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Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord 2000

Pope Saint John Paul II's speech before Holy Mass in the Jubilee
Sunday 6th August 2000 - also in French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"We are preparing to celebrate Holy Mass on the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, cherishing in our hearts the ever-living memory of the Servant of God Paul VI, 22 years after his "going forth" to eternity.

Today's liturgy invites us to turn our gaze to the face of the Son of God who, as the Synoptics unanimously attest, is transfigured on the mountain before Peter, James and John, while the Father's voice proclaims from the cloud: "This is my beloved Son; listen to him" (Mk 9, 7). St Peter will recall the event with emotion, saying: "We were eye witnesseses of his majesty" (2 Pt 1, 16).

In our era, pervaded by the so-called "image culture", the desire to be able to fill one's eyes with the figure of the divine Master becomes more intense, but it is appropriate to recall his words: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe" (Jn 20, 29). It was precisely with his eyes of faith fixed on the adorable face of Christ, true man and true God, that the revered and unforgettable Paul VI lived. Contemplating him with burning and impassioned love, he said: "Christ is beauty, human and divine beauty, the beauty of reality, of truth, of life" (Audience, 13 January 1971). And he added: "The figure of Christ presents, over and above the charm of his merciful gentleness, an aspect which is grave and strong, formidable, if you like, when dealing with cowardice, hypocrisy, injustice and cruelty, but never lacking a sovereign aura of love" (Audience, 27 January 1971).

As we approach the altar with grateful hearts, praying for the blessed soul of this great Pontiff, we also wish, like him and like the disciples, to turn our gaze to the radiant face of the Son of God to be illumined by it. Let us ask God, through the intercession of Mary, Teacher of faith and contemplation, to enable us to receive within us the light that shines brightly on the face of Christ, so that we may reflect its image on everyone we meet."

Papa San Giovanni Paolo II's words at the Angelus at Castel Gandolfo
Sunday 6 August 2000 - also in French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dearest Brothers and Sisters!
1. Today, 6 August, is the feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a liturgical celebration which Christians of the East and West observe on the same day. In the context of the Great Jubilee, His Holiness Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, took the initiative of inviting all Christians to join in an extended Prayer Vigil on the eve of this feast. The Catholic Church joyfully accepted this appeal, and yesterday evening an inspiring vigil was held at the Roman Basilica of St John Lateran, in a communion of faith and intentions. It was a fitting occasion to emphasize our common profession of faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God, and our desire to obey his Gospel. According to today's Gospel account, Jesus "was transfigured" before Peter, James and John: "his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light" (Mt 17, 2). Through the veil of his humanity, the Son of God, "Light from Light", revealed himself. And this was confirmed by a mysterious voice from on high: "This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him" (Mt 17, 5). Here we have a true epiphany: the manifestation of God's Son to the world.

2. We are at the centre of the Christian mystery and, consequently, of the Great Jubilee, which spurs us to renew our fidelity to Christ. The various Jubilee events are, in fact, privileged occasions for believers to encounter him and to tell him anew of their firm will to cooperate in his universal plan of salvation. World Youth Day, now close at hand, will be celebrated in this same spirit. Many young people are already traveling to Rome by every means; families, parishes, institutes and schools have been mobilized to welcome them, and I too will have the joy of hosting some of them here in Castel Gandolfo. Let us pray that this important event in the heart of the Jubilee will be a great opportunity for the world's young people to renew their generous fidelity to Christ.

3. The feast of the Transfiguration calls to mind my beloved Predecessor, the Servant of God Paul VI, who died precisely on 6 August in 1978, which was a Sunday then, as it is today. He was an inspired preacher of the Transfiguration, in which he contemplated the whole mystery of Christ, true man and true God. With fervent love and wise teaching Paul VI showed Christ, "Teacher, Pastor, Light of the soul" to contemporary man, who is often bewildered by thousands of deceptive attractions. "He is necessary", he said in a homily, "and we cannot do without him; he is our fortune, joy and happiness, our promise and hope; our way, our truth and our life" (Insegnamenti, III [1965], 1192). May the Virgin Mary, whom Paul VI revered with filial affection, help all Christians to be faithful witnesses to the Lord. May she also support the efforts being made by Christians of various denominations to advance courageously on the path of full unity."

After leading the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father said:

"En cette fête de la Transfiguration du Seigneur, je souhaite aux personnes de langue française d'accueillir avec générosité la lumière de l'Évangile pour qu'elle éclaire toute leur existence et leur donne d'être au milieu de leurs frères des témoins ardents du Christ, "Lumière des peuples".

Je salue cordialement les pèlerins du diocèse de Papeete en Polynésie française, ainsi que les membres de la famille De Habicht, présents à Rome pour accomplir le pèlerinage jubilaire. À tous, je donne de grand cœur la Bénédiction apostolique.

I gladly greet the English-speaking visitors present today in Castel Gandolfo, and in particular the Mary Help of Christians Group from Hong Kong.

May the Blessed Mother accompany you all on your Jubilee pilgrimage.

Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger deutscher Sprache, die am Fest der Verklärung des Herrn nach Castel Gandolfo gekommen sind. Besonders möchte ich zwei Pilger aus der Lausitz nennen, die sich auf nicht alltägliche Weise auf den langen Weg nach Rom gemacht haben: Sie sind unterwegs zu Pferd. Mit dem Wunsch, daß unser aller Pilgerweg zum Berg der Verklärung führe, erteile ich Euch gern den Apostolischen Segen.

Quiero expresar mi cordial saludo a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los Salesianos venidos de Barcelona y Puebla. Pido al Señor que, como a Pedro, Santiago y Juan, os manifieste también a vosotros su rostro transfigurado, recibiendo de Él la fuerza para ser en todo momento testigos de su amor.

Rivolgo un saluto cordiale ai pellegrini di lingua italiana, in particolare ai gruppi parrocchiali provenienti da Conegliano Veneto, Falzé di Piave, Borgosotto di Montichiari, Mapello, Novate Milanese, Sesto Cremonese, Bologna e Castel Giuliano di Bracciano. Saluto inoltre i sacerdoti e i laici partecipanti agli Esercizi spirituali del Movimento FAC; la Fraternità francescana di San Giovanni Gemini, diocesi di Agrigento; i malati della diocesi di Ancona-Osimo, tra i quali numerosi con disabilità; e l'equipaggio della Nave "Costa Riviera". Estendo il mio pensiero beneaugurante alle Suore Maestre di Santa Dorotea ed ai loro Cooperatori, che ci seguono da Piazza San Pietro."