Feast of the Transfiguration - August 6th
August 6 – Transfiguration of Our Lord
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger  (1841-1875)

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“O God, who in the glorious transfiguration of thine only-begotten Son, didst confirm the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of the fathers: and who, in the voice which came from the bright cloud, didst in a wonderful manner fore-signify our adoption as sons: mercifully vouchsafe to make us fellow-heirs of that King of glory, and the sharers of his bliss.” Such is the formula which sums up the prayer of the Church and shows us her thoughts on this day of attestation and of hope.

We must first notice that the glorious transfiguration has already been twice brought before us on the sacred cycle, viz.: on the second Sunday of Lent, and on the preceding Saturday. What does this mean, but that the object of the present solemnity is not so much the historical fact already known, as the permanent mystery attached to it; not so much the personal favor bestowed on Simon Peter and the sons of Zebedee, as the accomplishment of the great message then entrusted to them for the Church? Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead. The Church, born from the open Side of the Man-God on the Cross, was not to behold him face to face on earth; after his Resurrection, when he had sealed his alliance with her in the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, it is on faith alone that her love was to be fed. But by the testimony which takes the place of sight, her lawful desires to know him were to be satisfied. Wherefore, for her sake, giving truce, one day of his mortal life, to the ordinary law of suffering and obscurity he had taken upon him for the world’s salvation, he allowed the glory which filled his blessed soul to transpire. The King of Jews and Gentiles revealed himself upon the mountain, where his calm splendor eclipsed forevermore the lightning of Sinai: the covenant of the eternal alliance was declared, not by the promulgation of a law of servitude engraven upon stone, but by the manifestation of the Lawgiver himself, coming as Bridegroom to reign in grace and beauty over hearts. Elias and Moses, representing the prophets and the Law whereby his coming was prepared, from their different starting points, met beside him, like faithful messengers reaching their destination; they did homage to the Masters of their now finished mission, and effaced themselves before Him at the voice of the Father: This is my beloved Son! Three witnesses the most trustworthy of all assisted at this solemn scene: the disciple of faith, the disciple of love, and that other son of thunder who was to be the first to seal with his blood both the faith and the love of an Apostle. By his order they kept religiously, as beseemed them, the secret of the King, until the day when the Church could be the first to receive it from their predestined lips.

But did this precious mystery take place on the 6th of August? More than one Doctor of sacred rites affirms that it did. At any rate, it was fitting to celebrate it in the month dedicated to eternal Wisdom. It is she the brightness of eternal light, the unspotted mirror and image of God’s goodness, who, shedding grace upon the Son of man, made him on this day the most beautiful amongst all his brethren, and dictated more melodiously than ever to the inspired singer the accents of the Epithalamium: My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the king.

Seven months ago, the mystery was first announced by the gentle light of the Epiphany; but by the virtue of the mystical seven here revealed once more, the “beginnings of blessed hope” which we then celebrated as children with the Child Jesus, have grown together with him and with the Church; and the latter, established in unspeakable peace by the full growth which gives her to her Souse, calls upon all her children to grow like her by the contemplation of the Son of God, even to the measure of the perfect age of Christ. We understand then why the Liturgy of today repeats the formulas and chants of the glorious Theophany: Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee: it is because on the mountain together with our Lord the Bride also is glorified, having the glory of God.

While the face of Jesus shone as the sun, his garments became white as snow. Now these garments so snow-white, as St. Mark observes, that no fuller on earth could have bleached them so, are the just men, the royal ornament inseparable from the Man-God, the Church, the seamless robe woven by our sweet Queen for her Son out of the purest wool and most beautiful linen that the valiant woman could find. Although our Lord personally has now passed the torrent of suffering and entered forever into his glory, nevertheless the bright mystery of the Transfiguration will not be complete until the last of the elect, having passed through the laborious preparation at the hands of the Divine Fuller, and tasted death, has joined in the Resurrection of our adorable Head. O Face of our Savior that dost ravish the heavens, then will all glory, all beauty, all love shine forth from thee. Expressing God by the perfect resemblance of true Son by nature, thou wilt extend the good pleasure of the Father to that reflection of his Word, which constitutes the sons of adoption, and reaches in the Holy Ghost even to the lowest fringes of his garment which fills the temple below him. According to the doctrine of the Angel of the schools, the adoption of sons of God, which consists in being conformable to the image of the Son of God by nature, is wrought in a double manner: first by grace in this life, and this is imperfect conformity; and then by glory in patria, and this is perfect conformity, according to the words of St. John: We are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is. The word of eternity, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee, has had two echoes in time, at the Jordan and on Thabor; and God, who never repeats himself, did not herein make an exception to the rule of saying but once what he says. For although the terms used on the two occasions are identical, they do not tend, as St. Thomas says, to the same end, but show the different ways in which man participates in the resemblance of the eternal filiation. At the baptism of our Lord, where the mystery of the first regeneration was declared, as at the Transfiguration which manifested the second, the whole Trinity appeared: the Father in the voice, the Son in his Humanity, the Holy Ghost under the form, first of a dove, and afterwards of a bright cloud; for if in baptism this Holy Spirit confers innocence symbolized by the simplicity of the dove in the Resurrection he will give to the elect the brightness of glory and the refreshment after suffering, which are signified by the luminous cloud.

But without waiting for the day when our Savior will renew our very bodies conformable to the bright glory of his own divine Body, the mystery of the Transfiguration is wrought in our souls already here on earth. It is of the present life that St. Paul says and the Church sings today: God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus. Thabor, holy and divine mountain rivalling heaven, how can we help saying with Peter: “It is good for us to dwell on thy summit!” For thy summit is love, it is charity which towers above the other virtues, as thou towerest in gracefulness, and loftiness, and fragrance over the other mountains of Galilee, which saw Jesus passing, speaking, praying, working prodigies, but did not know him in the intimacy of the perfect. It is after six days, as the Gospel observes, and therefore in the repose of the seventh which leads to the eighth of the resurrection, that Jesus reveals himself to the privileged souls who correspond to his love. The Kingdom of God is within us; when, leaving all impressions of the senses as it were asleep, we raise ourselves above the works and cares of the world by prayer, it is given us to enter with the Man-God into the cloud: there beholding the glory of the Lord with open face, as far as is compatible with our exile, we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord. “Let us then,” cries St. Ambrose, “ascend the mountain, let us beseech the Word of God to show himself to us in his splendor, in his beauty; to grow strong and proceed prosperously, and reign in our souls. For behold a deep mystery! According to thy measure, the Word diminishes or grows within thee. If thou reach not that summit, high above all human thought, Wisdom will not appear to thee; the Word shows himself to thee as in a body without brightness and without glory.”

