Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts

Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts


The Novena in honour of the Holy Ghost is the oldest of all Novenas, since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself, when He sent His Apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Ghost on the first Pentecost. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love, so sorely needed by every Catholic today. To encourage devotion to the Holy Spirit, the Church has granted the following indulgences:

The faithful who devoutly assist at the public Novena in honour of the Holy Spirit, immediately preceding the Solemn Feast of Pentecost, may gain a Partial Indulgence for themselves or, as an offering for the intentions of the faithful departed.

Those who make a private Novena in honour of the Holy Spirit, either before the Solemn Feast of Pentecost or at any other time in the year, may also gain a Partial Indulgence for themselves or, as an offering for the intentions of the faithful departed.”

FIRST DAY (Friday after Ascension)

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light!
From Your clear celestial height,
Your pure beaming radiance give!

The Holy Spirit

Only one thing is important — eternal salvation.
Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared–sin.
Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness
and indifference.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength and of Love.
With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will and inflames the heart with love of God.
To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity.
We know not what we should pray for as we ought.
But the Spirit Himself asketh for us.


Almighty and eternal God,
Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us
by water and the Holy Spirit
and hast given us forgiveness of all sins,
vouchsafe to send forth upon us from Heaven,
Your sevenfold Spirit,
the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding,
the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude,
the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety
and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear.

Our Father and Hail Mary – ONCE.
Glory be to the Father – SEVEN TIMES.

To be recited daily during the Novena

On my knees,
I, before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses,
offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God.
I adore the brightness of Your purity,
the unerring keenness of Your justice
and the might of Your love.
You are the Strength and Light of my soul.
In You I live and move and am.
I desire never to grieve You
by unfaithfulness to grace
and I pray with all my heart to be kept
from the smallest sin against You.
Mercifully guard my every thought
and grant that I may always watch for Your light,
listen to Your Voice
and follow Your gracious inspirations.
I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You,
by Your compassion, to watch over me in my weakness.
Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus,
looking at His Five Wounds
and trusting in His Precious Blood
and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart,
I implore You, Adorable Spirit,
Helper of my infirmity, t
o keep me in Your grace,
that I may never sin against You.
Give me grace O Holy Spirit,
Spirit of the Father and the Son,
to say to You always and everywhere,
“Speak Lord for Your servant hears.”


Thought for the Day – 19 May – Mary, the Source of Peace

Thought for the Day – 19 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary”
Mary, the Source of Peace

“If we wish to possess this true peace, which only God can give, we must control and regulate the movements of our passions when they rebel against the soul.
In other words, as St Augustine says, our lower appetites must obey our reason and this, in its turn, must be subject to its author, God! (De Serm. Domini, 1,2).
Real peace can only come to us as the result of the hard and constant labour of subordinating our passions to right reason and our reason to God.
“And this is the peace,” Augustine writes, “which God gives on earth, to men of goodwill; this is the most perfect wisdom ” (Ibid).

We have found, from sad experience, that sin and the free play of the passions, cannot give us real peace because “there is no peace for the wicked” (Is 48:22).
When, by the grace of God and the assistance of Our Lady, we have subdued our rebellious inclinations, it is necessary for us to go further and abandon ourselves completely into the hands of God, asking Him for a spirit of absolute conformity to Hs Will on all occasions.
This is the price which we must pay to enjoy the peace which the world cannot give and which God gives only to those who do His Holy Will in all things (Cf Jn 14:27).

It may seem that the way to acquire this peace is very difficult but, there is no other way.
Let us pray to Our Lady.
She has won peace and victory for the Church on many occasions; for example, against the Turks at Lepanto in 1571 and at Vienna in 1683.
In the same way, she will obtain for us, her children, interior peace of soul, the greatest treasure which we can possess on earth!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day –19 May – St Alcuin of York

Quote/s of the Day –19 May – The Memorial of St Alcuin of York (c735-804) “The Schoolmaster of Europe.” Deacon, Confessor

You should not agree to have anything to do
with weapons of war.
Throw yourself upon Christ’s mercy, crying:
‘My Love and my Stronghold,
my Protector and Liberator,
in Whom my heart has put its hope.

(St Alcuin, writing to the Monks in Mayo, Ireland).

In the morning, at the height of my powers,
I sowed the seed in Britain,
now in the evening, when my blood is growing cold,
I am still sowing in France,
hoping both will grow, by the grace of God,
giving some the honey of the Holy Scriptures,
making others drunk, on the old wine,
of ancient learning.

Be prudent in thought
and cautious in speech.
Always set your hope on God,
for He never fails them
whose hope is set on Him.

(From a letter to King Charlemagne’s son).

