January 14, 2015

An Annual Theophany Miracle - The Jordan Reverses Its Flow (videos)

"Today the nature of water is sanctified. The Jordan is parted and reverses its flow on seeing its Master being baptized." - Orthodox Hymn for Theophany  

The video above was recorded through a cell phone camera on the day before Theophany on January 5th (according to the Old Julian Calendar; on January 18 according to the Revised Julian Calendar) in 2006, during the blessing of the waters which takes place every year on the same day at the Jordan, in the very same area where Jesus Christ himself was baptized.

What is captured in the above video and the one below is a recurring annual miracle in the Holy Land on the Feast of Holy Theophany, as followed by the Jerusalem Patriarchate.When standing on the Israeli side, the Jordan River normally flows towards the right. However, during the blessing of the waters service on Theophany, a miracle takes place that is said to have also taken place on the day Jesus was baptized in that same area: "The Jordan reverses its flow!"

The video below, filmed in 2011, better shows what takes place. During the ceremony, which is led by the Patriarch of Jerusalem (who is standing on the Israeli side), and by one of Jordan’s Orthodox priests (on the Jordanian side) the waters continue to flow as usual toward the right. However, as soon as the Patriarch and the Jordanian priest drop the Cross into the river, chanting “En Iorthani Vaptizomenou Sou Kyrie” (“When You were baptized in the Jordan, Lord”), the waters start to mysteriously bubble in places. The bubbling then spreads, and the river develops two currents, one running to the right and another running to the left, with the two currents finally merging into each other! Eventually, after a few minutes, the miracle is completed. The new current is steadily flowing! The Jordan had reversed its flow like then, when God Himself was baptized in it and blessed it! The miracle takes place as long as the Crosses are in the river. When they are removed, the Jordan normalizes its flow.

It should be noted that this miracle only takes place when the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem is involved.