If the vocation revealed to thee this day be so great and so holy, “reverence the call of God,” says St. Andrew of Crete: “do not ignore thyself, despise not a gift so great, show not thyself unworthy of the grace, be not so slothful in thy life as to lose this treasure of heaven. Leave earth to the earth, and led the dead bury their dead; disdaining all that passes away, all that dies with the world and the flesh, follow even to heaven, without turning aside, Christ who leads the way through this world for thee. Take to thine assistance fear and desire, lest thou faint or lose thy love. Give thyself up wholly; be supple to the Word in the Holy Ghost, in order to attain this pure and blessed end: thy deification, together with the enjoyment of unspeakable goods. By zeal for the virtues, by contemplation of the truth, by wisdom, attain to Wisdom, who is the principle of all, and in whom all things subsist.”

The feast of the Transfiguration has been kept in the East from the earliest times. With the Greeks, it is preceded by a Vigil and followed by an Octave, and on it they abstain from servile work, from commerce, and from lawsuits. Under the graceful name of Rose-flame, rosæ coruscatio, we find it in Armenia at the beginning of the fourth century, supplanting Diana and her feast of flowers, by the remembrance of the day when the divine Rose unfolded for a moment on earth its brilliant corolla. It is preceded by a whole week of fasting, and counts among the five principal feasts of the Armenian cycle, where it gives its name to one of the eight divisions of the year. Although the Menology of this Church marks it on the sixth of August like that of the Greeks and the Roman Martyrology, it is nevertheless always celebrated there on the seventh Sunday after Pentecost; and by a coincidence full of meaning, they honor on the preceding Saturday the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, a figure of the Church.

The origin of today’s feast in the West is not so esy to determine. But the authors who place its introduction into our countries as late as 1457, when Callixtus III promulgated by precept a new Office enriched with indulgences, overlook the fact that the Pontiff speaks of the feast as already widespread and “commonly called of the Savior.” It is true that in Rome especially the celebrity of the more ancient feast of St. Sixtus II, with its double Station at the two cemeteries which received respectively the relics of the Pontiff-Martyr and those of his companions, was for a long time an obstacle to the acceptation of another feast on the same day. Some Churches, to avoid the difficulty, chose another day in the year to honor the mystery. As the feast of our Lady of the Snow, so that of the Transfiguration had to spread more or less privately, with various Offices and Masses, until the supreme authority should intervene to sanction and bring to unity the expressions of the devotion of different Churches. Callixtus III considered that the hour had come to consecrate the work of centuries: he made the solemn and definitive insertion of this feast of triumph on the universal Calendar the memorial of the victory which arrested, under the walls of Belgrade in 1456, the onward march of Mahomet II, conqueror of Byzantium, against Christendom.

Already in the ninth century, if not even earlier, martyrologies and other liturgical documents furnish proofs that the mystery was celebrated with more or less solemnity, or at least with some sort of commemoration, in diverse places. In the twelfth century, Peter the Venerable, under whose government Cluny took possession of Thabor, ordained that “in all the monasteries or churches belonging to his Order, the Transfiguration should be celebrated with the same degree of solemnity as the Purification of our Lady;” and he gave for his reason, besides the dignity of the mystery, the “custom, ancient or recent, of many Churches throughout the world, which celebrate the memory of the said Transfiguration with no less honor than the Epiphany and the Ascension of our Lord.”

On the other hand at Bologna, in 1233, in the juridical instruction preliminary to the canonization of St. Dominic, the death of the Saint is declared to have taken place on the feast of St. Sixtus, without mention of any other. It is true, and we believe this detail is not void of meaning, that a few years earlier, Sicardus of Cremona thus expressed himself in his Mitrale: “We celebrate the Transfiguration of our lord on the day of St. Sixtus.” Is not this sufficient indication that while the feast of the latter continued to give its traditional name to the eighth of the Ides of August, it did not prevent a new and greater solemnity from taking its place beside it, preparatory to absorbing it altogether? For he adds, “Therefore on this same day, as the Transfiguration refers to the state in which the faithful will be after the resurrection, we consecrate the Blood of our Lord from new wine, if it is possible to obtain it, in order to signify what is said in the Gospel: I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father. But if it cannot be procured, then at least a few ripe grapes are pressed over the chalice, or else grapes are blessed and distributed to the people.”

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The author of the Mitrale died in 1215; yet he was only repeating the explanation already given in the second half of the preceding century by John Beleth, Rector of the Paris University. We must admit that the very ancient benedictio uvæ found in the Sacramentaries on the day of St. Sixtus has nothing corresponding to it in the life of the great Pope which could justify our referring it to him. The Greeks, who have also this blessing of grapes fixed for the 6th of August, celebrate on this day the Transfiguration alone, without any commemoration of Sixtus II. Be it as it may, the words of the Bishop of Cremona and of the Rector of Paris prove that Durandus of Mende, giving at the end of the thirteenth century the same symbolical interpretation, did but echo a tradition more ancient than his own time.

St. Pius V did not alter the ancient Office of the feast, except the Lessons of the first and second Nocturns, which were taken from Origen, and the three Hymns for Vespers, Matins, and Lauds, which resembled somewhat in structure the corresponding Hymns of the Blessed Sacrament. The Hymn now used for Vespers and Matins, which we here give, is borrowed from the beautiful Canticle of Prudentius on the Epiphany in his Cathemerinon:


Quicumque Christum quæritis
Oculos in altum tollite:
Illic licebit visere
Signum perennis gloriæ.

All ye who seek Christ, life up your eyes to heaven; there ye may behold the token of his eternal glory.

Ullustre auiddam cernimus,
Quod nesciat finem pati,
Sumblime, celsum, interminum,
Antiquius cœlo et chao.

