October 13, 2023

The Miraculous Holy Cloud

Cloud over mount tabor

In the course of our research for the Lives, Miracles, and Wisdom of the Saints & Fasting Calendar, we often run across stories that constantly amaze us. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

An account from someone who witnessed the miraculous event

Every year, on the Old Calendar Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (August 19), a light-bearing cloud descends upon Mount Tabor in a miraculous fashion, which I was blessed to see for myself in August this year.

Mount Tabor is situated on a 500m hill in the region of Galilee. According to sacred tradition, it was upon this hill that Jesus Christ took his three beloved disciples up, 40 days prior to his Crucifixion, and transfigured before them, “showing His glory as much as they could bear”.

According to the monks of Galilee, everybody sees the miraculous phenomenon differently, as was justified by accounts from the tour group I was a part of.

On a warm, cloudless and calm night, we ascended Mount Tabor, anticipating the all-night vigil for the Transfiguration. We had all heard of this miraculous “cloud” but had never in fact seen photos describing the miraculous event.

To everyone’s surprise, as soon as the hymns of Katavasies began, a fog-like smoke started rising from the valley below us. Out of nowhere, a massive rushing of wind began, bringing this mysterious incense-like fog with it. Slowly, the fog turned into an endless cloud carried by the wind, flying over us with an intense speed which I had never seen before.

Not long after, “Blessed is the Kingdom…” was said. The enormous brass bells tolled as the clouds descended onto the whole congregation. Every single person embraced the miraculous cloud with arms held high, chanting the troparion of the Transfiguration and giving glory to God!

Some people stated that they even saw flashes of lightning, while other claimed that the cloud had an intense reddish colour, and others smelled a sweet fragrance.

Overjoyed, the whole congregation, filled with thousands of pilgrims from all over the world, continued their hymns to God until daybreak.

Having descended the Holy Mountain, the cloud was visible encircling only the Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration and not any other of the heterodox churches on the mountain. We, the faithful, departed with great joy on being witnesses of this great annual miracle!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the miraculous event that occurs annually on Mount Tabor on August 19th?

Every year, on August 19th, which is the Old Calendar Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, a light-bearing cloud miraculously descends upon Mount Tabor. This phenomenon is witnessed by pilgrims and is associated with the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, where He showed His divine glory to His disciples on the same mount.

What is the significance of Mount Tabor in the context of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ?

Mount Tabor is traditionally believed to be the site where Jesus Christ transfigured before His three beloved disciples, revealing His divine glory “as much as they could bear,” 40 days prior to His Crucifixion. The mount is located in the region of Galilee and is a place of pilgrimage, especially during the feast of the Transfiguration.

How do different people perceive the miraculous cloud?

According to the monks of Galilee and various witness accounts, the perception of the miraculous cloud can differ among individuals. Some people have reported seeing flashes of lightning, others claimed the cloud exhibited an intense reddish color, and some smelled a sweet fragrance. The phenomenon is experienced in diverse ways by those present.

What happens during the all-night vigil for the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor?

Pilgrims ascend Mount Tabor and participate in an all-night vigil for the Transfiguration. During the vigil, as hymns are sung, a miraculous cloud appears, often accompanied by other phenomena such as a rushing wind and a fog-like smoke rising from the valley. The cloud descends upon the congregation, and the event is embraced with chants, prayers, and expressions of glory to God, continuing until daybreak.

Does the miraculous cloud appear in other locations on Mount Tabor?

The miraculous cloud is specifically observed encircling the Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor and does not appear over other heterodox churches on the mountain. This specificity is considered part of the miracle and is a profound spiritual experience for the faithful who witness it.

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