Miracle of Holy Fire site mapEarly testimonies about miracle of Holy Fire
The first testimony:
  • 34 (?) A.D. Apostle Peter according to s. Fathers see Holy Light See S. Georg Nissky (+394). The second word about Resurrection. Ioann Damaskin. Oktoih. The first Resurrection sedalih. Voice eight.


  • S. Georg Nissky (+394). In the second word about Resurrection write about apostle Peter (I c.) see Holy Light. The second word about Resurrection. IV c.
  • In proceedings of church historian Evsevi (IV c.) is described, as in the presence of patriarchy Narcice (II c.) there was not enought oil in icon-lamp. Man filled it with water from Siloam spring. Oil-lamp was lighted with holy fire and was on fire during all the Easter service. See Evsevi Pamfil. Church history. Book 6. Chapter 9. 1-3.
  • Feodosi the Great (+395), who visited secretly, according to tradition, Jerusalem, enter the Church of Holy Sepulchre and then all icon-lamp put on fire. "This miracle amazed patriarchy, but ab Angel revealed him that this prayer was not a simple man but holy king Feodosi". Bishop Porfiri (Uspensky). The book of mine beign, P. 3. S-Pb., 1896, p. 299-300. (in Russian)
  • Silvia of Aquitania, 385. Writing "Pilgrimage of Silvia" - opened for reading in the Library of Rossano Abbay (Calabria, Italy). Later edition in english: The pilgrimage of S. Silvia of Aquitania to the holy places (circa 385 AD), Palestine pilgrims text society, London, 1891.
  • Reverend Ioann Damaskin (780) in his church canticle, quite often mentions about the Light, miraculous fulgent on Holy Sepulchre. For example: "Peter be at the Sepulchre and see light in it and was horrified" See. Oktoih. The first Resurrection sedalih, Voice 8 .
  • Arab muslim Al-Djahis (+869) in his writing "The book of animals" place critical mention about Holy Fire. Krachkovsky I. "Holy Fire" according narration of al-Biruni and other muslim writers of X-XIII cc. - Christian East. V.3. Edition 3. 1915, p.231. (in Russian)
  • Latin monac Barnard, (865) write: "t is unnecessary to write a great deal about this sepulchre because Bede says quite enough about it in his history [of the English Church]. But it is worth saying what happens on Holy Saturday, the Vigil of Easter. In the morning the office begins in this Church. Then, when it is over they go in singing Kyrie eleison till an angel comes and kindles light in the lamps which hang above the sephulcre. The patriarch passes some of this light to the bishops and the rest of the people, and each one has light where he is standing. " Mabilon. Acta Sancta. T. III. P. II. p. 473. Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Codex Jerusalem Patriarchate Hagios Stauros 43 [HS 43]. (IX c.)
  • Well known Arabian jurist Ahmed ibn al-Kassa (died in 936) "Signs of Quibla" wrote: "People go out of place of sepulcher to a rock on the Great Saturday, galleries are round it. Staying there they watch at the place of sepulcher, pray and kneel before the God the most High from early prayer till the sunset. Emir and imam of a mosque greet. The governor close a door to the sepulcher and sit down nearby. They all have staying in this manner till the light, which is like white fire, appears out of the sepulcher. Than the governor opens the door and goes in. He holds a candle, put out from this fire, in his hand... He gives it to the imam, who carries the candle and puts out oil-lamps in a mosque The repot is written to the ruler about it, informing that fire appeared in so time and so day. If it appeared till the morning prayer it is considered as a sign that a year will be not fruitful, but not droughty too; if it appears at noon, it indicates that the year will be fruitless. Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 231-232.
  • Abu l-'Abbas Ahmad (died in 947 - ed.) - like a contemporary tenth-century Greek polemicist - recounts that Jerusalem's Muslim governor shuts the Tomb's door before the fire's appearance and, when the fire's white light becomes viable within the Tomb, he unlocks its door enters the Tomb and kindles a candle from the fire. Cited: Zsolt (EDT) Hunyadi, Jozsef (EDT) Laszlovszky, The Crusades and the Military Orders: Expanding the Frontiers of Medieval Latin Christianity - History - 2002 - 606 p. P. 90.
