Illuminated by Beneficial Flame
For centuries, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, before Easter, prayers of the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem miraculously ignite a bundle of candles in his hands. Both Roman Catholics and Armenians tried it, but in vain. Together with the Jerusalem, Greek and Russian church, as of this year the Serbian Church will that same day broadcast the Holy Fire of the Lord in its homeland and share it withpeople. ”And the rose flared up, and the field flared up, and the temple shone...”

By: Miloš Lazić
Photographs: Želјko Sinobad

It was believed that the Holy Saturday, between the Crucifixion on Good Friday and resurrection on Sunday, is a day without God. In order to reassure them, the Lord sent to the people the Holy Lightm or Holy Fire, exactly on Holy Saturday in Kuvuklija, in the Chapel of the Jesus’ Tomb, over which the Jerusalem Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built. And he has been sending this sign every year, for centuries, not allowing them to lose heart and give up the faith.
At the end of the 11th century, Pope Pascal II received unusual news that in the Chapel of Christ's Sepulchre ahead of each Easter, God speaks to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, sending him the Holy Flame. The Pope ordered his people that this mark should in the future be received by the priests of the Western church, convinced that in this way he would reinforce the supremacy of Rome in largely divided Christianity. On Holy Saturday in 1101, several cardinals and countless bishops gathered in the temple: they stayed up all night praying, but in vain. In the morning, on Easter, when the church doors were opened for the people as well, the Lord sent the Holy Fire into the hands of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who had spent the night with the believers praying in front of the entrance. The gift arrived through the pillar of the doorway, which then cracked. Only after that, the Western Church, with a heavy heart, gave up the appropriation of divine messages, trying to cover it up and ignore as much as possible. Of all the Roman Catholic denomination, only members of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi still attend and sincerely believe in this miracle, the order that is generally considered to be different and individualistic.


It was still daylight, and along Nebojšina Street, the one that slowly and then steeply runs down from former Tavern ”Savinac” and next to the National Library of Serbia toward Južni bulevar Street, there is a line of buses and cars. They came from all over, including Srpska, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, from Kosovo and Metohija.
The Holy Saturday was approaching its end in the spring night. An hour and a half before midnight and Easter Day, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej arrived in front of the St. Sava Temple, and a little later the president arrived as well. At 23:20, with the blessing of the Patriarch of Jerusalem Teofil III and Serbian Patriarch Irinej, with great help from Russian fund of Andrej Prvozvani, the Holy Fire arrived. For the first time it was transferred, on the same day, from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to the magnificent Orthodox temple in Belgrade dedicated to the first Serbian archbishop, bringing to us the memory of resurrection and illuminating the road before us.
The Holy Fire was transferred in a special plane, and the entourage was led by Serbian Bishop of Slavonia Jovan. It was greeted by numerous believing people, church and lay dignitaries, ceremoniously dressed guard unit, a flock of reporters and cameramen. The Vračar plateau was crowded with so many people.
Everything was the first time, and there were minor drawbacks, but now it is completely insignificant. The arrival of the Holy Fire in front of the St. Sava Temple was realized as it should have been. Behind the Fire, icons and two holy crosses, the Guardians of Christ’ Sepulchre walked in a line, beautiful and strong boys dressed in their ceremonious attire, and then the choir singing church songs. The Holy Fire was handed out to Patriarch Irinej, he lit candles and incense in the Temple, and then the Fire was brought to the front and given as a gift to the people. The procession around the Temple ensued, and then group prayer in front of the closed door of the St. Sava Temple, and then midnight Easter liturgy in the Temple.
When the priests brought out the Holy Fire on candles and gave it to the people, the entire Vračar plateau for a moment resembled an obscure black field spotted with flames. It was already after midnight, so people could say: Christ resurrected!
Already the day after, the Holy Fire was taken to the regional countries that have been inhabited also by orthodox Serbs since time immemorial: to Srpska, Montenegro, Croatia and Macedonia, as well as the province of Kosovo and Metohija. If a flame or two make it to Hungary, Romania or Bulgaria, it is fine, and all for the best.


