceded by long and severe fasting. During the Holy Week or Passion Week, the Church performs funeral ceremonies to remember the humiliating tortures suffered by Christ before his death on the cross. * Please note that at that time crucifixion was considered an ignominious death, intended for the most despicable criminals.

Holy Light-Preparation of the Holy Sepulcher.

The term Holy Light refers to the light of the Orthodox Church, symbolizing the Resurrection. Also called Light of the Resurrection.

On Saturday morning before the ceremony of Holy Light begins there is fastidious control of the Holy Sepulcher. The audit is to ascertain that there is nothing that the Holy Sepulcher is carrying on, which could light a fire.

The Touch of the Holy Light.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem is the Holy Sepulcher of Christ. Christians from all denominations gather in Jerusalem to receive the Holy Light .

The most common explanation to “Holy Fire” includes the spontaneous combustion of candles, however, the faithful, have another explanation. The Holy Light is a complex phenomenon that occurs within the dome of the Church of the Resurrection and according to others even out of it . It appears as a horizontal white and blue lightning, rotating or moving in flames. No one knows its origin. Electricity or lights do not exist in the temple. Testimonies indicate that many candles of the faithful and lamps light up by themselves, and the flame does not burn the first few minutes. Some videos show priests and believers to bring the candle near their beards or touching their hands with the fire and not suffer or get burned.

Immediately after he brings it outside of the temple, Patriarch of Jerusalem passes the Holy Light to representatives of other churches and believers who attend the ceremony. Then the legate of the Holy Sepulcher of Athens receives the sacred or unfading light and transfers it to Athens with a special flight. The light it is received in Athens as “a head of state” and a ceremony takes place at the Athens airport upon its arrival. Then it is transferred to different churches in Greece.

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