Act of Contrition and Repentance

Almighty and merciful God,
Fountain of all Goodness,
Thou knows the thoughts of our hearts.
We confess that we have sinned against Thee
and done evil in Thy Sight.
Wash us from the stains of our past sins
and give us grace and power
to put away all hurtful things.
Deliver us from the bondage of sin
that we may bring forth
worthy fruits of repentance.

St Alcuin of York (c735-804)


One Minute Reflection – 19 May – Upon this rock I will build My Church …

One Minute Reflection – 19 May – The Memorial of St Pope Celestine V (1210-1296) – 1 Peter 5:1-4; 5:10-11, Matthew 16:13-19 – Scripture search here:

Upon this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven and, whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in Heaven.” … Matthew 16:18-19

REFLECTION – “Peter was to receive on deposit, the keys of the Church, or rather the keys of Heaven and, he should see himself entrusted with the numerous people. What did the Lord actually say to him? “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven” (Mt 16:19).
For Peter had a somewhat abrupt character; if he had been without sin what sort of forgiveness would the disciples have received from him? This is why Divine Grace allowed him to fall into a certain fault, in order that his own trial should make him benevolent towards others.
Do you see how God can let someone fall into sin; this Peter, the leader of the Apostles, the unshakable foundation, indestructible rock, first in the Church, impregnable harbour, unshakable tower — this same Peter, who had said to Christ: “Even though I should have to die with Thee, I will not deny Thee” (Mt 26:35), Peter who, by a divine revelation, had confessed the truth: “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Mt 16:16). …
But as I said, God arranged it in this way and allowed Peter to sin because He had it in mind, to confer numerous people upon him and He feared, that his roughness, joined to his impeccability, might make him unsympathetic towards his brothers.
He gave way to sin so that, remembering his own failure and the kindness of the Lord, he might testify to others, a grace of philanthropy in accord with the divine design conceived by God. The fall had been permitted to the one who was going to see himself entrusted with the Church, the Pillar of the Church, the Harbour of the Faith; the fall had been permitted to Peter, the Doctor of the Universe, in order that, the forgiveness received, might remain the foundation of love for others.” – (Attr) St John Chrysostom (347-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (On the Apostle Peter and the Prophet Elijah).

PRAYER – O God, Who raised blessed Peter Celestine to the lofty dignity of Supreme Pontiff and taught him to prefer self-abasement instead; mercifully grant that by his example, we may look upon all worldly things as naught and may be worthy to reap, in joy, the rewards promised to the humble.Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 19 May – Eternal Light, Shine into our Hearts

Our Morning Offering – 19 May – The Memorial of St Alcuin of York (c735-804) “The Schoolmaster of Europe.” Deacon, Confessor

Eternal Light, Shine into our Hearts
By St Alcuin of York (c735-804)

Eternal Light, shine into our hearts,
Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil,
Eternal Power, be our support,
Eternal Wisdom, scatter the
darkness of our ignorance,
Eternal Pity, have mercy on us
that with all our heart
and mind
and soul
and strength,
we may seek Thy Face
and be brought,
by Thine Infinite Mercy
to Thy Holy Presence;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 19 May – Saint Alcuin of York (c735-804) “The Schoolmaster of Europe.” Deacon, Confessor

Saint of the Day – 19 May – Saint Alcuin of York (c735-804) “The Schoolmaster of Europe.” Deacon, Confessor, Scholar, Teacher, Reformer, Defender of Catholic Doctrine, Founder of educational institutions in Monasteries and Cathedral Chapters, renowned Poet, Theologian and Writer. Accrdited with the the invention of cursive script, Alcuin established Scriptoria dedicated to copying and preserving ancient manuscripts, both pagan and Christian- that we have as much as we do, of the writings of classical Roman authors, is largely due to Alcuin and his scribes. Alcuin a;so revised and organised the Latin liturgy, preserved ancient prayers and helped develop plain chant. He advocated the Doctrine that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son jointly. Unfortunately, the East resented Blessed Charlemagne‘s assumption of the title of Holy Roman Emperor; this hardened their opposition to the Doctrine and contributed to the rift between East and West. Born in c735 at York, England and died on 19 May 804 at Tours, France of natural causes.

St Alcuin and King Charlemagne

At the invitation of the Blessed Charlemagne, he became a leading scholar and teacher at the Carolingian Court, where he remained a figure in the 780s and 790s. Before that, he was also a Court Chancellor in Aachen.

The most learned man anywhere to be found,”according to Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne. This bold statement from Einhard, the Frankish scholar and Courtier to Charlemagne, is a touching assessment of Alcuin of York’s reach academically, spiritually and culturally. Alcuin is considered among the most important intellectual architects of the Carolingian Renaissance. Among his pupils were many of the dominant intellectuals of the era.

