Each year, we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples of Jesus during Pentecost, a feast day celebrated 50 days after Easter. Closing the Easter season, the feast of Pentecost also takes place 9 days after the Ascension of Jesus, giving us the opportunity to prepare for it with a preparatory novena and with prayers to the Holy Spirit!
During the nine days between the Ascension and Pentecost, the apostles of Christ remained in the Cenacle and prayed, accompanied by the Blessed Virgin: “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Acts 1:14)
Since then, Christians have prayed an annual novena to the Holy Spirit, in order to prepare to receive the Holy Spirit and to live the mission of evangelism to which Jesus calls us: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Thus, following the apostles, we are invited to make these nine days a time of prayer to better receive the power of the Spirit in our lives!
The preparatory novena for the feast of Pentecost consists of praying to the Holy Spirit for nine days, as Mary and the disciples of Christ did in the Cenacle.
The novena begins on the day of Ascension, and thus ends on the eve of Pentecost.
Each day, we are invited to invoke the Holy Spirit, reciting various prayers such as the Veni Creator or the litanies of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes a catechesis or a short meditation accompanies the prayer. Some novenas offer us the opportunity to pray to receive the seven sacred gifts of the Holy Spirit: the gift of wisdom, the gift of intelligence, the gift of advice, the gift of strength, the gift of knowledge, the gift of piety, and the gift of the fear of God.
Finally, on the 9th day, a prayer of consecration to the Holy Spirit closes the novena.
In order to experience this time of prayer as experienced by the apostles and disciples of Christ, let us observe what they did for nine days! In reality, they remained in the Cenacle, in prayer, and were accompanied by the Virgin Mary.
Their spiritual preparation was not done individually, on the contrary! The apostles gathered together to prepare to receive the Holy Spirit, praying with one and the same heart! We can imitate them and to group together as a family, in communities, within our Churches!
The online prayer communities of Hozana also allow you to experience this blessed time in union with so many other believers!
Saint Maximilian Kolbe wrote this about the Blessed Virgin: "The Holy Spirit is in Mary in the same way as, in a way, the second person of the Trinity, the Word, is in humanity."
Thus, the more we remain with Mary, the more the Spirit remains in us! As the apostles prayed with Mary in the Cenacle, let us prepare ourselves by invoking the Blessed Virgin, for she is the bride of the Holy Spirit and prepares our hearts in the most beautiful ways to welcome the third person of the Trinity!
In the days leading up to Pentecost, let us ask the Holy Spirit to take a place in our lives, to renew the sacred gifts in us, and to spread within us the fire of the evangelizing mission that is the responsibility of every baptized person!
On Hozana, you can find many novenas and retreats online:
Get to know the gifts of the Holy Spirit better, such as the gift of tongues and healing.
Intercede for a new Pentecost over the world, and welcome the role that God reserves for you in the body of Christ that the Spirit is building.