Jesus promised us He would send the Holy Spirit after His Resurrection. St. Luke tells us what happened:
“When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God”. (Luke 24: 50 – 53).
Nine days later, the disciples were gathered together in the Upper Room
united in constant prayer, with Mary the Mother of Jesus, when the Holy Spirit came down upon them: “And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability” (Acts 2: 1 – 31). And so… the Catholic Church was born.
The word itself comes from the Greek word for “fiftieth” (pentecoste), indicating that Pentecost is the fiftieth day after Easter Sunday. It is from this period, between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday, that we derive the concept of the Novena (nine days of prayer): as Acts tell us, Mary and the Apostles prayed together “continuously” for these nine days. For this reason, traditionally, the Church prays a Novena to the Holy Spirit in the days before Pentecost.
There will be a Novena at 19:30, Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned, organized by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal from Friday 11th to Saturday 19th May, preached during Holy Mass by Fr. Jonathan