  • Well known Arabian jurist Ahmed ibn al-Kassa (died in 936) "Signs of Quibla" wrote: "People go out of place of sepulcher to a rock on the Great Saturday, galleries are round it. Staying there they watch at the place of sepulcher, pray and kneel before the God the most High from early prayer till the sunset. Emir and imam of a mosque greet. The governor close a door to the sepulcher and sit down nearby. They all have staying in this manner till the light, which is like white fire, appears out of the sepulcher. Than the governor opens the door and goes in. He holds a candle, put out from this fire, in his hand He gives it to the imam, who carries the candle and puts out oil-lamps in a mosque The repot is written to the ruler about it, informing that fire appeared in so time and so day. If it appeared till the morning prayer it is considered as a sign that a year will be not fruitful, but not droughty too; if it appears at noon, it indicates that the year will be fruitless. Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 231-232.
  • Metropolitan of Cesaria Cappadocian Arefa in his message to the emir of Damascus (beginning of X c.) writes: Every year until now on the day of His holy Resurrection His holy and precious tomb works miracles.... [All lights in Jerusalem having been extinguished, and] ...with the door [of the Holy Sepulchre] being sealed ...and the Christians standing outside it in the nave of the Anastasis [the rotunda Church that housed the edicule] crying Kyrie eleison, there being a sudden flash the lamp alights, and again all the inhabitants [of] Jersualem take from this light and light [their] flame. Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Arabian historian Masudi (+ 957), dated Holy Fire. Krachkovsky I. Y. "Holy Fire" according narration of al-Biruni and other muslim writers of X-XIII c. - Christian East. V. 3. Ed. 3. 1915, p. 223-224. (in Russian)
  • A cleric of the imperial court of Constantine VII Porphyrigenitu[o]s Niketas, 947. ...Sent a letter to the emperor recounting the attempt of an enraged amir to put an end to the rite of the Holy Fire... "[The amir] ...demanded of the Patriarch, under the threat of prohibiting the popular feast of the Resurrection of Christ, a payment of 7,000 gold pieces. This payment would not have been made except for an immediate disbursement by the secretaries of 2,000 gold pieces with a guarantee of the remaining 5,000. While the patriarch was being held in custody in the Pretorium, the God of miracles filled two of the lamps of the triple lamp suspended at the place where they said the body of Christ was taken down from the cross to be washed. When the news of the wonder came to the Pretorium, Christians and Muslims ran pell-mell to the church. But the Muslims came filled with bloody thoughts and murderous designs, armed and ready to slay every Christian carrying a lighted lamp. The Patriarch arrived, followed by the clergy, and having determined that the illumination of the sacred fire had not yet taken place, with the help of the Muslims had the Holy Sepulcher closed and began to pray with the Christians. Toward the sixth hour, fixing his gaze on the Holy Sepulcher, he saw the supernatural appearance of the light. He entered the Holy Sepulcher whose entrance was shown to him by an angel. At the moment when he took a taper to give of the divine fire to all of those in the church who had torches, scarcely had he come out of the tomb, when he saw the church suddenly filled with a divine light. The faithful were standing on the right and the left, some near the door, some by Calvary, others near the cruciform chain suspended from the ceiling and all around which they had hung their lamps, the chain, that is, which passes for representing the center of the world and which is there as a sign, so that all men might be astonished at the apparition of the divine fire. The Muslims themselves were filled with astonishment since up to that point the apparition of the light annually occurred only at one of the lamps inside the Holy Sepulcher, while on this day the entire church was filled with light. The amir, who was looking on from above on one of the tribunes, was witness to an even greater miracle. The largest of the lamps suspended in front of him let escape the oil and water which it contained and was suddenly filled with a divine fire even though it had no wick at all." Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Muslim Al-Farag ibn Salih from Baghdad, about X c. is cited by al-Biruni
  • Muslim historian al-Biruni, 1000The Christians have extinguished their lamps and torches already prior to this and wait, until they see a pure white fire, which causes a lamp to ignite. From this fire, the lamps in the mosques and in the churches are lit. Then a report is written to the Caliph about the time, at which the fire descended. If it occurred soon after the noon hour, a fertile year is expected, but if it is delayed until the evening or later, then an infertile one is expected. The same source also tells that a governor brought a copper wire instead of a wick, in order that it won't ignite and the whole thing would fail to occur. But as the fire descended, the copper burned. The descent of this fire from above on a day, which recurs after a specified time span, gives us occasion to be astounded..Krachkovsky I. Y. "Holy Fire" according narration of al-Biruni and other muslim writers of X-XIII c. - Christian East. V. 3. Ed. 3. 1915 (in Russian). Chronology of the Muslim scholar Al-Biruni (973 - 1048). Al Biruni / In the Garden of Science / Reklam - Leipzig 1991. English translation.
