|Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries||Strange-Unusual|
What do Scientists say about the
Ruptured Column outside the Temple of
In the photo above is the ruptured column at the left-hand side of the entrance to the Temple of the Resurrection. The crack is 1.20 m. in length and resembles an ascending flame…
On the Holy Saturday of 1579, according to the ecclesiastic chronicles of the city of Jerusalem, the Turkish governors had prohibited the entry of the Greek Patriarch and the Orthodox faithful to the Temple of the Resurrection for the time-honored ritual of the Holy Light.
The writings that recorded the event do not mention the exact year; they do, however, mention that during that period, the Patriarch of Jerusalem was Sophrony, while the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria and Antioch were respectively Jeremiah, Sylvester and Joachim; and, finally, that the sultan of the Ottoman empire was Murat III.
If we look in the official catalogues (or websites) of these four Patriarchates, we will see that the four, Orthodox Greek Patriarchs were indeed executing their duties during the second half of the 16th century. And if we examine the exact term of office of each patriarch and the corresponding period of the sultan Murat III’s reign, it turns out that the only year in which the administration of the five men had coincided was 1579.
According to the written sources, on the Holy Saturday of that year – following an intervention by the Armenians – a group of Turkish soldiers prohibited the entry of the Orthodox into the Temple of the Resurrection. The crowd of the faithful remained waiting in the courtyard of the temple during the entire day, but also after the sun had set.
Patriarch Sophrony IV, who was in the first year of his patriarchy,
had undertaken for the first time to officiate the most important
ceremony of the year; however, the Turks had deprived him of his
The patriarch immediately lit his candle from the Holy Light and then distributed the flame to the candles of the faithful standing near him. Within a few minutes, the sacred flame had spread throughout the crowd and the entire courtyard of the Temple came alight. The amazed Turkish guards then opened the Temple gate, and the patriarch, together with the Orthodox crowd, headed triumphantly to the All-Holy Sepulcher inside.
The events of that day have been recorded in all of the so-called Shrines of Jerusalem, which are the guides for the pilgrims of the Holy Lands.
But what do scientists say about that column? Mr. Haralambos Skarlakidis, Architect and professor of design programs via computers, mentions the following in his book, “HOLY LIGHT. THE MIRACLE OF HOLY SATURDAY AT CHRIST’S TOMB. 42 HISTORICAL TESTIMONIES (9th-16th CENTURIES)”:
Easter of 2008, the crack of the column was the object under study by Andrei Volkov. The Russian physicist sent high definition photographs of the crack to a compatriot and specialized scientist, professor Evgeny Mikhailovich Morozov, who is regarded as one of the top researchers in the world in the scientific fields of “Fracture Mechanics” and “Physics of Strength of Materials”.
“Fracture Mechanics” is the science that studies fractures and the formation of cracks in materials. It uses analytical engineering methods in order to calculate the force exerted during the formation of a crack, as well as experimental methods that calculate the resistance of material during its rupture and cracking.
After analytically studying the photographs of the crack, Professor Evgeniy Morozov came to the conclusion that it could only have been formed as a result of an electrical discharge!
Andrey Volkov, who had collaborated with Evgeniy Morozov on this
specific matter, said the following in an interview in the newspaper
Translation: “This coincidence, that the crack appeared exactly at Easter when the Light had not yet descended: isn’t that a miracle? Of course, one could claim that everything was set up and the crack in the column had been generated artificially. We asked for information from Evgeniy Mikhailovich Morozov who is a leading expert in the field of Fracture Mechanics, not only in Russia, but also worldwide, and who has also written more than 800 scientific works on this subject.
Evgeniy Mikhailovich examined the analytical photographs of the crack and stated explicitly that it could only have appeared as a result of an electrical discharge, because of its shape. What does that signify? That it was fully impossible for someone to “manufacture” such a crack: imagine how powerful a transformer would have been necessary to produce it - and especially in the 16th century, when people had no idea about electrical energy!”
The scientific opinion of Evgeniy Morozov is undoubtedly of great weight, but I wanted to have a second opinion on the matter. For that reason, I asked one of the leading Greek scientists in the field of Fracture Mechanics, the University of Athens Professor George A. Papadopoulos, to whom I sent analytical photographs of the crack.
After examining the photographs, Professor Papadopoulos opined that the crack in the column was indeed produced by an electrical discharge, which must have occurred simultaneously with a seismic wave whose direction was from below, upwards!
He regarded that the combined fatigue inside the column (the
electrical discharge + a seismic wave) - is inexplicable, which led
him to conclude that “one could only speak of a miracle”!
Dear Mr Skarlakidis,
Thank you for your email of 31/1/2010.
I believe I can be of help
in your noteworthy work. For
35 years I have been involved in Experimental Fracture Mechanics at
the National Polytechnic School’s Workshop on the Strength of
Materials, and I believe that when there is no scientific
explanation, there is a Miracle. I
Ihave no reason to doubt the 1634 manuscript in the Munich library, in which is mentioned the miraculous way that the column ruptured, as well as what followed: that the Greek patriarch lit his candles with that Light. I do not think it is possible to doubt a miracle, and especially when there are related testimonies, as you mentioned.
Dear Mr. Skarlakidis, I congratulate you on your effort and I wholeheartedly wish you every success.
George Papadopoulos, Professor of Engineering
Strength of Materials Workshop -
-National Metsovian Polytechnic University
Article published in English on: 29-4-2018.
Last update: 29-4-2018.