The Sunday before Pentecost.

The Sunday before Pentecost.
On Preparation for the Coming of the Holy Ghost.


My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

The Sunday before Pentecost.
On Preparation for the Coming of the Holy Ghost.

Transport yourself in imagination to the chamber where the apostles are wont to assemble in Jerusalem, and see how the disciples, subsequently to their Lord’s Ascension, await the coming of the Comforter promised to them by the Saviour in devout recollection and retirement.

1st. Consider the ignorance, the instability, the timidity the apostles displayed before the advent of the Holy Ghost. Our Lord Himself previous to His departure told them: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” (St. John xvi. 12.) In what a cowardly manner they behaved during our Lord’s Passion, and what timidity they displayed after their Master’s death, for St. John expressly states that the doors were shut where the disciples were gathered together, “for fear of the Jews.” (ch. xx. 19.) And only think, these apostles, who were as yet so ignorant and uninformed about many things, who were as yet so fearful and fainthearted, were destined to preach the Gospel to the whole world, to shed their blood and lay down their lives for their Master’s cause, and go forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Supernatural assistance was indeed requisite for them, and most necessary also was it that they should prepare themselves to receive that assistance.

2d. Consider how our Lord Himself made known His desire that such preparation should be made, by expressly commanding them “that they should not depart from Jerusalem but should wait for the promise of the Father.” (Acts i. 4.) Thus in accordance with our Lord’s will they were to remain in the city and wait, that is to say, prepare themselves for the coming of the Holy Ghost. They were to wait, to persevere in believing, confident anticipation of the promised Comforter, that by this hopeful anticipation their faith might be increased and their longing become more intense, for as St. John Chrysostom remarks, their desire ought indeed to be great if they were to receive the great grace which the Holy Ghost would confer on them. Just as it was God the Father’s will that the whole world should wait so long in expectation of the advent of His Son, and by this waiting their hope and longing for the promised Redeemer should wax ever greater and greater, so the Son of God with the same object required His disciples in like manner to await the coming of the Holy Ghost. If it was so needful for the disciples to prepare for the descent of the Holy Spirit and our Lord expressly commanded that such preparation should be made, does not this command apply to you also?

3d. Consider whether you are not in altogether the same condition as were the apostles. Think in how many matters connected with your salvation you are still so pusillanimous in adversity, so weak in temptation, so timid in the confession of your faith, so easily deterred from the conscientious observance of the rule of your Order or the duties of your sacred ministry, and this merely from motives of worldly prudence, earthly considerations, from human respect and the desire of the favor of man! Therefore you too need power from on high, and in order to merit it, remain, according to Christ’s behest, in the city of Jerusalem; keep during this week in your quiet cell; stay there in holy solitude and seclusion; shut the doors of your heart out of fear, out of a just and salutary fear of the enemies of your salvation who seek to prevent you from making due preparation for the holy festival of Pentecost. Before you rise from your meditation to-day, consider not in a general manner but in detail when, where, and how you will pass this week waiting in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Ghost; for the more perfect the preparation you make, the greater will be the graces granted you on the festival of Pentecost.


My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.


May Devotion: The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtues to practice: Meekness, purity, the spirit of poverty

O holy Mary, my Mistress, into thy blessed trust and special keeping, into the bosom of thy tender mercy, this day, every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son. Amen. (St. Aloysius Gonzaga)

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

(For either of the above prayers: An indulgence of 3 years.

A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this prayer.)

The faithful who during the month of May take part in public exercises in honor of the B.V.M. may gain: An indulgence of 7 years on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence if they assist at the exercises on at least 10 days, and moreover, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.

Those who perform their devotions privately during the aforesaid month are granted: an indulgence of 5 years once on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if they perform these devotions every day during the month; but where public exercises are held, this indulgence is granted only to those who are lawfully hindered from taking part in the same. (Raccolta).


Novena to the Holy Ghost

The novena in honor of the Holy Ghost is the original novena, of which all other novenas are only imitations. Our Lord himself instituted this novena when, on the day of His ascension, He sent His Apostles back to Jerusalem to pray for nine days that they might be ready on the tenth day, which was Pentecost, to receive the Holy Ghost. Therefore, the Church has richly indulgenced novenas in honor of the Holy Ghost, and they may be made, not only at Pentecost, but at any time of the year.

INDULGENCES—(1) 300 days, each day. (2) Plenary, once during the novena, or octave on the usual conditions, i.e., confession—communion—prayer for intentions of the Pope. This novena may be made at any time, with any form of prayers approved by competent ecclesiastical authority. (Nov. 26, 1876.)


