The miraculous nature of the Holy Fire is highly doubtful, as there are myriad reasons to be skeptical of the Holy Fire:
The Franscican friars who look after many holy places have always regarded the Holy Fire as fraudulent.
Pope Gregory IX denounced the Holy Fire as a fraud.
Fire-bathing of the hair, face, hands, etc. is reproducible.
The photographs are reproducible and are the result of fast camera movement and other mundane phenomena.
Even though the Patriarch is searched for fire-starting devices, those who accompany him can still sneak matches, etc.
White phosphorus and several other chemicals can spontaneously ignite after a while.
The Holy Fire was not originally a flame but simply a Holy Light, and the legend has changed in other major ways over the centuries.
The Holy Fire was denounced as a fraud by Adamantios Korais.
The Holy Fire was denounced as a fraud by Bishop Porphyrius Uspensky.
The Eastern Orthodox dating of Easter is incorrect. God only works miracles in support of true doctrine for people of good faith, but the dating of Easter in Eastern Orthodoxy is false doctrine. See forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=232114.
A bunch of knowledgeable Muslim writers exposed in detail the method by which the Holy Fire is triggered.
Videos betray that the fire is actually hot from the beginning.
I’m sorry, but 10 through 12 just sound ridiculous to me. The way the Byzantine Orthodox date Easter has nothing to do with the validity of a miracle, considering some Eastern Churchs in union with Rome use the same dating. Does that make them less than Churches?
Yes it is a miracle, the Flame ignites spontaneously. The miracle only occurs for Orthodox on Orthodox Pascha. This is from the website HolyFire.org.
"Once the Armenians (monophysites - ed.) paid the Turks, who then occupied the Holy Land, in order to obtain permission for their Patriarch to enter the Holy Sepulchre, the Orthodox Patriarch was standing sorrowfully with his flock at the exit of the church, near the left column, when the Holy Light split this column vertically and flashed near the Orthodox Patriarch.
A Muslim Muezzin, called Tounom, who saw the miraculous event from an adjacent mosque, immediately abandoned the Muslim religion and became an Orthodox Christian. This event took place in 1579 under Sultan Mourad IV, when the Patriarch of Jerusalem was Sophrony IV
Here is a photo of the column that split in 1579, still there today.
The Fire not only spontaneously lights the Patriarchs torch it also lights the torches of people throughout the church.
Pope Urban II said in a speech before crusaders in the city of Clermont in 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.
I’ve read Muslim accounts who are fascinated by the event.
Once the Armenians (monophysites - ed.) paid the Turks, who then occupied the Holy Land, in order to obtain permission for their Patriarch to enter the Holy Sepulchre, the Orthodox Patriarch was standing sorrowfully with his flock at the exit of the church, near the left column, when the Holy Light split this column vertically and flashed near the Orthodox Patriarch.
When I was in Jerusalem an ARMENIAN read the ARMENIAN inscription next to the crack (something to the effect of a plea for unity), and this Armenian, connected to the Armenian Miaphysite Patriarchate there, admitted the Greek Orthodox account of this event.
If a miracle can lead someone to a deeper devotion of Jesus, I don’t question it right away. There has to be room for the supernatural in a church that is supernatural. I would never, ever say outright that it cant be true. But, if I felt it did not help me to be closer to christ I would simply not pay attention to it, and let those who do get something from it peace.
Even if a miracle is found out to be a fraud, then those who believed would be innocents trusting their clergy. They won’t have to answer to that on judgment day, the clergy would.