The prototype of the novena comes from the book of Acts, when Mary, the Apostles and all of those in the upper room prayed for nine days while waiting for the promised Holy Spirit. And on the tenth day, the Spirit descended.

Therefore, it is a desirable spiritual practice to join the Apostles and pray in anticipation and hope for nine days during the yearly Ascensiontide.


Novena to the Holy Spirit

(especially appropriate from Ascension Day to the Vigil of Pentecost)

Begin with this prayer each day:

O Holy Spirit, my Lord and my God, I adore thee and humbly acknowledge here in thy sacred presence that I am nothing, and can do nothing, without thy operation within me. Come, great Paraclete, thou Father of the poor, thou Comforter of the blest, fulfill the promise of our Saviour, who would not leave us orphans, and enter my mind and heart as thou didst descend on the day of Pentecost upon the holy Mother of Jesus and upon his first disciples. Grant that I may have a part in those gifts which thou didst so prodigally bestow upon them.

Take from my heart all that is not pleasing to thee and make of it a worthy dwelling place for Jesus.

Illumine my mind, that I may see and understand the things that are for my eternal welfare.

Inflame my heart with pure love of the Father, that, cleansed from attachment to all unworthy objects, my whole life may be hidden with Jesus in God.

Strengthen my will, that it may be conformable to the will of my Creator and guided by thy holy inspirations.

Aid me to practice the heavenly virtues of humility, poverty, and obedience which are taught me in the earthly life of Jesus.

Descend upon me, O mighty Spirit, that, inspired and encouraged by thee, I may faithfully fulfill the duties of my state in life, carry my daily cross with patience and courage, and accomplish the Father's will for me more perfectly. Make me, day by day, more holy and give to me that heavenly peace which the world cannot give.

O Holy Spirit, thou Giver of every good and perfect gift, grant to me the intentions of this novena of prayer. May the Father's will be done in me and through me. And mayest thou, O mighty Spirit of the living God, be praised and glorified for ever and ever. Amen.

Then follows the hymn to the Holy Spirit:

Veni Creator Spiritus

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire,
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blessed unction from above,
Is comfort, life, and fire of love,
Enable with perpetual light
The dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face
With the abundance of thy grace.
Keep far our foes, give peace at home;
Where thou art Guide, no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
And thee, of both, to be but One;
That, through the ages all along,
This may be our endless song:

Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then is said the Our Father and Hail Mary.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name.
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee,
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Then follows either the following prayer, or one of the prayers proper to the day below.

Let us pray.

O God, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

First Day

Come, O Holy Ghost, the Lord and Life-giver; take up thy dwelling within my soul, and make of it thy sacred temple. Make me live by grace as an adopted son of God. Pervade all the energies of my soul, and create in me a fountain of living water springing up into life everlasting.

Second Day

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, and power, and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Show me the way by which I may be able to attain to them, and possess them, and hold them hereafter, my own forever.

Third Day

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten my mind, that I may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation, and may merit at last to see the eternal light in thy light; and in the light of glory to have the clear vision of thee and the Father and the Son.

Fourth Day

Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good, turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the path of thy commandments to the goal of eternal life.

Fifth Day

Come, O Spirit of Fortitude, and give courage to my soul. Make my heart strong in all trials and in all distress, pouring forth abundantly into it the gifts of strength, that I may be able to resist the attacks of the devil.

Sixth Day

Come, O Spirit of Knowledge, and make me understand and despise the emptiness and nothingness of the world. Give me grace to use the world only for thy glory and the salvation of thy creatures. May I always be very faithful in putting thy rewards before every earthly gift.

Seventh Day

Come, O Spirit of Piety, possess my heart; incline it to a true faith in thee, to a holy love of thee, my God, that with my whole soul I may seek thee, and find thee my best, my truest joy.

Eighth Day

Come, O Spirit of holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set thee, my Lord and God, before my face forever; and shun all things that can offend thee so that I may be made worthy to appear before the pure eyes of thy divine Majesty in the heaven of heavens, where thou livest and reignest in the unity of the Ever-blessed Trinity, world without end.

Ninth Day

Come, O Holy Comforter, and grant me a relish for heavenly things. Produce in my soul the fruits of virtue, so that, being filled with all sweetness and joy in the pursuit of good, I may attain unto eternal blessedness.



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