By Fra Angelico.
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD
SAINTS SIXTUS II, POPE,
FELICISSIMUS AND AGAPITUS
DOUBLE, SECOND CLASS / WHITE
It was in order to strengthen the faith of Peter, James, and John for the approaching ordeal of the Passion that Jesus led them up Mount Tabor and was transfigured before them. Beholding Christ as the brightness of the Father and the figure of God's substance, Peter cried out, "Lord, it is good for us to be here!" Yet only a short while later, the same Peter would deny his master during the agonizing darkness of the Passion. "Jesus has now many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few that are willing to bear His cross," says the author of The Imitation of Christ. "But they that love Jesus for Jesus' sake and not for any comfort of their own, bless Him no less in tribulation and anguish of heart than in the greatest consolation."
INTROIT Ps. 76:19
Your lightning lighted the world; the earth quivered and trembled.
Ps. 83:2-3. How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and faints for the courts of the Lord.
V. Glory be . . .
O God, in the glorious transfiguration of Your only-begotten Son You confirmed the truths of faith by the testimony of the prophets, and you wondrously foreshadowed the fact of our adoption as Your sons by the voice speaking through the resplendent cloud. Grant us in Your mercy that we may be co-heirs with the King of glory and sharers in that very glory that is His. through our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINTS SIXTUS AND HIS COMPANIONS
Pope Sixtus II and Felicissimus and Agapitus, his deacons, were martyred at Rome on the same day, in the year 258. Pope Sixtus' archdeacon Lawrence met his death three days later, as he had prophesied to the younger man.
O God, who has granted us the grace to celebrate the birthday of Your blessed martyrs Sixtus II, Felicissimus, and Agapitus, grant that we may also share their eternal happiness in heaven. Through our Lord . . .
EPISTLE II Peter 1:16-19
Beloved: For we have not by following artificial fables made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ: but we were eyewitnesses of his greatness. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, this voice coming down to him from the excellent glory: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him." And this voice, we heard brought from heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount. And we have the more firm prophetical word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts.
GRADUAL Ps. 44:3, 2
You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured out upon your lips.
V. My heart overflows with good tidings; I sing my song to the king.
Alleluia, alleluia! Sap. 7:26
He is the brightness of eternal light, the unspotted mirror, and the image of his goodness. Alleluia!
GOSPEL Matt. 17:1-9
At that time, And after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. And Peter answering, said to Jesus: "Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo a voice out of the cloud, saying: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him." And the disciples hearing fell upon their face, and were very much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them: "Arise, and fear not." And they lifting up their eyes, saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: "Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 111:3
Glory and wealth shall be in his house, and his righteousness shall endure forever, alleluia!
Bless these gifts we offer You, O Lord, by the glorious Transfiguration of Your only-begotten Son. May they cleanse us from the stain of our sins by the brightness of His glory. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINT SIXTUS AND HIS COMPANIONS
We offer these gifts to You in sacrifice, O Lord. may the honor we pay to Your saints please You, and may these offerings, through Your mercy, bring us closer to our salvation. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matt. 17:9
Tell the vision thou hast seen to no one, till the Son of Man has risen from the dead.
O Almighty God, grant that we with pure minds may understand the most sacred mystery of the Transfiguration of Your Son, which we here solemnly commemorate. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINT SIXTUS AND HIS COMPANIONS
May the intercession of Your holy martyrs Sixtus, Felicissimus, and Agapitus help us to cherish with pure hearts the Sacrament we have received upon our lips. Through our Lord . . .