  • Rome church chronicler Baroni, (XI .) write that western Christians after concerning of Jerusalem saw the miracle, when on The Great Saturday near The Holy Sepulchre candles itself go to (editor translation) Baroni, (chronicles) page 1304 on back.
  • Ali al-Kherevi mention about "scene of Holy Fire, which man may see in Jerusalem Church" Krachkovskij I. JU. // Khristianskij Vostok. T.3. Vyp.3. Pg., 1915; Ch. Schefer, Description des lieux saints de la Galilée et de la Paléstine, Génes 1881, p. 21. Cp. de Goeje, op. cit. 55, . 4 , op. cit. () 961.
  • Fulcher (Fulk) of Chartres - chaplain of the first Jerusalem king Baldwin (XI-XII c.) write write about an accident when Holy Fire had not appear while Latin monks and clergy went away from the church of Holy Sepulcher. Avdulovsky F.M. Holy Fire Coming From Holy Sepulchre of Our God and Savior Jesus Christ on The Great Saturday in Jerusalem. Moscow, 1887, P. 37-41. (in Russian).
  • Fulcher (Fulk) of Chartres - chaplain of the first Jerusalem king Baldwin (1101) write about popular belief, that muslims in a case holy fire would had not appear threatened to eleminate all Christians of Palestin. Dmitrievsky A.A. The grace of Holy Fire on Holy Sepulchre on the Great Saturday. S.-Petersburg, 1908, p. 96 (in Russian).
  • Archimandrite Arsenius 1345. ..According to custom, ...the Patriarch celebrates a litia near the Holy Sepulchre at noon on Great Saturday for the sake of the Holy Fire. The Patriarch came and with him Metropolitan Germanos from Egypt and Bishop Mark of Damascus... and Abbot Stephen from St. Sabbas (Monastery) with all the clergy. They went around the Tomb of the Lord twice and after the third circling there appeared above the Holy Sepulchre a small cloud of smoke. Then they opened the Tomb (the Kuviklion) and the Patriarch went in with the Armenian bishop, for the cave was filled with holy Light and all the lamps which had been extinguished and prepared since Holy Friday were lit. The Patriarch lit candles from the Holy Fire and from the Patriarch the entire church and a mighty cry arose from the entire church at the appearance of the Light. After a short time the candles which everyone keeps as a blessing were put out. Then the Patriarch began the Liturgy of Great Saturday.. Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Unknown chronicler of Rome church (Text will be added later) Steven Runciman, "Eastern schism", Oxford, 1955.
  • Papa Urban II said in speech (writen) before crusader in city of Clermont 1095: "And yet in that place (I say only what you already know) rested the Lord; there He died for us; there He was buried. How precious would be the longed for, incomparable place of the Lord's burial, even if God failed there to perform the yearly miracle! For in the days of His Passion all the lights in the Sepulchre and round about in the church, which have been extinguished, are relighted by divine command. Whose heart is so stony, brethren, that it is not touched by so great a miracle?" Baldricus, in Gesta Dei per Francos. p. 87.
  • The 12th century Armenian historian Matthew of Edessa tells us that in 1102 the Holy Fire refused to descend after the Franks had seized the holy places from the local priests and kicked the Greeks out of their monasteries. The newcomers got the point and restored the properties; the fire appeared, a day late.
  • Abbot Daniil, who traveled in Holy Land in times of the prince Sviatopolk Iziaslavovich, when the king Balduin I reigned in Jerusalem, soon after crusades since 1093 till 1112.
  • Ibn-al'-Kalanisi (+1162) (was not a witness). Criticized the miracle Holy Fire as fraud. Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 231-232.
  • Theoderich, who wrote his account in 1172, says that sometimes the Holy Fire appeared about the first hour, sometimes about the third hour, the sixth, the ninth hour, or even so late as the time for Compline. Hvidt N.C. Miracles - Encounters Between Heaven And Earth, Gyldendal. Pp. 203-229.