A certain brilliance we perceive that knows no ending, sublime, noble, interminable, older than heaven and chaos.

Hic ille Rex est Gentium,
Populique Rex Judaici
Promissus Abrahæ patri,
Ejusque in ævum semini.

This is the King of the Gentiles, and King of the Jewish people, who was promised to Abraham our father, and to his seed for ever.

Hunc et prophetis testibus
Iisdemque signatoribus
Testator et Pater jubet
Audire nos et credere.

The prophets testify to him, and the Father, who testifies with them for his own witnesses, bids us hear and believe him.

Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui te revelas parvulis
Cum Patre et almo Spiritu
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

O Jesus, glory be to thee who revealest thyself to little ones, with the Father and with the Holy Spirit, through everlasting ages. Amen.

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Adam of St. Victor has also sung of this glorious mystery:


Lætabundi jubilemus
Ac devote celebremus Hæ sacra solemnia;
Ad honorem summi Dei
Hujus laudes nunc diei
Personet Ecclesia.

Come, let us sing with joy, and devoutly celebrate these sacred solemnities; let the Church resound with the praises of this day to the honor of the Most High God.

In hac Christus die festa
Suæ dedit manifesta Gloriæ indicia;
Ut hoc possit enarrari
Hic nos suos salutari Repleat et gratia!

For on this festal day did Christ give manifest signs of his great glory; that we may recount the same, may he give us his aid and fill us with his grace.

Christus ergo, Deus fortis,
Vitæ dator, victor mortis, Versus sol justitiæ,
Quam assumpsit carnem de Virgine,
Transformatus in Thabor colmine,
Glorificat hodie.

Christ, then, the mighty God, the giver of life, and conqueror of death, the true Sun of justice, today transfigured on Thabor’s height, did glorify the flesh he had taken of the Virgin.

O quam felix sors bonorum!
Talis enim beatorum Erit resurrectio.
Sicut fulget sol pleni luminis,
Fulsit Dei vultus et hominis,
Teste Evangelio.

O how happy the lot of the good! For such will be the resurrection of the blessed. As shines the sun in fulness of his light, so shone the countenance of God and Man, as the Gospel testifieth.

Candor quoque sacræ vestis
Deitatis fuit testis Et futuræ gloriæ.
Mira, Deus, tuæ nimis Virtus est potentiæ.

The brightness, too, of his sacred robe gave testimony of his Godhead and of the glory to come. Wondrous the honor and sublime: wondrous exceedingly, O God, is the power of thine almightiness.

Cumque Christus, virtus Dei,
Petro, natis Zebedæi Majestatis gloriam
Demonstraret manifeste,
Ecce vident, Lucca teste, Moysem et Eliam.

And when Christ, the power of God, to Peter and the sons of Zebedee did clearly show the glory of his majesty, lo! they beheld, as Luke doth testify, Moses and Elias.

Hoc hamemus ex Matthæo,
Quod loquentes erant Deo Dei Patris Filio: Vere sanctum, vere dignum
Loqui Deo et benignum, Plenum omni gaudio.

This we learn of Matthew, that they were seen speaking with God, the Son of God the Father. Oh! how noble and how holy, how good and full of all joy, to speak to God!

Huhus magna laus diei,
Quæ sacratur voce Dei, Honor est eximius;
Nubes illos obumbravit,
Et vox Patris proclamavit: Hic est meus Filius.

Great is the glory of this day, consecrated by the voice of God, and exceeding is its honor; a cloud did overshadow them, and the Father’s voice proclaimed: “This is my Son.”

Hujus vocem exaudite:
Habet enim verba vitæ, Verbo potens omnia.
Hic est Christus, rex cunctorum,
Mundi salus, lux Sanctorum,
Lux illustrans omnia.

Hear ye his voice: for the words of life hath he, who can do all things by his word. This is Christ, the King of all, the world’s salvation and the light of Saints, the light enlightening all things.

Hic est Christus, Patris Verbum,
Per quem perdit jus acerbum
Quod in nobis habuit
Hostis nequam, serpens dirus,
Qui, fudendo suum virus Evæ, nobis nocuit.

This is Christ, the Father’s Word, by whom he destroys the bitter law set in us by the wicked enemy, the cruel serpent, who, pouring out his poison upon Eve, did work our ruin.

Moriendo nos sanavit
Qui surgendo reparavit
Vitam Christus et damnavit Mortis magisterium.
Hic est Christus, Pax æterna,
Ima regens et superna,
Cui de cœlis vox paterna Confert testimonium.

Christ by dying healed us, who by rising restored our life and condemned the tyranny of death. This is Christ, the eternal peace, ruling both depths and height; to whom from heaven the Father’s voice bore testimony.

Cujus sono sunt turbati
Patres illi tres præfati
Et in terram sunt prostrati Quando vox emittitur.
Surgunt tandem, annuente
Sibi Christo, sed intente
Circumspectant, cum repente
Solus Jesus cernitur.

At his voice those three aforesaid fathers were afraid, and prostrated on the earth when the word was uttered. At length they rise, Christ bidding them; they gaze around intently, but at once see none but Jesus.

Volens Christus hæc celari
Non permisit enarrari,
Donec, vitæ reparator,
Hostis vitæ triumphator, Morte victa, surgeret.
Hæc est dies laude digna
Qua tot sancta fiunt signa;
Christus, splendor Dei Patris
Prece sancta suæ matris Nos a morte liberet.

Wishing these things to be concealed, Christ suffers them not to be uttered, until the restorer of life and conqueror of life’s enemy should rise triumphant over death. This is the day so worthy of praise, whereon are wrought so many holy signs; may Christ, the splendor of God the Father, by the prayer of his holy Mother, deliver us from death.

Tibi, Pater, tibi, Nate, Tibi, Sancte Spiritus,
Sit cum summa potestate
Laus et honor debitus! Amen.

To thee, O Father, thee, O Son, and thee, O Holy Ghost, be, together with highest power, the praise and honor due! Amen.

The Menæa of the Greeks offers us these stanzas from St. John Damascene:

Mensis Augusti Die VI
In Matutino.

Qui manibus invisibilibus formasti secundum imaginem tuam, Christe, hominem, archetypam tuam in figmento pulchristudinem ostendisti non ut in imagine, sed ut hoc ipse existens per substantiam, Deus simul et homo.

