On our last day in the Galilee, we drove to Mount Tabor to visit the Church of the Transfiguration. It is traditionally believed to be the site where the Transfiguration of Christ took place, an event in the Gospels in which Jesus is transfigured upon a mountain and speaks with Moses and Elijah.
The Transfiguration of Jesus
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone (Matthew 17:1-8).
The current church was completed in 1924 and is part of a Franciscan monastery complex. The architect was Antonio Barluzzi, who had designed several Catholic churches in the Holy Land. The Church of the Transfiguration was built on the ruins of an ancient (4th–6th century) Byzantine church and a 12th-century church of the Crusader Kingdom period. As part of our almost daily routine on our trip, we were able to attend Mass at this Holy site. This time, we celebrated with a Chinese pilgrimage group, conducted in Mandarin.