Holy Light of Jerusalem

I would just say something like “thoughts?” on this, but that would seem a bit abrupt.

The Holy Light of Jerusalem is the most prominently cited miracle in favour of the Eastern Orthodox, and of course is a challenge to Catholicism (and to any other religious perspective). Now, for the most part, every discussion of it I can find in English is either a lightly-researched and repetitive popular news article, an enthusiastic and poorly-translated site in favour, or a brief mention among atheists leading to the citation of some random Russian’s experiments.

Now, I have found this fairly comprehensive web post by an atheist Greek, which by virtue of his nationality addresses some rather interesting and otherwise absent points about the miracle claim (although these are often misemphasized, and the author subscribes to some rather pitiful New Atheist arguments).


So, thoughts? Especially from Eastern Orthodox who may correct his errors, but also from Catholics on their understanding of the claimed miracle.

I’ve always been interested in reading more about this.

All it proves is that Church infallibility does not extend to the calendar.

The Gregorian reform of the calendar in 1582 is a matter neither of faith nor morals.


I have always had an interest in this miracle claim. But like you, I could not find any concrete information about it because it’s so secretive. I’ve always thought it’s either a great miracle or a great horror. Either the Orthodox clergy have been blatantly deceiving their followers for centuries, or it’s actually happening; there is no middle ground.

I’m about to read the article you posted.

The unofficial Catholic position is mixed.

Some say it is a miracle.

Some say it is a fraud.

Some say nothing.

The official Catholic position is that the event is outside the Church’s jurisdiction and no one has asked in any official capacity to investigate it.

I put no thought into such things. I have my faith in God and He alone assures me. Pray as we here will pray for you and your journey!

The Catholic Church teaches that miracles can and have occurred outside the Church.

Not sure how (if the Jerusalem Light is a miracle) it would be a ‘challenge’ to the Catholic Church. Catholics view ALL genuine miracles as the sole province of God. The Catholic Church and the Saints serve to magnify Gods glory.

Catholics claiming ‘Miracles’ are subjected to scientific scrutiny and testing by secular and religious professionals. Psychologists, MD’s, psychiatrists, spiritual advisors, technicians, medical specialists etc investigate over a lengthy period of time, in some cases decades.

Is there a similar process for Orthodox? Particularly for your claim above. I would be interested in reading reports from a thorough scientific investigation into the Holy Light of Jerusalem.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a fraud. I have been there in Jerusalem and witnessed it. However, it doesn’t move me to think about converting to Orthodoxy.

**Remember Catholics/Orthodox were ONE when this phenomena started.

Yes, I agree. Good post. I find it fascinating…I would like know of any “investigations” as well.
IT very well could be a miracle. What I find more suspicious, is the notion that leadership in the Orthodox church would intentionally deceive generations of people. Why would they do that? And if they did, would not someone blow the whistle before now?
It all is very mysterious…although I suppose it’s meant to be.

This ^. It’s hard for me to think that a Patriarch of Jerusalem wouldn’t have come out by now and said it was a complete fabrication. However, if they’ve been deceiving folks for generations, maybe they’re in too deep…

The Patriarch hasn’t said anything one way or the other. Nor have the local people who’ve been there praying for centuries. It seems to be the deception/miracle/magic aspect is more a western perspective on the happenings more than what is really occurring.

My only exposure to this miracle by a friend who, even though he is kind of a miracle nut, seemed to think that it may be fraud occurring.

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