Our Lord instituted the first “novena”, or nine days of prayer. On the day of His Ascension, Jesus sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to pray. The Gospel of Luke tells us that on that day “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.’” (Luke 24:45-49)
After the Lord’s Ascension, the apostles returned to Jerusalem, entered the upper room, and “all these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren”. (Acts 1:14) There, about 120 people, led by Peter, prayed for nine days in preparation for the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day after the Resurrection, when the Holy Spirit came to them “with power from on high”, as the Lord had promised:
“And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church §2671 says: “The traditional form of petition to the Holy Spirit is to invoke the Father through Christ our Lord to give us the Consoler Spirit. Jesus insists on this petition to be made in His name at the very moment when He promised the gift of the Spirit of Truth. But the simplest and most direct prayer is also traditional, ‘Come, Holy Spirit’ [Veni Sancte Spiritus], and every liturgical tradition has developed it in antiphons and hymns.”
There is no official formulation of prayers prescribed by the Church for a novena to the Holy Spirit, but the following novena is drawn from traditional sources suitable for a either a personal or group novena.
This Novena has been granted the Imprimatur of St. Louis Bishop Robert Hermann. It is available in brochure form.
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Gloria Patri, et Filio et Spiritui Sancto,
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc et semper, in saecula seculorum. + Amen.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. + Amen
Veni, Creator Spiritus
Mentes tuorum visita,
Imple superna gratia,
Quae tu creasti, pectora….
V. Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur. R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, come
From thy bright celestial throne!
Come take possession of our souls,
And make them all thine own! …
V. Send forth thy Spirit, and they shall be created. R. And thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
– Psalm 103:30
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of thy love. Amen.
— Pope Pius X, May 8, 1907
V. Send forth thy Spirit, and they shall be created:
R. And thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray:
O God, thou has taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. + Amen
Prayers for The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Day One – Spirit of Wisdom, preside over all my thoughts, words and actions, so that in all things I may love God for His own sake above all things. Amen.
V. Holy Mary, Seat of Wisdom, R. Pray for us.
Day Two – Spirit of Understanding, teach and enlighten me, so that I may never waver in my faith, but enjoy true peace of mind and heart.
V. Holy Mary, Queen of Peace, R. Pray for us.
Day Three – Spirit of Knowledge, teach me how to look at things in their true light, so that I may not be bound by earthly attachments, but ever rejoice in thy heavenly comforts.
V. Holy Mary, Cause of our Joy, R. Pray for us.
Day Four – Spirit of Counsel, grant that I may always seek thy guidance, that my thoughts and actions may be informed by good judgment, and that whenever my advice is sought by others, it will be offered with kindness, prudence, truth, and in accordance with God’s will.
V. Mother of Good Counsel, R. Pray for us.
Day Five – Spirit of Fortitude, strengthen my weakness, so that I may never be discouraged by obstacles in the path of holiness and virtue, but may willingly accept the trials and difficulties of this life.
V. Holy Mary, Queen of Martyrs, R. Pray for us.
Day Six – Spirit of Piety, implant in my soul filial love toward God my heavenly Father, and brotherly love for all, so that I may delight in the service of God and my neighbor.
V. Mother of God, our Mother, R. Pray for us.
Day Seven – Spirit of Holy Fear, keep me mindful of the infinite Majesty of God, keep me from all selfish desires and evil actions, that I may humbly serve God and others with a clean heart and clear mind.
V. Immaculate Mary, Help of Christians, R. Pray for us.
Day Eight – O Divine Comforter, we come to thee in our trouble and distress. In the name of Jesus, our Redeemer, come to our assistance and console us in all our trials and sufferings. Amen.
Day Nine – Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, come into our hearts; give to all people the brightness of thy light, that they may be pleasing to thee in the unity of faith. Amen.
-Pope Leo XIII, July 31, 1897
For all who work for the Church
O Holy Spirit, Creator, graciously aid and inspire those who are engaged in fulfilling the mission of the Church, who work to build thy Kingdom by teaching and evangelizing others. Grant that by thy supernal power, they may be strengthened and confirmed against the assaults of the Enemy. By thy mercy and grace, renew the spirit of thy servants to whom thou hast entrusted this labor, that in thee all their works may glorify the Father and His only begotten son, Christ our Lord. + Amen.
Saint Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit, powerful Consoler, sacred Bond of the Father and the Son, sweet Hope of the afflicted, Descend this day into my heart and establish therein thine amiable empire. Enkindle in my soul — alas! so tepid! — the salutary flames of thy love, that I may be inflamed and that my soul and body may be subject to thee. I believe that when thou dwellest in us, thou dost prepare a dwelling for the Father and the Son. Deign then to come to me.
Come, O sweet Consoler of abandoned souls!
Come, O Protector of those who are in need!
Succor of the afflicted, come and purify me; suffer no evil desire to take possession of me; heal all my wounds.
Come to me, Strength of the weak, Support of the wavering;
Come to me, O thou who lovest the humble and resistest the proud;
Come to me, Hope of the needy, Father of orphans;
Come to me, Star that guidest the mariner in his way, and offerest a secure harbor to the shipwrecked;
Come to me, True glory of the living, sole hope of the dying;
Make me all that thou wishest me to be, and conduct me by thy grace, so that I may be ever pleasing to thee. Amen.
May the power of the Holy Spirit ever be with us, we beseech thee, O God. Cleanse our hearts and save us from all dangers; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. + Amen.
Come Holy Ghost
Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest,
And in our hearts take up thy rest,
Come with thy grace and heavenly aid
To fill the hearts which thou hast made.
O Comforter, to thee we cry,
Thou heavenly gift of God most high!
Thou font of life and fire of love
And sweet anointing from above.
Drive far away our deadly foe,
And peace for evermore bestow;
If thou be our preventing guide,
No evil can our steps betide.
Praise we the Father and the Son,
And Holy Spirit, Three in one;
And may the Son on us bestow
The gifts that from the Spirit flow. Amen.