What is the Novena to the Holy Spirit for the 7 Gifts? How do I pray it?


What is a Novena?

The word novena is derived from the Latin word ‘novem’ meaning ‘nine’. A novena is a traditional Roman Catholic devotion consisting of a powerful set of prayers prayed publicly or privately, most commonly on nine consecutive days, and usually for a special intention. One does not have to be Catholic to pray a novena, all who desire to become closer to our Lord are welcome to experience the many blessings this special form of prayer can bestow. Novenas are often prayed when going through difficulty and crisis in one’s life or at any other time one is seeking special graces, guidance or intercession. Virtually all novenas can be said at any time of the year but some are also particularly appropriate for certain times of the year.

An example of this would be The Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts. This novena is traditionally prayed between Ascension Thursday (40 days after Easter when Christ ascended into Heaven) and Pentecost Sunday (50 days after Easter when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles). These ten days were once known as ‘Expectation Week,’ commemorating the time when Mary and the apostles gathered in the Upper Room to pray together for the coming of the Holy Spirit. In this same way, we devote ourselves to prayer and ask the Lord to grant the same Holy Spirit to us, that He may perfect in our souls the work of His grace and His love.


Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts**


The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit 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 Spirit on the first Pentecost.
It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church.
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 Christian.



On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses,
I 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 and 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 and 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,
so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You.
Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son,
to say to You always and everywhere,
"Speak Lord for Your servant heareth."

(To be recited daily during the Novena)



O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost
to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples,
deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul
the work of Your grace and Your love.
Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise
the perishable things of this world
and aspire only after the things that are eternal
the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth
the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven
the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You
and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation
the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself
and grow perfect in the science of the Saints
the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable
the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God
and may dread in any way to displease Him.
Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples
and animate me in all things with Your Spirit.

(To be recited daily during the Novena)


**First Day **

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

The Holy Ghost

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 Ghost 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 Ghost,
and hast given us forgiveness of all sins,
vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us 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 7 TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


**Second Day **

Come, Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live!

The Gift of Fear

The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God,
and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin.
It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell,
but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father.
It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom,
detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God.
“They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts,
and in His sight will sanctify their souls.”


Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart,
that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever,
help me to shun all things that can offend You,
and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes
of Your Divine Majesty in heaven,
where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity,
God world without end.

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


Third Day

Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.

The Gift of Piety

The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father.
It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him,
as well as those who are vested with His authority,
His Blessed Mother and the Saints,
the Church and its visible Head,
our parents and superiors,
our country and its rulers.
He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion,
not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service.
Where there is love, there is no labor.


Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart.
Enkindle therein such a love for God,
that I may find satisfaction only in His service,
and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority.

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


Fourth Day

Thou in toil art comfort sweet, Pleasant coolness in the heat, solace in the midst of woe.

The Gift of Fortitude

By the gift of Fortitude,
the soul is strengthened against natural fear
and supported to the end in the performance of duty.
Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy
which move it to undertake without hesitancy the most arduous tasks,
to face dangers,
to trample underfoot human respect,
and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation.
“He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.”


Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude,
uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity,
sustain my efforts after holiness,
strengthen my weakness,
give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies,
that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee,
my God and greatest Good.

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


**Fifth Day **

Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill!

The Gift of Knowledge

The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth— in their relation to God.
Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures,
reveals their emptiness,
and points out their only true purpose
as instruments in the service of God.
It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity,
and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life.
Guided by its light,
we put first things first,
and prize the friendship of God beyond all else.
“Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it.”


Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge,
and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father;
show me the nothingness of earthly things,
that I may realize their vanity and use them only
for Thy glory and my own salvation,
looking ever beyond them to Thee,
and Thy eternal rewards.

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


Sixth Day

If Thou take Thy grace away, nothing pure in man will stay; All his good is turn’d to ill.

The Gift of Understanding

Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Ghost,
helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion.
By faith we know them,
but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them.
It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths
and through them to be quickened to newness of life.
Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive,
but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony
to the faith that is in us;
we begin to “walk worthy of God in all things pleasing,
and increasing in the knowledge of God.”


Come, O Spirit of Understanding,
and enlighten our minds,
that we 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 a clear vision of Thee
and the Father and the Son.

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


Seventh Day

Heal our wounds— our strength renews;
On our dryness pour Thy dew,
Wash the stains of guilt away.

The Gift of Counsel

The gift of Counsel
endows the soul with supernatural prudence,
enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must be done,
especially in difficult circumstances.
Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding
to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us
in the course of our daily duty
as parents,
public servants,
and Christian citizens.
Counsel is supernatural common sense,
a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation.

*“Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth.” *


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 straight path
of Thy commandments
to that goal of eternal life for which I long.

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


**Eighth Day **

Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen, warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray!

The Gift of Wisdom

Embodying all the other gifts,
as charity embraces all the other virtues,
Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts.
Of Wisdom it is written
"all good things came to me with her,
and innumerable riches through her hands."
It is the gift of Wisdom
that strengthens our faith,
fortifies hope,
perfects charity,
and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree.
Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine,
in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor,
whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness
according to the words of the Saviour:
“Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.”


Come, O Spirit of Wisdom,
and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things,
their exceeding greatness, power and beauty.
Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys
and satisfactions of earth.
Help me to attain them and possess them forever.

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


Ninth Day

on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee Adore,
in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend;
Give Them Comfort when they die;
Give them Life with Thee on high;
Give them joys which never end.

The Fruits of the Holy Ghost

The gifts of the Holy Ghost perfect the supernatural virtues
by enabling us to practice them with greater docility
to divine inspiration.
As we grow in the knowledge and love of God
under the direction of the Holy Ghost,
our service becomes more sincere and generous,
the practice of virtue
more perfect.
Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation
and are known as Fruits of the Holy Ghost.
These Fruits in turn
render the practice of virtue more attractive
and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts
in the service of God,
to serve Whom is to reign.


Come, O Divine Spirit,
fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits,
Thy charity,
and temperance,
that I may never weary in the service of God,
but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration
may merit to be united eternally with Thee
in the love of the Father and the Son.

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)

© 1912 Holy Spirit Fathers


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