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The Afternoon of the Transfiguration

Καὶ ἀνέβη Μωυσῆς καὶ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἰς τό ὄρος, καί ἐκάλυψεν ἡ νεφέλη τὸ ὄρος. Καὶ κατέβη ἡ δόξα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐπὶ τὸ ὄρος τὸ Σινά, καὶ ἐκάλυψεν αὐτὸ ἡ νεφέλη ἓξ ἡμέρας· καὶ ἐκάλεσε Κύριος τὸν Μωυσῆν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ἑβδόμῃ ἐκ μέσου τῆς νεφέλης. Τὸ δὲ εἶδος τῆς δόξης Κυρίου ὡσεὶ πῦρ φλέγον ἐπὶ τῆς κορυφῆς τοῦ ὄρους ἐναντίον τῶν υἱῶν ᾿Ισραήλ. Καὶ εἰσῆλθε Μωυσῆς εἰς τὸ μέσον τῆς νεφέλης καὶ ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος καὶ ἦν ἐκεῖ ἐν τῷ ὄρει τεσσαράκοντα ἡμέρας καὶ τεσσαράκοντα νύκτας. 

And Moses and Joshua went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. And the glory of God came down upon the mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and the Lord called Moses on the seventh day out of the midst of the cloud. And the appearance of the glory of the Lord was as burning fire on the top of the mountain, before the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and went up to the mountain, and was there in the mountain forty days and forty nights. (Exodus 24:15-18)

On the afternoon of the Transfiguration I climbed into the mountains to the south of the monastery and photographed the last rays of the sun shining on the foothills of Sinai.

Storeroom 25

The door of storeroom 25 is lit by the last rays of the sun.

Feast of Saint Anne 2018

Although we are few, this year also we were able to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the beautiful little Chapel of Saint Anne on her feast day.

Carved Pomegranates

The sixth century doorpost in the basilica has a carved panel with pomegranates.

Καὶ ποιήσεις ἐπὶ τὸ λῶμα τοῦ ὑποδύτου κάτωθεν, ὡσεὶ ἐξανθούσης ρόας ροΐσκους ἐξ ὑακίνθου καὶ πορφύρας καὶ κοκκίνου διανενησμένου καὶ βύσσου κεκλωσμένης ἐπί τοῦ λώματος τοῦ ὑποδύτου κύκλῳ· τὸ αὐτὸ εἶδος ροΐσκους χρυσοῦς καὶ κώδωνας ἀναμέσον τούτων περικύκλῳ.

And under the fringe of the robe below thou shalt make as it were pomegranates of a flowering pomegranate tree, of blue, and purple, and spun scarlet, and fine linen spun, under the fringe of the robe round about: golden pomegranates of the same shape, and bells round about between these. (Exodus 28:33)

The golden bells alternating with the pomegranates represent the brilliance of good works. They are the two pursuits through which virtue is acquired, namely, faith toward the divine and conscience toward life. The great Paul adds these pomegranates and bells to Timothy’s garment, saying that he should have ‘faith and a good conscience’ (1 Timothy 1:19). So let faith sound forth pure and loud in the preaching of the holy Trinity and let life imitate the nature of the pomegranate’s fruit.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses

Pomegranates

Pomegranates next to the church

Granite Cross

A cross carved in granite in the sixth century has been set into the north wall next to the Burning Bush.

Oleander

An oleander grows beside the Burning Bush.

End of Another Day

The Burning Bush passes into shadow at the end of another day.

Lengthening Shadows

The Burning Bush as shadows lengthen

Shadows from the Parapet

Wooden beams supporting the parapet cast shadows along the rampart at the northeast corner of the fortress wall.