Papal Address Before the Midday Angelus

Notes Upcoming Anniversary of Paul VI´s Death

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 5, 2001 ( Here is a translation of John Paul II´s address before the midday Angelus, at the papal summer residence.

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Dearest Brothers and Sisters!

1. Tomorrow, Aug. 6, we celebrate the solemnity of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The evangelists Luke, Mark and Matthew all recount that Jesus led the apostles Peter, James and John «up a high mountain,» identified as Tabor in Galilee, and was transfigured before them. And «his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light» (Matthew 17:1-2). Next to him, the venerable figures of Moses and Elijah appeared. The Father himself, in «a bright cloud,» made his voice heard, saying: «This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him» (Matthew 17:5).

After the resurrection, this mystery, which the Lord commanded them to keep secret (see Matthew 17:9), became an integral part of the Good News: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, whom today we contemplate radiant in the light of his glory.

2. Two thousand years later, the Church repeats with unaltered vigor that Christ is the light of the world! Every day, his light gives new meaning to our way of living.

The whole life of Paul VI, the Servant of God who died on Aug. 6, 1978, was tempered by this proclamation. For the Angelus of that day, which he was unable to recite, he had written: «The Transfiguration of the Lord throws a dazzling light on our daily life and makes us turn our mind to the immortal destiny which that fact itself foreshadows.»

We hear his words again, 23 years later, with profound emotion. We remember this venerable predecessor of mine with gratitude and affection, who gave faithful witness to Christ in complex and difficult years. We pray for him, invoking the Holy Virgin, heavenly Mother of God.

3. Mary, Mother of God! This is how Rome venerates her today, celebrating the dedication of the patriarchal Basilica of St. Mary Major, the oldest church in the West named after the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast, so dear to Romans, invites us to turn our gaze to her whom the Father chose as Mother of his only-begotten Son, and because of this, Mother of all of humanity. We ask her to help us remain united to her Son, Jesus, always: now and at the hour of our death.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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