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Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem)

26 bytes added, 16:08, June 9, 2006
Added link for new Holy Fire article.
:"We may not be absolutely certain that the site of the Holy Sepulchre Church is the site of Jesus' burial, but we have no other site that can lay a claim nearly as weighty, and we really have no reason to reject the authenticity of the site." (1986)
==The yearly miracle of the [[Holy Fire|Holy Light]]==
Each year on Pascha, an awe-inspiring event takes place in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. At noon of the Holy Saturday, the [[Church of Jerusalem|Patriarch of Jerusalem]] with his escort - archpriests, priests and deacons and the Armenian Patriarch enter the Holy Sepulchre. After finishing prayers, a miraculous light appears--the [[Patriarch ]] of [[Jerusalem ]] lights two candles from it, then exits the sepulchre and lights the candles of the non-Chalcedonian patriarchs outside. Others' candles light spontaneously. For the first several minutes from the fire's appearance, it does not burn to the touch and many pilgrims immerse their faces and hands in the flame without being harmed.
Known as the Holy Light, or [[Holy Fire]], this miracle has been occuring in this same place since at least the fourth century, if not earlier. In 1579, when the Orthodox patriarch had been shut out of the sepulchre by the Turkish authorities and an non-Chalcedonian patriarch, the holy fire split open a column outside the church to reach the Orthodox patriarch and believers. The split column is still part of the church. Several other incidents (including two 11th century Roman Catholic priests who received God's punishment for attempting to obtain the Holy Fire for themselves) attest to the miracle's antiquity and authenticity. [ (eng)]
Another version (probably) of the above story reads as follows. After prince Ibrahim Pasha, Mohammed Ali Pasha's son, had conquered [[Jerusalem]] and Syria year 1832 A.D., he invited the [[Coptic]] [[Pope]] [[Peter VII (Mankarius) of Alexandria|Peter VII]] to visit Jerusalem and attend to the service of the appearance of the light on Bright Saturday from the Sepulchre of the Lord Christ in Jerusalem as the Greek Orthodox [[Patriarch]]s did every year. The Pope accepted the invitation, and when he arrived, he was received with honor and reverence and he entered Jerusalem with a great procession and a splendid celebration, in which the governor, the rulers and the heads of the different Christian denominations participated. He realized with his wisdom that if he minister alone in the Holy Sepulcher that would cause animosity between the Copts and the Greeks. The Pope asked the Pasha to relieve him from this service, but he asked him to participate with the Greek Patriarch on the condition that he will be their third, for he doubted the authenticity of the light. On Bright Saturday the church of the Holy Sepulchre was crowded with the worshipers, the Pasha ordered the people to evacuate the church to the spacious outer courtyard. When the time to start the service came the two Patriarchs and the Pasha entered the Holy Sepulcher to pray the customary prayers. In the specific time, the light burst out of the Sepulcher in a way that terrified the Pasha, who became in a daze and confusion, and the Pope attended to him until he recovered. The people outside in the courtyard were not deprived from the blessing of the light since one of the pillars of the western gate of the church split and the light appeared to them from the pillar. This incident increased the reverence and respect of the Pope before the Pasha. His holiness the Pope made many repairs and renovations in the church of Resurrection. [ Source: Coptic Orthodox Synaxarium]

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