Emanates within Jesus Christ’s tomb (usually rising from the marble slab covering the stone bed believed to be that upon which Jesus’ body was placed for burial) now in the Holy Sepulchre, which eventually forms a column containing a form of fire, from which candles are lit, which are then used to light the candles of the clergy and pilgrims in attendance.
The fire is also said to spontaneously light other lamps and candles around the church. Pilgrims and clergy claim that the Holy Fire does not burn them.
While the patriarch is inside the chapel kneeling in front of the stone, there is darkness but far from silence outside. One hears a rather loud mumbling, and the atmosphere is very tense. When the Patriarch comes out with the two candles lit and shining brightly in the darkness, a roar of jubilee resounds in the Church.
The Russian , who was present at the ceremony in 1106 AD, says that traditional beliefs “that the Holy Ghost descends upon the Holy Sepulchre in the form of a dove” and “that it is lightning from heaven which kindles the lamps above the Sepulchre of the Lord” are untrue, “but the Divine grace comes down unseen from heaven, and lights the lamps of the Sepulchre of our Lord.”
Thousands of pilgrims gather in Jerusalem to partake and witness this annual miracle.
- The historian,, writes in his Vita Constantini which dates from around 328 about an interesting occurrence inJof Easter in the year 162. When the churchwardens were about to fill the lamps to make them ready to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, they suddenly noticed that there was no more oil left to pour in the lamps. Upon this ordered the candles to be filled with water. He then told the wardens to ignite them. In front of the eyes of all present every single lamp burned as if filled with pure oil.
- Christian Orthodox Tradition holds that this miracle, which predates the construction of the Holy Sepulchre in the fourth Century, is related to the Miracle of the Holy Fire. They admit that the two differ, as the former was a one-time occurrence while the Miracle of the Holy Fire occurs every year. However, they have in common premise that God has produced fire where there logically speaking should have been none.
- Around a noble woman from, traveled to. In the account of her journey, she speaks of a ceremony by the Holy Sepulchre of Christ, where a light comes forth (ejicitur) from the small chapel enclosing the tomb, by which the entire church is filled with an infinite light (lumen infinitum).