Feast of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Feast of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor

This was the first year that Simon, who lives in Jerusalem, went to Mount Tabor for the feast of the Transfiguration. He was happy, even though “it was hot”… And it’s true that it was hot on the summit of the holy mountain – and incidentally in the valley too, but here, at 588 meters altitude, you could feel the wind a little. A wind, however, that did not get beyond the doors of the basilica where many faithful from Galilee and Jerusalem were present. The celebration took place in a recollected atmosphere; the Custos of the Holy Land, Friar Pierbattista Pizzaballa, presided, and he was accompanied by the guardian of the place, Friar Wojciech Boloz and the guardian of Nazareth, Friar Ricardo Maria Bustos, as well as some thirty priests.

With eyes raised towards heaven in order to look at the altar, the faithful did not let themselves be distracted by the heat. But I was… I wondered whether Jesus really played this trick on his disciples, making them climb Tabor in the middle of the summer… The gospels are stingy about details that would make it possible to give a date to this episode. Eusebius of Caesarea thought the Transfiguration took place forty days before the Passion, in other words, during the month of February. But the feast is celebrated on August 6 because that is the day the first Byzantine church was dedicated. Orthodox tradition notes that this date is also not accidental, for between August 6 and September 14, the day of the finding of the Holy Cross, there are also forty days. Thus the connection between the mountain of Tabor and that of Golgotha was maintained.

For the second year in a row, the fraternity on Mount Tabor offered the possibility of prolonging the celebration by going on the ancient procession that leads the assembly from the basilica to the chapel called “Descentibus”, where is commemorated the gospel passage, “As they were coming down (descentibus) the mountain, Jesus ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.” (Mk 9:9) The chapel is at the entrance to the Franciscan property, in the place that is called Bâb el Hawa, the gate of the wind. It was rebuilt in 1923 around the ruins of a Byzantine oratory, as the plaque above the entrance indicates. [1]
Afterwards, the crowd of faithful gathered around an impressive buffet prepared by the Mondo X community, in order to have something to eat and drink. So the feast was complete!


[1] Neminis dixerit visionem donec Filius Hominis a mortuis resurgat. Vetus testaur opinion magistrum praecepisse apostolis hic in viciniies ad cuius memoriam prisci christinani exstruxere sagellum inivria temporum dilapsum integrum restitutum A.D. MCMXXIII
"Tell the vision to no man - until the Son of Man From the Dead Doth Rise.” Ancient legend testifies that the Master warned the Apostles here in the nearby areas. To his memory the ancient Christians erected a shrine (which) crumbled because of the ravages of time. It was entirely restored in 
D 1923