Miracle of Holy Fire site mapBegining of the sectionGeorge (Urij) Rehin, Russia, Moscow, (1997)

The Holy Fire: 1997. Light Without Shade.

By God's Grace I was honored with the presence on appearance of Holy Fire on Holy Saturday of 1997. I had known about this yearly miracle granted to us by generous God. But I had never thought that I could see it on my own.

Moscow Patriarchy organized pilgrimage to the Holy Land and I traveled together with my friend (namesake) George (Urij in Russian - ed.). Earlier we bought wax candles packed 33 candles in a bunch (by the age of the Savior). We waited patiently for beginning of the pre-paschal rite and those unforgettable minutes for the sake of we had spent sleepless night in the church of Resurrection. The church changed, in those hours it resembled beehive. All were there - Catholics, Copts, Armenians... Every denomination possess it's own part of the church: stranger will be asked to go away. So, Russian pilgrims from our group were announced that the place for Russian is near the Calvary. We did not dispute: near the Calvary means with the Lord.

At this place of Christ crucifixion I was honored to receive the Holy Fire.

Near the Calvary is a way to altar of Catholicon, which is possessed by the Greek Orthodox Church. It is situated opposite Kuvuklia. About twelve o'clock my friend, as if he knew what would happen, came down in it. I went after him. We did not mistake: soon the Patriarch Diodor came in. He stayed two meters from me. Our looks crossed. The look of honorable and infirm (in term of body strength) elder astonished me with laid-back from everything transitory.

Clothes of venerable man were slowly taken off altar: men started to clothe him. He, weakened by illness, abruptly stood up. He stayed with difficulty. Patriarch was supported by some of clergy. He took two bunches of candles and slowly went to Kuvuklia

Gusto was increasing in the church. Drumbeats and shouts of Orthodox Arabs were heard in buzz. At firs, everything looks wild: how men may behave in this manner in the House of God? After, you understand - if they become silent, stones will shout.

At last Kuvuklia illuminated with a blue light. Photoflash? The light is peculiar, unlike to usual one, - it seizes all Kuvuklia sometimes. Shades absent! This light does not cast a shade. Flares are getting more often. They are of pale-blue color. The heart sinks: do I really see divine light, the light of God? Clapping of present men is louder: the flaming bunches, taken from Patriarch, have appeared. The messenger with the flame runs to altar where we stand. A moment later he run in a holy gates. Tenths of hands stretch to light their candles. Priests, monks, laymen. Nobody has facility. Everybody wants to receive the grace. I understand my infirmity and go aside. I see with pleasure: George lights its bunch the first; well, "the place of Russian is near the Calvary". I light my one's from the candles of the friend. I stay confused: as it is simple what God has done. Simply the miracle happened.

We go back in a hotel tired and happy, there we have temptations: we were evicted and our belongings were stacked in other room. George's money disappeared. And I regret that did not take a camera - leave it in our room and did not capture the Holy Fire receiving. Temptations come after the great grace. We get accustomed to it.

George (Jurij) Rehin, Moscow, 1997.

Cited: Gubanov Vladimir. The Holy Fire: Miracles on Holy Sepulcher. "Eleon" publishing house, Moscow, 1997, p. 273-275. In Russian (Gubanov Vladimir. Blagodatnyj Ogon': Chudesa na Grobe Gospodnem. Izd-vo "Eleon", M., 1997 g. S. 273-275.).

Note: Need to check translation - please help.

Miracle of Holy Fire site mapBegining of the sectionGeorge (Urij) Rehin, Russia, Moscow, (1997)