Every year, to our great joy, we receive the Light of Christ at Pascha. We receive a flame for our Pascha candle in church from our priest, during the Paschal liturgy. But Christ’s Light comes of its own accord each year in Jerusalem, at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We call this the Miracle of the Holy Fire, and it happens every Holy Saturday.
Have you ever thought about this miracle and wondered what it is like when the Holy Fire descends and fills the Sepulcher? Have you ever wished that you could be right inside there with the Patriarch as he receives that Holy Fire, the Light of Christ? If so, you’re not alone: almost 100 years ago, someone else was wondering the very same thing…
The Mystery of the Holy Light, written by Anna Iakovou, and illustrated by Spyros Gousis, tells the story of a young monk who wished to see the Holy Fire arrive! The monk was named Father Mitrophanes, and it was his job to guard the Holy Sepulcher. Father Mitrophanes was very humble and did not feel worthy of doing this work, but he did it to the best of his ability, even going above and beyond what was required. When an accident inside the tomb of Christ required cleanup, he noticed that the ceiling of the sepulcher was covered in soot from years of candles burning! Fr. Mitrophanes received a blessing to go into the Sepulcher and carefully clean the soot off so that none of it would fall onto the marble slab where Our Lord lay, and ruin it. Beneath the soot, to everyone’s surprise, Fr. discovered something incredibly beautiful! He also found a hidden niche high in the sepulcher wall that could maybe help him fulfill his heart’s desire to see the Holy Fire descend.
Read this book to find out what beautiful thing Father Mitrophanes discovered beneath the soot, and whether or not his heart’s desire was fulfilled. Based on a true story that happened in 1926.
Adults and older children alike will enjoy this story, and younger children will be drawn to its illustrations but may need help with some of the wording.
Find The Mystery of the Holy Light, by Anna Iakovou, illustrated by Spyros Gousis, here: https://newromepress.com/the-mystery-of-the-holy-light/
We thank Newrome Press for sharing this book with us, so that we can share it with you.
Reviewed by Kristina Wenger, educator, podcaster, co-author of Tending the Garden of Our Hearts.