The Pope’s words at the Angelus prayer

Before the Angelus

After the Angelus

At midday today, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The following is the Pope’s introduction to the Marian prayer:

 

Before the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

This Sunday, the liturgy celebrates the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Today’s Gospel reading tells us that the apostles Peter, James and John were witnesses to this extraordinary event. Jesus took them with Him and “and led them up a high mountain by themselves” ( Mt 17: 1) and, as He was praying, His face changed in appearance, shining like the sun, and His garments became white as light. Then Moses and Elijah appeared, and entered into dialogue with Him. At this point, Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah” (v. 4). He had not yet finished speaking when a bright cloud enveloped them.

The event of the Lord’s Transfiguration offers us a message of hope – we will be like this, with Him – and it invites us to encounter Jesus, to be at the service of our brethren.

The disciples’ ascent of Mount Tabor leads us to reflect on the importance of detaching ourselves from worldly things, of undertaking the upward path and of contemplating Jesus. It means being prepared for attentive and prayerful listening to Christ, the Beloved Son of the Father, seeking moments of prayer permitting the obedient and joyful acceptance of the Word of God. In this spiritual ascent, in this detachment from worldly things, we are called to rediscover the peaceful and regenerating silence of meditation of the Gospel, of reading the Gospel, leading us to a rich reward of beauty, splendour and joy. And when we do this, Bible in hand, in silence, we begin to feel this inner beauty, this joy that the Word of God generates in us. From this perspective, summertime is a providential moment to increase our commitment to seeking and encountering the Lord. In this period, students are free from school commitments and many families take their vacations; it is important that, during the period of rest and detachment from daily occupations, the strength of body and soul can be restored, deepening the spiritual journey.

At the end of the wonderful experience of the Transfiguration, the disciples descend the mountain (cf. v. 9) with their eyes and hearts transfigured by the encounter with the Lord. It is the journey that we too can undertake. The ever-living rediscovery of Jesus is not an end in itself, but rather induces us to “come down from the mountain”, recharged with the strength of the divine Spirit, to decide on new steps of genuine conversion and to witness charity constantly, as a law of daily life. Transformed by the presence of Christ and the ardour of His word, we will be a concrete sign of the life-giving love of God for all our brethren, especially for those who suffer, those who find themselves in solitude and abandonment, the sick and the many men and women who, in various parts of the world, are humiliated by injustice, arrogance and violence.

Heard in the Transfiguration is the voice of the Father who says: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!” (v. 5). We look at Mary, the Virgin of Listening , always ready to receive and keep in her heart every word of her divine Son (cf. Lk 1:51). May our Mother, and the Mother of God, help us to be attuned to the Word of God, so that Christ becomes the light and guide of all our life. We entrust to her all our vacations; may they be serene and fruitful, especially the summer of those who cannot go on holiday due to obstacles of age, health or work, economic limitations and other problems, so that it may be nonetheless a time of rest, gladdened by the presence of friends and happy moments.

 

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims from various countries: families, associations, individual faithful.

Today several groups of children and young people are present. I greet you with great affection! In particular, the youth pastoral group from Verona, and young people from Adria, Campodarsego, and Offanengo.

I wish you all a good Sunday and please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch, and goodbye.