August 19, 2014

An Eye-Witness Testimonial About the Annual Bright Cloud of Mount Tabor

Every year on August 6th according to the Julian Calendar followed by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, a bright cloud descends on Mount Tabor during the All-Night Vigil Service for the Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of Christ.

The following testimony comes from an older couple who travelled to the Holy Land a few years ago, and the husband was moved when he recounted his experience on Mount Tabor.

On the day before the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, which was the night of the 5th into the 6th of August, there was a Vigil in the Sacred Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. There were many pilgrims from all over the world, but especially from Greece.

This amazing phenomenon, showing the divine love and condescension of our Christ, was known to most of the faithful, who after the Vigil sat down to see it. Toil and sleep, however, led them to go their hostel to rest. I remained vigilant, sitting on a chair outside the church, by myself with an older nun.

It had not yet shown itself, when beyond the mountains of Judea there appeared something red. I looked at it with wonder, but also with anxiety. I turned and said to the nun, whom I and my spouse came to know:

"You also have fires in the mountains here, Sister? Look across the deep! What is that which is reddening?"

When the nun turned to see, she immediately got up and was completely moved, and doing her Cross she said to me:

"Sir, that is not a fire, but the Bright Cloud of our Lord! It is something of the glory of His Transfiguration! Now you will see it come towards us. We must inform the other pilgrims. They must not miss this blessing."

Indeed, we informed them, and soon everyone gathered outside the church, full of sacred contrition. Meanwhile, the Bright Cloud lifted and slowly-slowly came towards us, towards Mount Tabor! We looked in awe. Some prayed, some glorified God, some cried!

After a little while it was directly above us and began to descend! Then, how can someone recount what happened? One saw the human desire for God. That sweet Light soon wrapped around us. Everyone swam in the Grace of our Christ. In one moment, that worshipful Light began to diminish, and it became a Cloud again and began to lift. And then you should have seen what happened! The people raised their hands high and wept while praying to the Lord to once again bring down His Glory for their delight and intoxication. We were surrounded by divine love!

Because of the tears and prayers of the faithful, the Cloud again descended! This took place many times, until eventually the Light lifted and became lost in the vault - one could say - of the heavens. Daybreak soon came. The created light took the place of the Light of the Glory of God. What a difference!

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.