O Christ, who with invisible hands didst form man to thine own image, thou hast shown thine original beauty in the human frame, not as in an image, but as being this thyself, both God and Man.

Quam magnum et terribile visum est spectaculum hodie! e c&oelo sensibilis, e terra vero incomparabilis effulsit sol justitiæ, intelligibilis, in monte Thabor.

How grand and awful was the spectacle beheld this day! from heaven the visible sun, but from earth the incomparable spiritual Sun of justice shone upon Mount Thabor.

Regnantium es Rex pulcherrimus, et ubique dominantium Dominus, princeps beatus, et lumen habitans inaccessibile, cui discipuli stupefacti clamabant: Pueri, benedicite; sacerdotes, concinite; populus, superexaltate per omnia sæcula.

Thou art the King of kings most beautiful, and Lord of all lord, O blessed Prince, dwelling in inaccessible light; to thee the disciples, beside themselves, cried out: Ye children, bless him; ye priests, sing to him; ye people, exalt him above all for ever.

Tamquem cœlo dominanti, et terræ regnanti, et subterraneorum dominium habenti, Christe, tibi adstiterunt: e terra quidem apostoli: tamquam e cœlo autem, Thesbites Elias; Moyses vero ex mortuis, canentes incessanter: Pueri, benedicite; sacerdotes, concinite; populus, superexaltate per omnia sæcula.

As before the Lord of heaven and King of earth and Ruler of the regions under the earth, before thee, O Christ, there stood the Apostles as from the earth, Elias the Thesbite as from heaven, Moses as from the dead; and they sang unceasingly: Ye children, bless him; ye priests, sing to him; ye people, exalt him above all for ever.

Segnitiem parientes curæ in terra derelictæ sunt, apostolorum delectu, o humane, ut te secuti sunt ad sublimem e terra divinam politiam, unde et jure divinæ tuæ manifestationis participes effecti, canebant: Pueri, benedicite; sacerdotes, concinite; populus, superexaltate per omnia sæcula.

Leaving to the earth its wearying cares, the chosen Apostles having followed thee, O loving one, to the divine city far above the earth, are justly admitted to behold thy divine manifestation, singing: Ye children, bless him; ye priests, sing to him; ye people, exalt him above all for ever.

Agite mihi, parete mihi, populi ascendentes in montem sanctum, cœlestem: abjecta materia stemus in civitate viventis Dei, et inspiciamus mente divinitatem materiæ expertem Patris et Spiritus, in Filio unigenito effulgentem.

Come to me, attend to me, ye people, ascending the holy, heavenly mountain; casting away material things, let us stand in the city of the living God, and mentally behold the immaterial divinity of the Father and the Spirit, shining forth in the only-begotten Son.

Demulsisti desiderio me, Christe, et alterasti divino tuo amore, sed combure igne a materia remoto peccata mea, et impleri eis quæ in te deliciis dignum fac, ut duos saltando magnificem, o bone, adventus tuos.

Thou, O Christ, has won me with desire, and inebriated me with thy divine love; but burn away my sins with immaterial fire, and make me worthy to be satiated with the delights that are in thee; that exulting I may sing thy two comings, O thou who art so good.

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It will be well to borrow also from the Church of Armenia, which celebrates this feast with so much solemnity:

In Transfiguratione Domini

Qui transfiguratus in monte vim divinam osterdisti, te glorificamus, intelligibile Lumen.
O Light intelligible, who, transfigured on the mountain, didst show thy divine power, we glorify thee.

Ast ipsum deitatis ineffabile Lumen propriis visceribus provide portasti, Maria Mater Virgoque: te glorificamus et benedicimus.
But this ineffable Light of the Godhead thou didst happily bear in thy womb, O Mary, Mother and Virgin: we glorify and bless thee.

Lumine abbreviato chorus Apostolorum terretur; ast in te plenius habuisti ignem divinitatis, Maria Mater Virgoque: te glorificamus et benedicimus.
The choir of the Apostles trembled before the diminished Light; but in thee dwelt fully the fire of the divinity, O Mary, Mother and Virgin: we glorify and bless thee.

Apostolis nubes lucida tenditur desuper; ast in te Spiritus Sanctus, virtus Altissimi, diffunditor obumbrans, sancta Dei Mater: te glorificamus et benedicimus.
A bright cloud was spread over the Apostles; but upon thee was poured the Holy Spirit, the Power of the Most High, overshadowing thee, O holy Mother of God: we glorify and bless thee.

Christe, Deus noster, da ut cum Petro et filiis Zebedæi tua divina visione digni habeamur.
O Christ our God, grant that with Peter and the sons of Zebedee, we may be deemed worthy of thy divine vision.

Ultra montem terrenum aufer nos ad intelligibile tabernaculum cœlo celsius.
Lift us above the earthly mountain to the spiritual tabernacle higher than the heavens.

Excultant hodie montes Dei Creatori obviam procedentes, Apostolorum agmina et Prophetarum montibus æternis sociata.
Today the mountains of God exult, going to meet the Creator, the troops of Apostles and Prophets associated to the divine mountains.

Hodie sponsa Regis immortalis, Sion excelsa lætatur, adspiciens, cœlestem Sponsum lumine decorum in gloria Patris.
Today the bride of the immortal King, the lofty Sion rejoices, beholding her heavenly Spouse adorned with light in the glory of the Father.

Hodie virga de radice Jesse floruit in monte Thabor. Today the rod of the root of Jesse blossomed on Mount Thabor.
Hodie immortalitatis odore manat, inebrians discipulos.

Today it breathes forth the perfume of immortality, inebriating the disciples.
Te benedicimus, consubstantialem Patri, qui venisti salvare mundum. We bless thee, O Consubstantial Son of the Father, who didst come to save the world.