INDULGENCES__(1) 7 years and 7 quarantines, each day. (2) Plenary, once during the novena or on the feast or on any other day during the octave on the usual conditions, i.e., confession—communion—prayers for the intentions of the Pope. This novena may be made publicly or privately. Any prayers to the Holy Ghost may be used. (Leo XIII, May 9, 1897.) Another plenary indulgence can be gained by those who say some prayers in honor of the Holy Ghost each day of the octave and go to the sacraments any day of the octave and pray for the intentions of the Pope.

Since no particular prayers are prescribed, the following devotions are suggested as appropriate for the novena.

Third Day

The Gift of Piety.

CONSIDERATION – The gift of Piety is the gift through which the Holy Ghost calls to the service of God and man, the mistress of virtues, charity. It prompts us to love God not because of his majesty but because He is our Father. It makes us love whatever is near and dear to our Divine Saviour, beginning with His Immaculate Mother and going down the scale to the most abandoned soul on earth and in purgatory. The gift of Piety which bids us love our Father in heaven, stirs up our affections for our father and mother in the flesh, our own dear parents, for our fathers in God, the Pope, Bishops and Priests, for our home, our church and our country, pride and envy beget chauvinism, which is false patriotism and narrow-mindedness; the gift of Piety begets real patriotism. Let us therefore, pray fervently for this beautiful gift.


COME, O blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart, incline it to a true faith in Thee, to a holy love of Thee, my God, and of all my fellow creatures for Thy sake. Amen.

To obtain the special favors and blessing for which you are making this novena and also an increase of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost recite 7 times the “Glory be to the Father.

Prayer to the Holy Ghost.

O HOLY SPIRIT, divine spirit of light and love, I consecrate to Thee my understanding, heart and will, my whole being for time and for eternity. May my understanding be always submissive to Thy heavenly inspirations, and to the teaching of the Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible Guide; may my heart be ever inflamed with love of God and of my neighbour; may my will be ever conformed to the Divine Will, and may my whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, to whom with the FATHER and Thee be honour and glory for ever. Amen.

300 Days, once a day.
Pius X, June 5, 1908.

Indulgences for a Novena for Pentecost.

i. Seven Years and Seven Quarantines, each day.
ii. Plenary, once during the Novena, Feast or Octave.
This Novena may be made publicly or privately, and the same Indulgences are granted for special prayers said every day during the Octave. Any prayers to the HOLY GHOST may be used.


Act of Perfect Contrition
Oh my God! I am heartily sorry
for having offended Thee and
I detest all my sins because
I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell;
But most of all because I have offended Thee, My God,

Who art all-good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,
To confess my sins, to do penance,
And to amend my life. Amen.


Vexilla Regis prodeunt

The royal banners forward go;
The Cross shines forth in mystic glow,
Where Life for sinners death endured,
And life by death for man procured.

Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled, Water flowed, and Blood.

Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
‘Amidst the nations, God,’ saith he,
‘Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.’

O Tree of beauty! Tree of light!
O Tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy Limbs should find their rest.

On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung:
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.

O Cross, our one reliance, hail,
Thou glory of the saved, avail*
To give fresh merit to the Saint,
And pardon to the penitent.

*Instead of: ‘Thou Glory of the saved,’ during Passiontide, say: ‘This Holy Passiontide’, during the Paschal Season: ‘Thou joy of Eastertide’, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: ‘On this triumphant day.

To Thee, Eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done;
Whom by the Cross Thou dost restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.

Vexilla Regis pródeunt,
Fulget Crucis mystérium,
Qua vita mortem pértulit,
Et morte vitam prótulit.

Quæ vulneráta lánceæ
Mucróne diro, críminum
Ut nos laváret sórdibus,
Manávit unda et sánguine.

Impléta sunt quæ cóncinit
David fidéli cármine,
Dicéndo natiónibus:
Regnávit a ligno Deus.

Arbor decóra et fúlgida,
Ornáta regis púrpura,
Elécta digno stípite
Tam sancta membra tángere.

Beáta, cuius bráchiis
Prétium pepéndit sæculi,
Statéra facta córporis,
Tulítque prædam tártari.

O Crux, ave, spes única,
Gentis redémptæ glória!*
Piis adáuge grátiam,
Reísque dele crímina.

Te, fons salútis, Trínitas,
Colláudet omnis spíritus:
Quibus Cricis victóriam
Largíris, adde præmium. Amen.

(ex. Breviario Romano)

An indulgence of 5 years.

A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this hymn throughout an entire month (S.C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S.P.Ap., April 29, 1934).


Prayers in Time of Calamity

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