On Monday, the Russian Orthodox mark one of the 12 annual big feasts -- the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, which people also call the feast of the Saviour of the Apples.
According to the Gospel, Jesus Christ told his disciples that He will have to go to Jerusalem, suffer much from the elders, high-priests and scribes, that he would be killed and would resurrect on the third day after his death.
Several days after saying these words Jesus took three apostles - Peter, James and John, his brother - to mount Favor and was transfigured before them and "his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light," says the Gospel (St. Matthew).
Two Old Testament Prophets - Moses and Elias - appeared before the transfigured Christ and talked with him. And from a bright cloud that overshadowed them, the voice of God the Father appeared saying: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." And when the disciples heard it, they were frightened and fell on their face.
Theologians believe that by the Transfiguration on Favor mountain Christ showed to the apostles the Glory of His Divinity, so that during his coming sufferings and death they should not doubt that Jesus is God's Only-Begotten Son.
It is interesting to note that this Evangelical legend has become one of the favorite subjects of Russian icon-painters. Icons showing Christ's Transfiguration were created by such famous icon-painters of AncientRus as Feofon Grek, Andrei Rublev, and Dionisy.
According to tradition, on the feast of Transfiguration feast after divine liturgy in Rus people used to consecrate apples and other fruit. That is why that feast is also known as the feast of the Saviour of Apples.