  • Gautier Vinisauf, English chronicler, describe story which relates to the Holy Fire descend in 1187. In 1187, the Saracens under the direction of Sultan Salah ad-Din took Jerusalem. In that year, the Sultan desired to be present at the celebration, even though he was not a Christian. Gautier Vinisauf tells us what happened: "On his arrival, the celestial fire descended suddenly, and the assistants were deeply moved... the Saracens on ... said that the fire which they had seen to come down was produced by fraudulent means. Salah ad-Din, wishing to expose the imposture, caused the lamp, which the fire from heaven had lighted, to be extinguished, but the lamp relit immediately. He caused it to be extinguished a second time and a third time, but it relit as of itself. Thereupon, the Sultan confounded cried out in prophetic transport: 'Yes, soon shall I die, or I shall lose Jerusalem.'" Hvidt N.C. Miracles - Encounters Between Heaven And Earth, Gyldendal. Pp. 203-229.
  • al'-Djubari (+ 1242) (was not a witness). His book, devoted to explanation of different mysteries and focus, contains a chapter: "Ruse of monks when lighting fire in church of Resurrection". Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 235-238.
  • Ibn-al'-Djauzi (+ 1256) (was not a witness) surmised that a secret source of fire exists which is used to light candles and oil-lamps. Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 235-238.
  • Arabian geographer al-Kazvini (+ 1283) narrates critically about Holy Fire. Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 235-238.
  • Akhmed-ibn-al-Khariri, Ibn-al-'Arabi, Khadzhzhi-Khalif. Sources and details will be added later.
  • Jakut (+ 1299). Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 235-238.
  • Ierodeacon Zosima, monac of Segieva Lavra, who have traveled in Jerusalem in 1420
  • Paul Walther 1481. In 148l, it was the custom to have the doors of the Church of the Resurrection opened by Muslims, and three priests or bishops entered the Sepulchre of Christ. One was from the Greeks, the other from the Armenians and the third one from the Ethiopians, and they were shut up in the Sepulchre for the time during which one could recite the Placebo, approximately fifteen to twenty minutes. The next thing, which Walther noticed, was an Armenian bishop coming out of the Holy Sepulchre with a burning light, and after all lights were lit, the 'nations' made their procession three times around the Holy Sepulchre.Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Trifon Korobeinikov, Moscow merchant with companions traveled according to the special decree of the Great prince Ioann Vasilievich in 1583. See Traveling of Trifon Korabeinikov 1593-1594. - Orthodox Palestinian collection, ed. 27, St.-Petersburg, 1888. (in Russian)
  • Vasili Jakovlevich Gagara. See: Life and traveling in Jerusalem and Egypt of Kazanian Vasili Jakovlevich Gagara (1634-1637). - Orthodox Palestinian collection, ed. 33, St.-Petersburg, 1891. (in Russian)
  • Henry Maundrell, English chaplain (1696). Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Patriarchy Nektari confirms that when he had been in Jerusalem, Holy Fire was taken from Holy Sepulchre by Patriarchy Paisi. Arsenia Suhanova. Prosclinitary (17 part). (in Russian)
  • Celibate priest Ippolit Vishensky. See: Traveling of celibate priest Ippolit Vishensky in Jerusalem, Sinai and Afon. (1707-1709). - Orthodox Palestinian collection, ed. 61, St.-Petersburg, 1914. (in Russian)
  • Lukjanov Ioann, Moscow priest traveling during Peter I reign from 1710 till 1711. Avdulovsky F.M. Holy Fire Coming From Holy Sepulchre of Our God and Savior Jesus Christ on The Great Saturday in Jerusalem. Moscow, 1887, P. 37-41. (in Russian)
  • Barsky V.G. (Plaki-Albov). Antiohian monk - pedestrian pilgrim from 1724 till 1727 Avdulovsky F.M. Holy Fire coming from Holy Sepulchre of our God and Savior Jesus Christ on the Great Saturday in Jerusalem. Moscow, 1887. P. 35-37. (in Russian)
  • Constantine Volnez (1784). French skeptik mentioned about miracle of Holy Fire and comparative beleives. Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Celibate priest Melety, monk of Sarovskaya hermitage, who had traveled from 1793 till 1794 (in Russian)
  • Metropolitan Dionisi narrates about pecular appearance of Holy Fire in 1799Avdulovsky F.M. Holy Fire coming from Holy Sepulchre of our God and Savior Jesus Christ on the Great Saturday in Jerusalem. Moscow, 1887. (in Russian)


  • Miracle of Holy Fire site mapEarly testimonies about miracle of Holy Fire