Holy Land: The Journal of a Traveler

Holy Land: The Journal of a Traveler

Γλώσσα: Αγγλικά

Sofia Kioroglou




The book you are holding is the digital, abridged version of a book which is slated for publication in 2020. The digital version does not include the interviews conducted by the author so as not to detract from the surprise factor of the upcoming printed edition of the book.


The Holy Light Ceremony that occurs on Holy Saturday is an experience that defies explanation. I remember vividly the time when I and some Greek friends visited Jerusalem to attend the festive ceremony of the descent of the Holy Fire , which is a rather hit-or-miss affair as millions of people all over the world travel every year to witness the miracle. The Israeli police was piling on the wait as we were waiting behind the railings to be beckoned over. The wait was excruciatingly long, taking into account the fact that the Greeks always got the short end of the stick. It was down to divine providence that we were rushed to an area I had never been. On the top balcony, the view was breathtaking, says Mrs Panagiota Aitaki. We had no idea of what would ensue. As I was standing,I saw the Greek Hagiotafites parade around the tomb inside. A couple of minutes before the Patriarch entered the Aedicule, I saw three golden balls floating, opening and merging into an equilateral triangle. I screamed in amazement only to discover that I was in good company. Everyone beside me was awed and crying. The Holy Trinity, indivisible. After a while I saw the spontaneous ignition of two big candles. Two shocks in a row…Then the Patriarch came out, visibly moved, passing out the flame to the torch-bearers.Since then I have been to the Holy Land 50 times.But many Armenians like Soukias Tchilingirian, say: “It’s not a miracle. Probably because he has never seen the Holy Fire descending and swirling like many pilgrims have testified. If you are devoid of faith and lack a pure heart, God will make sure you will never see it, Mrs Aitaki remarks.

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