Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Holy Fire is an annual ceremony sacred to Orthodox Christians

The "Miracle" of the Holy Light of Jerusalem, is a recurring 'miracle' happening each year with clock work precision, in the Holy Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, to the delight of a large congregation of Christians of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Many pilgrims travel to Jerusalem repeatedly for the occasion However, there have been voices in the past that raised serious doubts about these religious ceremonies. The famous Greek intellectual of the Age of Enlightment. Adamantios Korais (1748-1833)denounced the 'Holy Light' as a fraud and urged the Eastern Orthodox Church to discontinue the practice, arguing that "no true religion is in need of such false miracles".

In his treatise "On the Holy Light of Jerusalem", Korais was adamant against religious fraud and theurgy. He referred to the recurring 'miracle' as 'machinations of fraudulent priests' and to the unholy light of Jerusalem as... "a profiteers' miracle". With deep sorrow, the Greek sage contemplated in his writings, that "while Greeks are content to have the 'Holy Light', people in Europe of his time are living among people of objective knowledge, surrounded by Academies, and Lyceums, and schools of every kind of art and science. Europeans have open, splendid public libraries, and their print presses buzz with activity daily and without pause".
Taking heart from the courageous stance of the great intellectual, patriot and writer Korais, and enraged from the willful suppression of his treatise on the 'Holy Light' that remains an obscure work for most Greek readers to this day, we decided to look carefully into this miracle and the way with which it could be 'achieved'. How could the spontaneous appearance of fire be explained as a totally human act, when there appears to be no obvious human intervention? (more...)