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Why are Russian Orthodox Priests waving ‘Holy Fire’ over a Russian town?


Holy Fire Ceremony at Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem
Credit: YouTube capture

I’ve had some questions about the Russian Orthodox Church’s ROLE in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. You can read about my concerns in THIS POST: Has a religious ideology, ‘Holy Rus’, played a role in Putin’s invasion of Ukraine?

And now the Daily Mail is reporting that two Russian Orthodox Priests took ‘Holy Fire’ to a Russian town that was apparently targeted by Ukraine’s army because of its ammunition and fuel depots. Unlike the Russian army, Ukraine only hit the depots, not the town itself.

Apparently, the priests used fire that had been originally lit at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and then used for Russian Easter celebrations.

As the duo flew over the Russian city bordering Ukraine in an army helicopter, they waved the ‘Holy Fire’ as part of a blessing. As a side note, they described the helicopter performing the flyover as a ‘holycopter.’

No indication if they will be flying over the areas of Ukraine devastated by the Russian army.

The Daily Mail provides more details:

Orthodox priests have flown the ‘Holy Fire’ over Russian towns that have been rattled by Ukrainian strikes on oil depots and ammo dumps in recent weeks, amid Vladimir Putin‘s on-going invasion.

Two clergymen from Stary Oskol, a city in the Belgorod Oblast, were shown in footage on Tuesday flying in a military helicopter while carrying a lantern containing a fire that was reported to have been lit in Jerusalem‘s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The pair of solemn-looking men, Archpriest Alexy Babanin and Archpriest Andrey Filatov, were sat on a bench in the cargo hold of the aircraft, separated by a paining of Mary and the baby Jesus. One, with a wispy white beard, clutched the lantern.

READ: Is Putin hoping for a miracle? Priests fly ‘Holy Fire’ over Russian town that has been rattled by Ukrainian strikes on nearby oil depots and ammo dumps

The Holy Fire celebration

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) includes Holy Fire celebrations as part of its Easter services in Jerusalem.

The ROC believes, at Christ’s resurrection, that a Holy Fire or blue light was emitted from the slab of rock that Jesus’s body was laid upon after His crucifixion.

Every Easter, this fire miraculously reappears at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, believed to be the burial site of Christ.

Candles, lit by this flame, are then transported to Russian Orthodox churches around the world to be included in their Easter celebrations.

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