A religious painting, a chapel to house the iconic relic, and a creepy glow-in-the-dark paper souvenir.
Our Little Chapel by the Lake— a Paul v. Kliben painting - Knott's Berry Berry Farm postcard circa 1944.
Our Little Chapel by the Lake - Knott's Berry Berry Farm photograpic postcard circa 1942.
"Transfiguration of Christ" is a unique 3 1/4" by 5 1/4" (when folded) paper souvenir dated 1943 from Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. This small folder memento printed on heavy cardstock was available for purchase in the hostess booth in front and the Inpiration House/Art Glo shop at the exit, opens to reveal a copy of the famous Paul V. Klieben painting "Transfiguration of Christ" which was slowly revealed at the end of the complimentary five-minute presentation within Our Little Chapel by the Lake at Knott's Berry Farm. The print of Jesus appears benevolent with eyes closed under bright light. Then the eyes printed with radium/phosphorus glow and appear to be open with creepy missing black irises when viewed in the dark. The presentation narration is reproduced in text on the inside of the flaps. But first, let us read the text on the back:
The original of this miraculous painting by Artist Paul V. Kleiben is now permanently enshrined in the Little Chapel on the grounds of Knott's Berry Farm at Buena Park, California
Inspired by Matt XVII-2
This picture glows in the dark and the eyes open.
Hold Near a Bright Light, Then, Look at Face in Dark Room.
Copyright 1943 V. Kleiben
The naration which could be heard accompanied by Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as the shutters covering the Paul V. Klieben painting "Transfiguration of Christ" slowly opened was also printed inside the "doors" forming the flaps of the souvenir.
"Down through the centuries, man in his quest for truth has slowly opened the portals of knowledge—uncovering the mysteries of his being and interpreting the hidden wisdom of the scriptures. From a flickering spark to a brilliant flame his search has been intensified—motivated by a passionate desire to light the way for posterity. A genius receives and interprets that others might share the understanding of things.
"Many versions as to the true description of Christ have been given to the world. Among the most authentic is this one, written by Publius Lentulus, President of Judea, to Tiberious Ceasar, the first appeared in the writings of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in the Eleventh Century.
"There lived at this time in Judea a man of singular virtue — whose name is Jesus Christ whom the barbarians esteem as a prophet, but his followers love and adore him as the offspring of the immortal God. He calls back the dead from the graves and heals all sorts of diseases with a word of touch. He is a tall man, well shaped, and of an amiable and reverend aspect—his hair of a color that can hardly be matched, falling into graceful curls, waving about and very agreeably couched about his shoulders, parted on the crown of his head, running as a stream to the front after the fashion of the Nazarites; his forehead high, large and imposing; his cheeks without spot or wrinkle, beautiful with a lovely red, his nose and mouth formed with exquisite symmetry; his beard of a color suitable to his hair, reaching below his chin and parted in the middle like a fork; his eyes bright and blue, clear and serene, look innocent, dignified, manly and mature. Often times however, just before he reveals his divine powers, his eyelids are gently closed in reverential silence. In proportion of body most perfect and captivating; his arms and hands are delectable to behold. He rebukes with majesty, counsels with mildness, his whole address, whether in word or deed, being eloquent and grave. No man has seen him laugh, yet his manners are exceedingly pleasant, but he has wept frequently in the presence of men. He is temperate, modest and wise. A man for his extraordinary beauty and divine perfection, surpassing the children of men in every sense."
The dramatic portrayal which is now unfolding before you will reveal one of the most important moments in Christ's life:
"And Jesus was transfigured before them and his face did shine like the sun, and his raiment was white as the light." [— Matthew 17 - 2]
I was lucky. I had seen the free show in the chapel. It made the folder a little less creepy. I can only imagine the effect upon those poor tortured souls of the children on the east coast. They must have printed hundreds of thousands of these, if not millions. I know this though - there are far fewer of these folders nowadays, because a many were "accidentally burned to gossamer ash" or attacked with scissors, or inked upon the eyes with a pen until opaque. I'm glad I just hid mine away in the bottom of my sock drawer, because now I can terrorize my grandchildren with it.
There were parents, aunts and uncles who were "looking out" for children and thought it a grand idea to purchase one of these glow-in-the-dark souvenirs of the free five-minute show and set it up on that child's nightstand. There were an equal amount of terrified children who would turn out the light on that night stand immediately after they were forced to recite
"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the lord my soul to take." …and the creepy eyed guy in the picture was the soul snatcher!
Well, maybe not every child, but I know MY schoolwork suffered because suddenly I wasn't getting enough sleep at night staring wide-eyed and unblinking until dawn at the creepy wide-eyed, unblinking guy staring me down.
Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves.
And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”
When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified.
And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.”
And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
And His disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things;
but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”
Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.
When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying,
“Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
“I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.”
And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”
And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?”
And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
[“But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”]
And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men;
and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved.
The Tribute Money
When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?”
He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?”
When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt.
“However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Then answered Peter, and said unto 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.
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
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