In the last half of the eighth century, Charlemagne presided over a revival of learning in the Frankish empire. Alcuin of York, a scholar Saint, was largely responsible for generating this cultural renewal – now called the Carolingian Renaissance. In 767, Alcuin became the Rector of the Minster school at York, where he had studied. An innovative educator, he improved the school, made its library one of England’s best and attracted outstanding students.

St Alcuin conferring with Charlemagne

Charlemagne brought Alcuin to Aachen in 781 and appointed him as his Ecclesiastical and Educational Adviser. Later, although Alcuin was not a Priest and probably was not a Monk, Charlemagne installed him as the Abbot of the Monastery of St Martin at Tours. As Head of the Palace school, Alcuin elevated the culture at Court and sponsored educational enterprises throughout the realm. And, under his guidance, the Abbey at Tours became famous as a centre of learning. Alcuin also won his reputation as a Theologian and Liturgist. He wrote and spoke against the Adoptionists, heretics who claimed that Jesus was God’s adopted son. And Alcuin conducted a Liturgical reform which left its mark on the Roman style of worship. He revised the Roman Lectionary, the book of readings used in worship and put together a new Sacramentary, the book of formulas for Baptism and the other Sacraments.

He also wrote verse, textbooks and innumerable letters. As Adviser to Charlemagne, he played a special role in the education of the Royal family. As the following letter to one of Charlemagne’s sons shows, he held his heirs to a high Christian ideal:

I rejoice my dearest son, in your devoted goodwill regarding both your generous almsgiving and your gentle rule. All this surely pleases God and deserves the mercy of His perpetual blessing. Always work to the utmost for the honour of God Almighty. In goodness and piety, follow the example of your most excellent father, so that by Christ’s Divine Clemency, you may inherit is blessings.

Listen faithfully to the poor and judge their cause with absolute justice. Do not permit the judges under you to judge for presents and gifts. For Holy Scripture says, gifts blind the hearts of the wise and subvert the words of the just. Hold in honour those who are true servants of God, for some come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly, are ravening wolves. Be prudent in thought and cautious in speech. Always set your hope on God, for He never fails them whose hope is set on Him.

St Alcuin with Emperor Charlemagne

Many of the ideas discussed within the Court found themselves in Alcuin’s correspondence to Charlemagne, to other members of the Court and those he maintained contact with in England. His letters express his interest in a range of pressing Theological and social issues of the day. In total, he left behind around 300 Latin letters which are invaluable as a source for this early medieval period. In one particular correspondence he discusses his discovery of the sad fate of Lindisfarne’s status as a cultural and religious sanctuary, altered forever by the Viking raid in 793. He expressed his great sorrow and analysed the event as God’s punishment for the behaviour of the people of Northumbria.

For his vast efforts as an educational reformer, history recognises Alcuin as “The Schoolmaster of Europe.” He died at the Abbey of Tours in 804, some 10 years before the Emperor and was buried at St Martin’s Church under an Epitaph which partly read:

Dust, worms and ashes now …
Alcuin my name,
Wisdom I always loved,
Pray, reader, for my soul.


Notre-Dame de Flines / Our Lady of Flines, Douay (1279), St Pope Celestine V and Memorials of the Saints – 19 May

Notre-Dame de Flines / Our Lady of Flines, Douay (1279) – 20 May:

St Pope Celestine V (1210-1296) Papal Ascension , 5 July 1294 – Papal Abdication, 13 December 1294.

St Pudentiana of Rome

St Alcuin of York (c735-804) Deacon, Confessor, Teacher, Founder of educational institutions in Monasteries and Cathedral Chapters. Accredited with the the invention of cursive script.

Blessed Augustine Novello OSA (1240– 1309) Priest and Friar of the Order of St Augustine. Miracle-worker, Prior General of the Order, Reformer of the Constitutions, Professor of Canon and Civil Law.
Blessed Augustine’s life:

St Calocerus of Rome
St Crispin of Viterbo
St Cyriaca of Nicomedia and Companions
St Cyril of Trèves
St Dunstan of Canterbury
St Evonio of Auvergne
St Hadulph of Saint-Vaast
Bl Humiliana de’ Cerchi

St Ivo Hélory of Kermartin TOSF (1253-1303) “Advocate of the Poor,” Priest, Franciscan Tertiary
An interesting man and Saint:

Bl Juan of Cetina
St Parthenius of Rome
Bl Peter de Duenas
Bl Peter Wright
St Philoterus of Nicomedia
St Pudens of Rome
St Theophilus of Corte