We are taking part in Thy Kingdom Come, a global initiative in which Christians are called to pray for the nine days between Ascension (21 May 2020) and Pentecost (31 May 2020). We are invited to pray for God’s Spirit to move within the Church, equipping us to share God’s love with others and to pay attention to how God is speaking to us today.
We will do this by praying the Pentecost Novena after Mass from Ascension to Pentecost. To pray along, please download the Pentecost Novena (PDF).
A novena is nine days of prayer that encourages us to pray for a particular intention as we prepare for a feast day. Praying for an intention, particularly praying for other people, is known as the prayer of intercession. It is a form of prayer that takes us beyond ourselves as we ask our loving Father to bless someone else.
‘We can say that God’s heart is touched by our intercession, yet in reality he is always there first. What our intercession achieves is that his power, his love and his faithfulness are shown ever more clearly in the midst of the people.’
(Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 283)
History of the Novena
In the 19th Century Blessed Elena Guerra, the founder of the Oblates of the Holy Spirit, felt it was important that the Church be renewed to the passion of the first Christians at Pentecost and petitioned Pope Leo XIII in the following manner:
‘Pentecost is not over. In fact it is continuously going on in every time and in every place because the Holy Spirit desired to give Himself to all men and all who want Him can always receive Him, so we do not envy the apostles and the first believers; we only have to dispose ourselves like them to receive Him well, and He will come to us as He did to them.’
As a result of her promptings the Pope issued several important documents about the Holy Spirit. He also asked the Church to celebrate a novena (nine days of prayer) every year between the Ascension and Pentecost. We are therefore invited to pray the Pentecost Novena for this fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, especially since it is through the Holy Spirit that a person can encounter Jesus Christ and experience the love of God our Father. Whilst this is something that each of us needs, the novena challenges us to go beyond our own needs by asking for this incredible blessing for others.
Before you start
- Be ready to start the novena nine days before Pentecost.
- Set a time each day when you will take a moment of prayer. You only need about 10 minutes.
- Put a reminder on your phone, a note on your fridge or something to prompt you to pray each day.
- Please download the Pentecost Novena (PDF)