The meaning of the feast
+ Today’s feast recalls that privileged moment when Jesus, accompanied by Peter, James, and John, revealed his glory and the voice of the Father proclaimed, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matthew 17:5).
+ A feast in honor of the Transfiguration was first celebrated in Syria in the fourth century. It was first celebrated in the Western Church in France in the tenth century and as finally added to the Roman calendar in 1457 to commemorate of victory of Saint John Captistrano and the Christian forces in a battle against the Turks the previous year.
+ The readings and prayers for this celebration teach us how Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophets’ visions and of how we are invited to share in the glory of Jesus as adopted daughters and sons of our Heavenly Father.
On August 6, the Church celebrates the memory of Blessed Paul VI, who served as bishop of Rome from 1963 to 1978. Pope Paul continued the reforms initiated by Pope Saint John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council and his travels and many statements strengthened the papacy’s influence throughout the world; his significant and highly controversial encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968) continues to influence the Church’s teachings on life issues. Beatified in 2014, he will be canonized on October 14, 2018, as part of the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.
“Let us run with confidence and joy to enter into the cloud like Moses and Elijah, or like James and John. Let us be caught up like Peter to behold the divine vision and to be transfigured by that glorious transfiguration.”—Anastasius of Sinai
In the United States, there are various contemplative communities of monks and nuns dedicated named for the mystery of the Transfiguration, including:
The Benedictine Nuns of Transfiguration Monastery (Windsor, NY): http://www.transfigurationmonastery.org/
Holy Transfiguration Monastery—Mt. Tabor Monks (Redwood Valley, CA): www.monksofmttabor.com
Holy Transfiguration Skete (Eagle Harbor, MI): www.societystjohn.com
Charterhouse of the Transfiguration—Carthusian Monks (Arlington, VT): http://transfiguration.chartreux.org
Benedictine Sisters of Transfiguration Hermitage (Windsor, ME): https://transfigurationhermitage.org/
O God, who in the glorious Transfiguration
of your Only Begotten Son
confirmed the mysteries of faith by the witness of the Fathers
and wonderfully prefigured our full adoption to sonship,
grant, we pray, to your servants,
that, listening to the voice of your beloved Son,
we may merit to become co-heirs with him.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.