INSTRUCTION ON THE FESTIVAL OF
What festival is this?
It is the day
on which the Holy Ghost descended in the form of fiery tongues, upon
the apostles and disciples, who with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, were
assembled in prayer in a house at Jerusalem. (Acts II.)
Why is this day called Pentecost?
"Pentecost" is taken from the Greek, and signifies fifty. As St.
Jerome explains it, this was the last of the fifty days, commencing
with Easter, which the early Christians celebrated as days of
rejoicing at the resurrection of the Lord.
Why is this day observed so solemnly?
Because on this
day the Holy Ghost, having descended upon the apostles, the law of
grace, of purification from sin, and the sanctification of mankind,
was for the first time announced to the world; because on this day
the apostles, being filled with the Holy Ghost, commenced the work
of purifying and sanctifying mankind, by baptizing three thousand
persons who were converted by the sermon of St. Peter; and because
on this day the Church of Jesus became visible as a community to the
world, and publicly professed her faith in her crucified
Why did the Holy Ghost descend on the Jewish
their Pentecost the Jews celebrated the anniversary of the giving of
the law on Mount Sinai, and God would show by sending the Holy Ghost
on this days that the Old Law had ceased and the New Law commenced.
God also chose this time, that the Jews who on this day came
together from all countries to Jerusalem to celebrate the Pentecost,
might be witnesses of the miracle, and hear the New Law announced by
Why is the baptismal font blessed an the vigil of
Pentecost, as on Holy Saturday?
Holy Ghost is the Author of all sanctity and the Fountain of
baptismal grace, and because in the Acts (i. 5.) the descent of the
Holy Ghost itself is called a baptism.
In the Introit
of the Mass the Church rejoices at the descent of the Holy Ghost and
INTROIT The Spirit of the Lord
hath filled the whole earth, allel.; and that which containeth all
things hath knowledge of the voice, Allel., allel., allel. (Wisd.
I.7.) Let God arise, and his enemies be scattered: and let them that
hate him, fly before his face. (Ps. 67.) Glory etc.
COLLECT God, who on this day didst
instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit:
grant us in the same spirit to relish what is right, and ever to
rejoice in His consolation. Thro'. — in the unity of the same,
LESSON (Acts II. I-II.) When
the days of Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in
one place; and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a
mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were
sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of
fire, and it sat upon every one of them:. and they were all filled
with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues,
according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were.
dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, of every nation under
heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came
together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard
them speak in his own tongue: and they were all amazed, and
wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans?
And how have we heard every man our own tongue wherein we were born?
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia,
Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphilia,
Egypt, and the parts of Lybia about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome,
Jews also and Proselytes, Cretes and Arabians: we have heard them
speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.
Why did the Holy Ghost come upon the apostles in the form
of fiery tongues?
of fiery tongues indicated the gift of language imparted to the
apostles by the Holy Ghost, and inflamed their hearts and the hearts
of the faithful with the love of God and their neighbor.
Why did a mighty wind accompany the
To direct the
attention of the people to the descent of the Holy Ghost, and to
assemble them to hear the sermon of the Apostle Peter.
What special effects did the Holy Ghost produce in the
He freed them
from all doubt and fear; gave them His light for the perfect
knowledge of truth; inflamed their hearts with the most ardent love,
and incited in them the fiery zeal for the propagation of the
kingdom of God, strengthened them to bear all sufferings and
persecutions, (Acts V. 41.) and gave them the gift of speaking in
various languages, and of discerning spirits.
GOSPEL (John XIV. 23-31,) At that time,
Jesus said to his disciples: If any one love me, he will keep my
word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will
make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my
words: and the word which you have heard is not mine, but the
Father's, who sent me. These things have I spoken to you, abiding
with you: but the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will
send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things
to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave
with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I
give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.
You have heard that I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you.
If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the
Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have ;told you
before it came to pass, that when it shall come to pass you may
believe. I will not now speak many things with you; for the prince
of this world cometh, and in me he hath not anything. But that the
world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath givers
me commandment, so do I.
Why is the Holy Ghost expressly called "Holy," since this
attribute is due to each of the divine persons?
Because He is
the Author of inward sanctity and of all supernatural gifts and
graces, and therefore to Him is especially ascribed the work of
What does the Holy Ghost effect in man?
him that he may know the truths of religion and salvation, and the
beauty of virtue; He moves him to desire, to aim after and to love
these things; He renews his heart by cleansing it from sin, and
imparts to him the supernatural gifts and graces by which he can
become sanctified, and He brings forth in him wonderful fruits of
What are the gifts of the Holy Ghost?
the Prophet Isaias they are seven: 1.The gift of wisdom, which
enables us to know God, to esteem spiritual more than temporal
advantages, and to delight only in divine things. 2. The gift of
understanding, by which we know and understand that which our faith
proposes to our belief; children and adults should pray fervently
for this gift, especially before sermons and instructions in the
catechism. 3.The gift of counsel, which gives us the knowledge
necessary to direct ourselves and others when in doubt, a gift
particularly necessary for superiors, for those about choosing their
state of life, and for married people who live unhappily, and do not
know how to help themselves. 4. The gift of fortitude, which
strengthens us to endure and courageously overcome all adversities
and persecutions for virtue's sake. 5. The gift of knowledge, by
which we know ourselves, our duties, and how to discharge them in a
manner pleasing to God. 6. The gift of piety, which induces us to
have God in view in all our actions, and infuses love in our hearts
for His service. 7. The gift of the fear of the Lord, by which we
not only fear the just punishment, but even His displeasure at every
sin, more than all other things in the world.
Which are the fruits of the Holy Ghost?
As St. Paul
(Gal. V.. 22-23.) enumerates them, they are twelve: 1. Charity. 2.
Joy. 3. Peace. 4. Patience. 5. Benignity. 6. Goodness. 7.
Longanimity. 8. Mildness. 9. Faith. 10. Modesty. 11. Continency. 12.
Chastity. To obtain these fruits as well as the gifts of the Holy
Ghost, we should daily say the prayer: "Come, O Holy Ghost,
Why does Christ say: The Father is greater than
Christ as God
is in all things equal to His Father, but as Christ was at the same
time Man, the Father was certainly greater than the
Why does Christ say: I will not now speak many things with
these words a short time before His passion, and by them He wished
to say that the time was near at hand when Satan, by his
instruments, the wicked Jews, would put Him to death, not because
Satan had this power over Him, but because He Himself wished to die
in obedience to the will of His Father.