A young woman was standing next to the stairs of the Temple and helplessly looking at the vast line of people that were moving toward the entrance. Under one arm she held an old lady, and a stool under other.
– I promised to my grandmother Emilija Joksimović that I would take her, and here we are – she sighed and smiled. – She is eighty eight, and she couldn’t make it on foot, so I brought a stool for her... We live nearby, it not a problem for me. But, there are so many people inside that either grandmother or the stool can come inside, not both. Anyway, she thanks God for having lived to see this. She and grandfather were born in Priština, but he left us from sorrow. It means a lot to her. Already this morning, in the Little Church of St. Sava I bought for her a bundle of thirty three candles. She says, Jesus was 33 when he was crucified and resurrected, that is why. Unfortunately, they burned quickly, but I managed to use a flame from one to burn coal in the incense holder, so we will bring it home, to illuminate our Easter.
Two boys, could be first graders, persistently wanted to take a photograph next to the guardsman who stand next to the entrance into the St. Sava temple. At least by a phone, if there is no camera. He is standing still, serious, they are glowing. Although, a smile flickered in the corner of his lips.
– It was easier for me to go to Hilandar on foot, then to board with this gift into the bus for Trebinje – Jovo, a tall fellow from Herzegovina, complained out loud, swinging on his side a glowing plastic bag with the incense holder. – And I promised to my mother! I doubt that any other gift from the capital would bring more joy to her. To her or our neighbors. If I could send it through express post, they would worship both the post and me. Like this, if I am lucky, they would put on a pedestal only the bus driver.
The line rushing into the Temple slowed down, and then hopelessly stopped. From the foot of the pillar next to the entrance one could see that up to the enclosed altar part everything is crowded: here was no room for a needle to fall down. If a hectare and a half of the mosaic with the image of Christ Pantocrator (Almighty), he would have certainly smiled.
People were standing in the Temple and in front of it as long as the liturgy lasted. Until down. And although the night public transportation in Belgrade was ”reinforced”, the believers left the Vračar plateau only in the Easter morning.
And so, together with the church of Jerusalem, Greece and all-Russia, the Patriarchy of Serbian Orthodox Church has also embraced the custom of bringing the Holy Fire and sharing it with the believers. As of this Easter, it will be a tradition.


Everyday Miracles
Although he was not striving for miracles, the Lord makes them every day. There are people who recognize them in miraculous healings and unexpected salvations, in fortune that a poor man sometimes encounters, in a punishment that sometimes reaches the evil person o in justice that frees the innocent in a hopeless situation, although the sprouting of a seed, flowering of apple tree, an old person living to be a hundred years old or when a newborn who has just seen the light of day starts crying – these are all just as great miracles!


Two Crosses
Together with the Holy Fire, two holy crosses were also brought from Jerusalem. One is intended for the monastery Church of the Holy Nativity of John the Baptist in Jasenovac (it will be handed over on April 22, at the seventieth anniversary of the unfortunate breakthrough of prisoners from the notorious Croatian concentration camp). The second one will go to the Temple of the Resurrection of Christ in Prebilovci, a town in Herzegovina where many people were killed (it will be handed over on August 9).


From now on you
can buy National Review at Trafika sales outlets

Србија - национална ревија - број 82 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 82 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 81 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 80 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 79 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 78 - руски

Serbia - National Review - Tourism 2020

Србија - национална ревија - Број 77

Србија - национална ревија - Број 76

Србија - национална ревија - Број 75
Србија - национална ревија - ФранкфуртСрбија - национална ревија - МоскваСрбија - национална ревија - Москва
Србија - национална ревија - ПекингСрбија - национална ревија - број 74
Србија - национална ревија - број 73

Србија - национална ревија - број 72Туризам 2019.
Србија - национална ревија - број 71
Србија - национална ревија - број 70Србија - национална ревија - број 69Србија - национална ревија - број 68Србија - национална ревија - број 67Tourism 2018
Србија - национална ревија - број 66
Serbia - National Review - No 65
Serbia - National Review - No 64Србија - национална ревија - број 63
Србија - национална ревија - број 62
Србија - национална ревија - број 61

Србија - национална ревија - број 60
Србија - национална ревија - број 59
Serbia - National Review - No 59
Serbia - National Review - No 58

Serbia - National Review - No 56
Serbia - National Review - No 55
Serbia - National Review - No 54
Tourism 2016
Српска - национална ревија - број 53
Српска - национална ревија - број 12-13
Srpska - National Review - No 12-13
Serbia - National Review - No 51

Serbia - National Review - No 49
Serbia - National Review - No 49
Serbia - National Review - No 48
Serbia - National Review - No 46
Serbia - National Review - No 46
Serbia - National Review - No 46Serbia - National Review - No 46, russianSerbia - National Review - No 45Srpska - No 6
SRPSKA - National Review - No 5Tourism 2014SRPSKA - No 2
Tourism 2013
SRPSKA - National Review - Special Edition

Battle above Centuries
Legends of Belgrade
History of the Heart


Чувар светих хумки
Србија од злата јабука - друго издање
Orthodox Reminder for 2013
Пирот - Капија Истока и Запада
Беочин - У загрљају Дунава и Фрушке Горе
Србија, друмовима, пругама, рекама
Србија од злата јабука
Туристичка библија Србије

Коридор X - Европски путеви културе
Београд у џепу
Тло Србије, Завичај римских царева
Добродошли у Србију