Patriarchate lights caldrons to produce Holy Myron oil
In a rare event done only once a decade, the Fener Greek Patriarchate has lit the caldrons to prepare some 350 to 400 kilos of the Holy Myron oil, which will be sent to all the Orthodox churches worldwide to be used in baptism.
The cauldrons were lit for three days after Easter on April 17, with the clergymen mixing some 57 different ingredients.
Among the ingredients were olive oil brought from the island of Crete, Greece, honey, red wine, rose water, rosemary, garden sage, gum, hazelnut, cardamom, cinnamon, marjoram, lavender, saffron and castor oil sent to Istanbul from churches around the globe.
The Holy Myron oil, also called Chrism, holy anointing oil and consecrated oil, is the oil with the highest level of sanctification in the Christian Church. It is used for anointing in church sacraments such as baptism and confirmation and especially upon confirmation into the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The Holy Myron is sanctified by the Patriarch, with the participation of a host of bishops and other clergies.
According to data obtained from the Patriarchate sources, the materials were brought from the southern province of Hatay and countries such as China, Syria and Yemen.
The light under the caldrons, which is checked by special inspectors, mainly chemists, will be put out today.
“This preparation is made once a decade. The holy oil will be sent to the patriarchates in Moscow, Jerusalem and Hatay and then to all the Orthodox churches worldwide,” sources said. The Holy Myron oil will be used during the baptism. The bishops apply the oil on the head, hands and feet of babies while performing the sign of the cross.
The Holy Myron dates back to the “Book of Exodus,” the second book of the Bible, in which God told Prophet Moses how to prepare one.
The first attempts at producing the holy oil are believed to have been done in the second century while Christianity was spreading across the world.
However, official data indicates that the first Holy Myron oil was produced by Michael IV the Paphlagonian in 1208, followed by the one by Patriarch Gabriel III in 1705.
Since the 1950s, the Holy Myton oil has been regularly prepared by the Fener Greek Patriarchate once a decade.
Bartholomew I is the current archbishop of the Fener Greek Patriarchate since Nov. 2, 1991. The spiritual leader of all Orthodox communities worldwide was born on Feb. 29, 1940, on Turkey’s biggest island Gökçeada (Imbros).