Let us conclude by addressing to God this prayer of the Ambrosian Missal:

Oratio Super Sindonem

Illumina, quæsumus Domine, populum tuum, et splendore gratiæ tuæ cor eorum semper accende: ut Salvatoris mundi, æterni luminis gloria famulante, manifestata, celebritas mentibus nostris reveletur semper, et crescat. Per eumdem Dominum.
Enlighten, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy people, and ever kindle their hearts by the brightness of thy grace: that through the glory of the Savior of the world, the Eternal Light, the mystery here manifested may be ever more and more revealed, and may grow in our souls. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Fr. Hewko's Sermons for the Feast of the Transfiguration - August 6th





"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Sermon of St. Leo, Pope
Taken from here

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The Lord displays His glory before chosen witnesses and makes illustrious that bodily shape which He shared with others with such splendor that His countenance shone like the sun, and His garments were white as snow. In this transfiguration the chief object was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of the disciples; and to prevent their faith being disturbed at the humiliation of His voluntary passion, by revealing the excellence of His hidden dignity. But with no less foresight the foundation was laid of the hope of holy Church, that the whole body of Christ might realize with what a change it was to be endowed, and that the members might promise themselves a share in that honor which had shone forth in their head.

But to confirm the Apostles and to lead them on to all knowledge, still further instruction was conveyed by that miracle. For Moses and Elias, that is, the law and the prophets, appeared talking with the Lord; so that in the presence of these five men might most truly be fulfilled what was said: In two or three witnesses every word stands. What more stable, what more steadfast, than the word, in the proclamation of which the trumpet of the old and of the new Testament sounds forth, and the records of ancient witnesses agree with the teaching of the Gospel? For the pages of both Covenants corroborate each other; and He, whom under the veil of mysteries the types that went before had promised, is displayed clearly and manifestly by the splendor of his present glory.

The Apostle Peter, therefore, being stirred by the revelation of these mysteries, despising things worldly and scorning things earthly, was carried away by a certain excess of mind to the desire of things eternal; and, being filled with rapture at the whole vision, longed to make his abode with Jesus in the place where he was gladdened by the sight of His glory. And so also he says: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us set up here three tents, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. But to this proposal the Lord made no reply, signifying that what he asked was not indeed wicked, but irregular; since the world could not be saved except by Christ's death, and by the Lord's example in this the faithful were called upon to believe, that, although there ought not to be any doubt about the promises of happiness, yet we should understand that, amid the trials of this life, we must ask for power to endure, rather than for glory.

Homily of St. John Chrysostom
Taken from here

Since the Lord had often spoken of perils, often of His own passion, often of the death and of the slaughter of his disciples, and had laid upon them very many hard and difficult commandments; and these, indeed, were of this present life, and even now impending, while the good things were but in hope and expectation: as, for example, that they would save their life, if they should lose it; that He would come in the glory of His Father, and would render rewards: therefore, to assure them by their own eyes, and to show them what manner of glory it is, with which He is to come, He manifested and unveiled it as far as they could bear it in this present life, lest they, and especially Peter, should grieve over their own death, or over that of the Lord.

And see what He does when He had discoursed of the kingdom and of hell. When He says: he who finds his life, will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake, will find it; and again: He will render to every man according to his conduct; in these words, He indicated heaven and hell. Since therefore He had discoursed of both, He grants them a glimpse of heaven only and not of hell. To see hell would have profited the more ignorant and foolish, but since his disciples were upright and clear-sighted men enough for them to be strengthened by a sight of the better things. This also was much more seemly for Him. Yet He did not altogether pass over the other, but sometimes He set the horrors of hell as it were before their very eyes, as He did in the parable of Lazarus, and when he called to mind the one who exacted the hundred denarii from his fellow-servant.

On the Transfiguration of our Lord
by Richard Challoner, 1807

[1] And after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: [2] And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. [3] And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. [4] And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. [5] And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.

[6] And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid. [7] And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them, Arise, and fear not. [8] And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus. [9] And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead. -- St. Matthew 17: 1 - 9

Consider first, how our Lord taking with him Peter, James and John, brought them up into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them; so that "His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became white as snow." "And there appeared to them Moses and Elias, talking with Him, (concerning His decease that he should accomplish in Jerusalem,") Luke ix. 31. Now Peter being transported with the glory of this vision, cried out, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if thou wilt, let us make nere three tabernaeles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." "And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them; and lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying; "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him," Matt. xviii. This Transfiguration of our Lord, full of lessons and instructions for us, is honoured by the Church in the festival of this day, with a particular view to the raising up the thoughts and hope of her children, in the midst of the hardships and labours of their mortal pilgrimage to the eternal repose and glory of their heavenly country, that blessed Jerusalem which the true Israelites must never forget; though constrained as yet, by a miserable captivity, to sit down and weep upon the banks of the rivers of Babylon, and lament their distance from the house of God in Sion.

Consider 2dly, in this mystery of the Transfiguration of our Lord; how wonderfully He was here pleased to confirm our faith, as well by the joint testimonies of the Law and the Prophets, bearing witness to the Gospel, represented by the glorious apparition of Moses and Elias with Christ; as by the testimony of God himself in all the three Persons, by the voice of the Father, by the glory of the Son, and by the manifestation of the Holy Ghost in the bright cloud. See how He was pleased by the same glory of this Transfiguration, to encourage all His followers, to bear with patience the afflictions, labours, crosses, and persecutions of this life, in hopes of a share in that eternal glory, of which He has given us as it were a sketch in this mystery, ever remembering that of the Apostle, 2 Cor. iv. 17, "that our present tribulations which is momentary and light, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory." But O let us take along with us that other lesson also, which we are taught by the voice of the heavenly Father, in the Transfiguration of our Lord, that the true way to a happy eternity, and to all good, is ever to hear and obey the Son of God.

Consider 3dly, how St. Peter being out of himself, with the joy of this vision, was desirous to be always in the same happy situation, and allways enjoying the like glory; and therefore he cried out, "Lord it is good for us to be here; not knowing, saith St. Luke, what he said, cn. x. 33. Because though it was inconceivably delightful to see and enjoy (though for a short time) the least glimpse of heavenly light and glory; yet as this present life was not to be the time of enjoyment, but of labours and of sufferings; and the Son of God Himself was to enter into His glory, by labours and sufferings (Luke xxiv. 26.); it was inordinate to desire here for a continuance, that which was reserved for here after: and for such only as should be entitled to it by labours and sufferings. Learn from hence, O my soul, with regard to divine consolations, and such like favours, that though thou art to receive them when given, with humility, gratitude and love, admiring the goodness and bounty of God, who is pleased thus to look down upon thee, the most unworthy of sinners: yet art thou not to set thy heart upon them, nor to be disturbed and discouraged, when they are taken away: for merit and perfection consists not in them, but in working, suffering and loving; and for the time of this mortal life, ordinarily speaking, it is far better for thee to be with thy Lord upon Mount Calvary, than upon Mount Thabor.

