Holy Spirit Novena

The Pentecost Novena is the first of all novenas, nine days of prayer. After Jesus' Ascension into heaven, He commanded His disciples to come together in the upper room to devote themselves to constant prayer (Acts 1:14). They prayed for nine days before receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

On May 4, 1897, Pope Leo XIII proclaimed: "We decree and command that throughout the whole Catholic Church, this year and in every subsequent year, a novena shall take place before Whit-Sunday (Pentecost), in all parish churches." It has been reported that Pope Leo XIII was inspired to mandate the Pentecost novena because of a letter from a housewife in Italy. Pope John Paul II has reiterated Pope Leo XIII's command for a worldwide Pentecost novena, although the novena can be prayed at any time — not only before Pentecost.

Try to go to Mass daily throughout the novena. Go to Confession during the novena. Make visits to church to adore the eucharistic Jesus throughout the novena. The Church has not written any official prayers for the novena. The following prayers are suggested.

Day 1 - Friday after the Ascension
(Where the Ascension is celebrated on Thursday)

Pray: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Your love.
V. Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created,
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.
O God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of Your faithful, grant that by that same Holy Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Read: The daily eucharistic readings:
Acts 18:9-18John 16:20-23
(for a teaching on the daily eucharistic readings see:
One Bread, One Body)

Be silent

Pray: Father, as a mother carries her child in her womb nine months, so I choose to suffer for love of You during these nine days of the novena. Through my redemptive sufferings, may the Church receive the fullness of life in the Spirit. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

~OR~

Dearest Holy Spirit, confiding in Your deep, personal love for me, I am making this novena for the following request, if it be Your Holy Will to grant it: (mention your request).

Teach me, Divine Spirit, to know and seek my last end; grant me the holy fear of God; grant me true contrition and patience. Do not let me fall into sin. Give me an increase of faith, hope and charity, and bring forth in my soul all the virtues proper to my state in life.

Make me a faithful disciple of Jesus and an obedient child of the Church. Give me efficacious grace sufficient to keep the Commandments and to receive the Sacraments worthily. Give me the four Cardinal Virtues, Your Seven Gifts, Your Twelve Fruits. Raise me to perfection in the state of life to which You have called me and lead me through a happy death to everlasting life. I ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

~OR~
On Ascension Day begin the nine days of waiting and preparing, together with the Apostles and Mary, the coming of the Holy Ghost. These are the days when families should discuss the "Gifts of the Holy Ghost" and the "Fruits of the Holy Ghost" evening after evening.

Directions
We devote one whole evening to each one of the gifts. First is the Gift of Knowledge,...


The second evening is devoted to the Gift of Understanding, ...

The Gift of Piety....

When we come to the Gift of the Fear of the Lord, ....

The Gift of Wisdom, finally, seems to sum up all the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, just as charity sums up all His fruits. ...

The eighth day of the novena is dedicated to the "Fruits of the Holy Ghost" as they are enumerated in St. Paul — especially the first three love, peace, and joy....

On the last day of the novena we meditate together on the two great hymns, Veni, Sancte Spiritus and Veni, Creator Spiritus....

Activity Source: Around the Year with the Trapp Family by Maria Augusta Trapp, Pantheon Books Inc., New York, New York, 1955

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