The Holy Fire arrived in Athens on a special flight from Jerusalem on Thursday evening. Specifically, the delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Katsaniotis received the Holy Fire from the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III and arrived at 8.31 p.m. on an Aegean Airlines flight.
The delegation was met by the Armed Forces Band and an honorary guard.
Following its arrival, flights carrying the Holy Fire began transporting it to eight major destinations across the country in time for the midnight service.
Alexandroupolis, Chania (Crete), Samos, Larissa, Limnos, Ioannina, Corfu, and Cephalonia is on the Aegean Airlines list.lSky Express flew with the flame to Thessaloniki, Iraklio (Crete), Rhodes, Kos, Mytilini, Chios, Mykonos and Santorini
In Orthodox Christianity, the Holy Light is considered an annual miracle that takes place at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the old city of Jerusalem on Holy Saturday morning, ahead of Easter Sunday.
Although the authenticity of the miracle has been disputed, it is believed that a blue light emits from Jesus’s tomb forming a column of light through which candles are lit. A Holy Light relay follows where all priests and pilgrims holding candles, receive and offer the light to each other.
The Holy Light is considered an important event for many Orthodox Christians.
On Holy Saturday night, during the Easter Vigil (Paschal Vigil) churches and chapels around Greece are filled with people holding candles which they light up following a procession similar to the Holy Light relay that occurs in Jerusalem.
Just before midnight an excerpt from Mark’s gospel is read which leads up to the revelation of Christ’s resurrection where people and priests chant “Christos Anesti” (Christ Has Risen).