Conclude instead of being eager after these transitory consolations, which at the best are but as small drops of water that fall from the clouds of Heaven, to refresh us for a moment in this dry desert, through which we are now travelling; to aspire rather continually after that great overflowing river above, which gives joy without end to the City of God; and which alone is capable quenching thy thirst and satisfying thy soul.

Prayer in Honor of the Transfiguration of Our Lord

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O God, Who in the glorious Transfiguration of Thine only-begotten Son didst strengthen the sacraments of faith by the testimony of the fathers, and Who didst wonderfully foreshow the perfect adoption of Thy children by a voice coming down in a shining cloud, mercifully grant that we be made co-heirs of the King of glory Himself, and grant us to be sharers in the same glory. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen

Sanctify, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts offered on the glorious Transfiguration of Thine only-begotten Son, and by the splendors of that very illumination cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that with the understanding of a purified mind we may follow those sacred mysteries of Thy Son's Transfiguration which we celebrate with our solemn office. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
The Mystical City of God

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Our Redeemer and Master Jesus had already consumed more than two years and a half in preaching and performing wonders, and He was approaching the time predestined by the eternal wisdom for satisfying divine justice for redeeming the human race through his Passion and Death and thus to return to his eternal Father. Since all his works were ordered with the highest wisdom for our instruction and salvation, the Lord resolved to prepare and strengthen some of his Apostles for the scandal of his Passion by manifesting to them beforehand in its glory that same body, which was so soon to exhibit in the disfigurement of the Cross. Thus would they be reassured by the thought, they had seen it transfigured in glory before they looked upon it disfigured by his sufferings. This he had promised a short time before in the presence of all, although not to all, but only to some of his disciples, as is recorded by saint Matthew (Matth. 16, 28). For his Transfiguration He selected a high mountain in the center of Galilee, two leagues east of Nazareth and called Mount Tabor. Ascending to its highest summit with the three Apostles, Peter, and the two brothers James and John, He was transfigured before them (Matth. 17, hark 9, 1; Luke 9, 28). The three Evangelists tell us that besides these Apostles, were present also the prophets, Moses and Elias, discoursing with Jesus about his Passion, and that, while He was thus transfigured, a voice resounded from heaven in the name of the eternal Father, saying “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him.”

The Evangelists do not say that most holy Mary was present at this Transfiguration, nor do they say that She was not there; this did not fall within purpose, and they did not think it proper to speak of the hidden miracle by which She was enabled to be there. For the purpose of recording this event here, I was given to understand that at the same time in which some of the holy angels were commissioned to bring the soul of Moses and Elias from their abode, others of her own guard carried the heavenly Lady to Mount Tabor, in order to witness the Transfiguration of her divine Son, for without a doubt She really witnessed it. There was no necessity of confirming the most holy Mother in her faith, as was necessary with the Apostles; for She was invincibly confirmed in faith.

But no human ingenuity can suffice fully to describe the effects of this glorious vision of her Son on her most holy soul. With inmost gratitude and deepest penetration She began to ponder upon what She had seen and heard; exalted praise of the omnipotent welled forth from her lips, when She considered how her eyes had seen refulgent in glory that same bodily substance, which had been formed of her blood, carried in her womb and nursed at her breast; how She had with her own ears heard the voice of the eternal Father acknowledge her Son as his own and appoint Him as the Teacher of all the human race. With her holy angels She composed new canticles to celebrate an event so full of festive joy for her soul and for the most sacred humanity of her Son. I will not expatiate upon this mystery, nor discuss in what the Transfiguration of the body of Jesus really consisted. It is enough to know that his countenance began to shine like the sun and his garments became whiter than the snow (Matth. 17, 2).

After the Transfiguration the most blessed Mother was brought back to her house in Nazareth; her divine Son descended the mountain and immediately came to visit her in order to take final leave of his parental province and set out for Jerusalem. There, on the following Pasch, which was to be for Him the last upon earth, He was to enter upon his Passion. Having spent only a few days at Nazareth, He departed with his Mother, his disciples and Apostles and some of the holy women, traveling about through Galilee and Samaria before entering Judea and Jerusalem. The Evangelist saint Luke writes of this journey where he says, that He set his face toward Jerusalem (Luke 9, 51); for He journeyed to Jerusalem with a joyous countenance and full of desire to enter upon his sufferings, in order thereby, according to his own most ardent and generous desire, to sacrifice Himself for the human race. He was not to return to Galilee, where had wrought so many miracles. Knowing this at his departure from Nazareth, He glorified his eternal Father and, in the name of his sacred humanity, gave thanks for having, in that house and neighborhood, received the human form and existence which He was now to deliver over to suffering and death. Of the prayers of Christ our Lord on this occasion I will record as I can the following one:

“My eternal Father, in compliance with thy will I gladly haste to satisfy thy justice by suffering even unto death. Thus shall I reconcile to Thee all the children of Adam, paying their debts and opening to them the gates of heaven which have been closed against them. I shall seek those who have turned away and lost themselves, so that they may be restored by the force of my love. I shall find and gather together the lost of the house of Jacob (Is. 56, 8), raise up the fallen, enrich the poor, refresh the thirsty, cast down the haughty and exalt the humble. I wish to vanquish hell and enhance the glories of the triumph over Lucifer (I John 3, 8), and over the vices which he has sown into the world. I wish to raise up the standard of the Cross, beneath which virtue, and all those that put themselves under its protection, are to fight their battles. I wish to satiate my heart with insults and affronts, which are so estimable in thy eyes. I wish to humiliate Myself even to death at the hands of my enemies, in order that our chosen friends may be consoled in their tribulations and that they may be honored by high rewards, whenever they choose to humiliate themselves in suffering the same persecutions. O beloved Cross! When shalt thou receive Me in thy arms? O sweet ignominies and affronts! When shalt thou bear Me on to overcome death through the sufferings of my entirely guiltless flesh? Ye pains, affronts, ignominies, scourges, thorns, torments, death, come to Me, who wish to embrace you, yield yourselves to my welcome, since I well understand your value. If the world abhors you, I long for you. If the world in its ignorance, despises you, I, who am truth and wisdom, love and embrace you. Come then to Me, for in welcoming you as man, I exalt you as the true God and am ready to efface the touch of sin from you and from all that will embrace you. Come to Me, ye pains, and disappoint Me not; heed not my Omnipotence, for I shall permit you to exert your full force upon my humanity. You shall not be rejected and abhorred by Me as you are by mortals. The deceitful fascination of the children of Adam in vainly judging the poor and the afflicted of this world as unhappy, shall now disappear; for if they see their true God, their Creator, Master and Father, suffering horrible insults, scourgings, the ignominious torment and destitution of the Cross, they will understand their error and esteem it as an honor to follow their crucified God.”

