Ordinary Time: August 6th
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Other Commemorations: St. Anna Maria Rubatto, religious (RM)
Entrance Antiphon, Cf. Mt 17:5:
In a resplendent cloud the Holy Spirit appeared. The Father’s voice was heard: This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.
Gospel Verse, Mt 17:5c:
This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.
Preface: The mystery of the Transfiguration:
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.For he revealed his glory in the presence of chosen witnesses
and filled with the greatest splendor that bodily form
which he shares with all humanity,
that the scandal of the Cross might be removed
from the hearts of the disciples
and that he might show how in the Body of the whole Church
is to be fulfilled what so wonderfully shone forth first in its Head.And so, with the Powers of heaven,
we worship you constantly on earth,
and before your majesty without end we acclaim:
Communion Antiphon, Cf. 1 Jn 3:2:
When Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord became widespread in the West in the 11th century and was introduced into the Roman calendar in 1457 to commemorate the victory over Islam in Belgrade. Before that, the Transfiguration of the Lord was celebrated in the Syrian, Byzantine, and Coptic rites. The Transfiguration foretells the glory of the Lord as God, and His Ascension into heaven. It anticipates the glory of heaven, where we shall see God face to face. Through grace, we already share in the divine promise of eternal life.From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #554:
From the day Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Master "began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things. . . and be killed, and on the third day be raised." Peter scorns this prediction, nor do the others understand it any better than he. In this context the mysterious episode of Jesus' Transfiguration takes place on a high mountain, before three witnesses chosen by himself: Peter, James and John. Jesus' face and clothes become dazzling with light, and Moses and Elijah appear, speaking "of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem". A cloud covers him and a voice from heaven says: "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" St. Maria Francesca Rubatto (1844-1904) is the religious name for Anna Maria Rubatto, an Italian Roman Catholic nun. She was the founder of the Capuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto. Most of her work was done in Uruguay where she died at the age of 59 in 1904. She was canonized by Pope Francis on May 15, 2022, and is Uruguay's first canonized saint.
Our divine Redeemer, being in Galilee about a year before His sacred Passion, took with him St. Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, Sts. James and John, and led them to a retired mountain. Tradition assures us that this was Mount Thabor, which is exceedingly high and beautiful, and was anciently covered with green trees and shrubs, and was very fruitful. It rises something like a sugar-loaf, in a vast plain in the middle of Galilee. This was the place in which the Man-God appeared in His glory.
- In the Russian Orthodox church, honey, pears, apples, plums and other fruits are brought to the church for blessing. This feast is also referred to as "Metamorphosis" in the Eastern church.
- The Transfiguration was another "firstfruits" harvest feast, particularly of grapes and wheat. The older Roman Ritual has a blessing of grapes and blessing of the harvest for this feast.
- Playing up on the brilliant white of the garments, decorating with white (tablecloth, candles, etc.) and serving some white foods (mashed potatoes, vanilla ice cream, Mexican wedding cookies, meringues, etc.) can bring to mind that dazzling white.
- This is one of the harvest feasts of the Church. Katherine Burton in her Feast Day Cookbook explains the grape and wine connection for the Transfiguration: "Traditionally on the Feast of the Transfiguration, the Pope presses a bunch of ripe grapes into the chalice at Mass or uses new wine. Also in Rome raisins are blessed on the Feast of the Transfiguration, and the Greek and Russian Churches too conduct a special ceremony for blessing grapes and other fruits. See the recipe for spiced grape jelly and Toasting Through the Liturgical Year for more details.
- Having Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration is a reminder of the Old Testament. Bring in some Jewish recipes or foods to highlight this aspect of the feast day.
- View some paintings of the Transfiguration here.
St. Maria Domenica Mantovani
Blessed Maria Francesca was born Anna Maria Rubatto in Carmagnola, Italy on St. Valentine’s day, February 14, 1844. She was only four years old when her father died, and when she was a teenager, Anna Maria received an offer of what would have been a comfortable marriage to a local notary. She turned him down, however, because as a child, she had made a vow of virginity and was determined to keep it.