I cannot worthily express all the thoughts and affections of the Mistress of the world in this her departure from Nazareth, her prayers and petitions to the eternal Father, her most sweet and sorrowful conversations with her divine Son, the greatness of her grief and the vastness of her merits. For, on account of the conflict between the love of a true Mother, by which She naturally desired to preserve Him from the terrible torments, and the conformity of her will with that of Jesus and of his eternal Father, her heart was pierced by the sword of sorrow, prophesied by Simeon (Luke 2, 35). In her affliction She complained to her divine Son in words of deepest prudence and wisdom, yet also of sweetest sorrow, that She should be unable to prevent his sufferings, or at least die with Him. These sorrows of the Mother of God exceeded the sufferings of martyrs who have died or will die for love of God to the end of the world. In such a state of mind and affection the Sovereigns of the world pursued their way from Nazareth toward Jerusalem through Galilee, which the Savior was not to revisit in this life. As the end of his labors for the salvation of men drew to a close, his miraculous works increased in number, and, as the sacred writers of the Gospels relate, they became especially numerous in the last months intervening between his departure from Galilee and the day of entrance into Jerusalem. Until that day, after having celebrated the feast or the Pasch of the Tabernacles, the Savior traveled about and labored in Judea, awaiting the appointed time, when, according to his will, He was to offer Himself in sacrifice.

Our Savior continued to perform his miracles in Judea. Among them was also the resurrection of Lazarus in Bethany, whither He had been called by the two sisters, Martha and Mary. As this miracle took place so near to Jerusalem, the report of it was soon spread throughout the city. The priests and Pharisees, being irritated by this miracle, held a council (John 9, 17), in which they resolved upon the death of the Redeemer and commanded all those that had any knowledge of his whereabouts, to make it known; for after the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus retired to the town of Ephrem, until the proximate feast of the Pasch should arrive. As the time of celebrating it by his own Death drew nigh, He showed Himself more openly with his twelve disciples, the Apostles; and He told them privately that they should now get themselves ready to go Jerusalem, where the Son of man, He himself, should be delivered over to the chiefs of the Pharisees, bound as a prisoner, scourged, and ill–treated unto the death of the Cross (Matth. 20, 18). In the meanwhile the priests kept a sharp watch to find Him among those who came to celebrate the Pasch. Six days previous He again visited Bethania, where He had called Lazarus to life, and where He was entertained by the two sisters. They arranged a banquet for the Lord and his Mother, and for all of his company. Among those that were at table with Them, was also Lazarus, whom He had brought back to life a few days before.

Thursday, the eve of the Passion and Death of the Savior, had arrived; at earliest dawn the Lord called his most beloved Mother and She, hastening to prostrate Herself at his feet, responded; “Speak, my Lord and Master, for thy servant heareth.” Raising Her up from the ground, He spoke to Her in words of soothing and tenderest love: “My Mother, the hour decreed by the eternal wisdom of my Father for accomplishing the salvation and restoration of the human race and imposed upon Me by his most holy and acceptable will, has now arrived; it is proper that now We subject to Him our own will, as We have so often offered to do. Give Me thy permission to enter upon my suffering and death, and, as my true Mother, consent that I deliver Myself over to my enemies in obedience to my Father. In this manner do Thou also willingly co–operate with Me in this work of eternal salvation, since I have received from Thee in thy virginal womb the form of a suffering and mortal man in which I am to redeem the world and satisfy the divine justice. Just as thou, of thy own free will, didst consent to my Incarnation, so I now desire thee to give consent also to my passion and death of the Cross. To sacrifice Me now of thy own free will to the decree of my eternal Father, this shall be the return which I ask of thee for having made thee my Mother; for He has sent Me in order that by the sufferings of my flesh I might recover the lost sheep of his house, the children of Adam” (Matth. 18,11).

These and other words of the Savior, spoken on that occasion, pierced the most loving heart of Mary and cast Her into the throes of a sorrow greater than She had ever endured before. For now had arrived that dreadful hour, whence there was no issue for her pains, neither in an appeal to the swift–fleeting time nor to any other tribunal against the inevitable decree of the eternal Father, that had fixed the term of her beloved Son’s life. When now the most prudent Mother look upon Him as her God, infinite in his attributes and perfections, and as the true Godman in hypostatical union with the person of the Word, and beheld Him sanctified and ineffably exalted by this union with the Godhead: She remembered the obedience He had shown Her as his Mother during so many years and the blessings He had conferred upon Her during his long companionship with Her; She realized that soon She was to be deprived of this blessed companionship and of the beauty of his countenance, of the vivifying sweetness of his words; that She was not only to lose all this at once, but moreover that She was to deliver Him over into the hands of wicked enemies, to ignominies and torments and to the bloody sacrifice of a death on the Cross. How deeply must all these considerations and circumstances, now so clearly before Her mind, have penetrated into her tender and loving heart and filled it with a sorrow unmeasurable! But with the magnanimity of a Queen, vanquishing this invincible pain, She prostrated Herself at the feet of Her divine Son and Master, and, in deepest reverence, kissing his feet, answered:

“Lord and highest God, Author of all that has being, though Thou art the Son of my womb, I am thy handmaid; the condescension of thy ineffable love alone has raised me from the dust to the dignity of being thy Mother. It is altogether becoming that I, vile wormlet, acknowledge and thank thy most liberal clemency by obeying the will of the eternal Father and thy own. I offer myself and resign myself to his divine pleasure in order that in Me, just as in Thee, my Son and Lord his eternal and adorable will be fulfilled. The greatest sacrifice which I can make, is that I shall not be able to die with Thee, and that our lot should not be inverted; for to suffer in imitation of Thee and in thy company would be a great relief for my pains, and all torments would be sweet, if undergone in union with thine. That Thou shouldst endure all these torments for the salvation of mankind shall be my only relief in my pains. Receive, O my God, this sacrifice of my desire to die with Thee, and of my still continuing to live, while thou, the most innocent Lamb and figure of the substance of thy eternal Father undergoest Death (Heb. 1, 3). Receive also the agonies of my sorrow to see the inhuman cruelty of thy enemies executed on thy exalted Person because of the wickedness of the human kind. O ye heavens and elements and all creatures within them, ye sovereign spirits, ye Patriarchs and Prophets, assist me to deplore the death of my Beloved, who gave you being, and bewail with me the misery of men, who are the cause of this Death, and who, failing to profit of such great blessings, shall lose that eternal life so dearly bought! O unhappy you, that are foreknown as doomed! and O ye happy predestined, who shall wash your stoles in the blood of the Lamb (Apoc. 7, 14), you, who knew how to profit by this blessed sacrifice, praise ye the Lord Almighty! O my Son and infinite delight of my soul, give fortitude and strength to thy afflicted Mother; admit Her as thy disciple and companion, in order that she may participate in thy Passion and Cross, in order that the eternal Father may receive the sacrifice of thy Mother in union with thine.”

With these and other expressions of her sentiments, which I cannot all record in words, the Queen of heaven answered her most holy Son, and offered Herself as a companion and a coadjutrix in his Passion. Thereupon, thoroughly instructed and prepared by divine light for all the mysteries to be wrought by the Master of life towards accomplishing all his great ends, the most pure Mother, having the Lord’s permission, added another request in the following words: “Beloved of my soul and light of my eyes, my Son, I am not worthy to ask Thee what I desire from my inmost soul; but Thou, O Lord, art the life of my hope, and this my trust I beseech Thee, if such be thy pleasure, make me a participant in the ineffable Sacrament of thy body and blood. Thou hast resolved to institute it as a pledge of thy glory and I desire in receiving Thee sacramentally in my heart to share the effects of this new and admirable Sacrament. Well do I know, O Lord, that no creature can ever merit such an exquisite blessing, which Thou hast resolved to set above all the works of thy magnificence; and in order to induce Thee to confer upon me, I have nothing else to offer except thy own and all thy infinite merits. If by perpetuating merits through the same humanity which thou hast received from my womb, creates for me a certain right, let this right consist not so much in giving Thyself to me in this Sacrament, as in making me thine by this new possession, which restores to me thy sweetest companionship. All my desires and exertions I have devoted to the worthy reception of this holy Communion from the moment in which Thou gavest me knowledge of it and ever since it was thy fixed decree to remain in the holy Church under the species of consecrated bread and wine. Thou then, my Lord and God, return to thy first habitation which Thou didst find in thy beloved Mother and thy slave, whom Thou hast prepared for thy reception by exempting Her from the common touch of sin. Then shall I receive within me the humanity, which I have communicated to Thee from my own blood, and thus we shall be united in a renewed and close embrace. This prospect enkindles my heart with most ardent love, and may I never be separated from Thee, who art the infinite Good and the Love of my soul.”

Our Savior, having thus parted with his most beloved Mother and sorrowful Spouse, and taking along with Him all his Apostles, a little before midday of the Thursday of the last Supper, departed on his last journey from Bethany to Jerusalem. At the very outset He raised his eyes to the eternal Father, and, confessing Him in words of thankfulness and praise, again professed his most ardent love and most lovingly and obediently offered to suffer and die for the Redemption of the human race. This prayer and sacrifice of our Savior and Master sprang from such ineffable love and ardor of his spirit, that it cannot be described; all that I say of it seems to me rather a gainsaying of the truth and of what I desire to say. “Eternal Father and my God,” said Christ our Lord, “in compliance with thy will I now go to suffer and die for the liberation of men, my brethren and the creatures of thy hands. I deliver Myself up for their salvation and to gather those who have been scattered and divided by the sin of Adam.

The Virgin Mary speaks to Sister Mary of Agreda, Spain

My daughter, as thy soul has been furnished with gifts of enlightenment, I call and invite thee anew to cast thyself into the sea of mysteries contained in the passion and death of my divine Son. Direct all thy faculties and strain all the powers of thy heart and soul, to make thyself at least somewhat worthy of understanding and meditating upon the ignominies and sorrows of the Son of the eternal Father in his death on the Cross for the salvation of men; and also of considering my doings and sufferings in connection with his bitterest Passion. This science, so much neglected by men, I desire that thou, my daughter, study and learn, so as to be able follow thy Spouse and imitate me, who am thy Mother and Teacher. Writing down and feeling deeply all that I shall teach thee of these mysteries, thou shouldst detach thyself entirely of human and earthly affections and of thy own self, so as freely to follow our footsteps in destitution and poverty.

I wish thee also to ponder, what a horrible crime it is in the eyes of the Lord, in mine, and in those of all the saints, that men should despise and neglect the frequent reception of the holy Communion, and that they should approach it without preparation and fervent devotion. Principally in order that thou mayest understand and record this warning, I have manifested thee, what I did on that occasion and how I prepared myself so many years for receiving my most blessed Son in the holy Sacrament and also the rest, which thou art yet to write for the instruction and confusion of men. For if I, who was innocent of any hindering sin and filled with all graces, sought to increase my fitness for this favor by such fervent acts of love, humility and gratitude, consider what efforts thou and the other children of the Church, who every day and hour incur new guilt and blame, must make in order to fit yourselves for the beauty of the Divinity and humanity of my most holy Son? What excuse can those men give in the last judgment, who have despised this ineffable love and blessing, which they had always present in the holy Church, ready to fill them with the plenitude of gifts, and who rather sought diversion in worldly pleasures and attended upon the outward and deceitful vanities of this earthly life? Be thou amazed at this insanity as were the holy angels, and guard thyself against falling into the same error.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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