1. Retracing the course of the Virgin Mary's Life, the Second Vatican Council recalls
her presence in the Community waiting for Pentecost.
"But since it had Pleased God not to Manifest Solemnly the Mystery of the Salvation of the Human Race before
He would Pour-forth the Spirit Promised by Christ, we see the Apostles before the day of Pentecost 'Persevering with One Mind in Prayer with
the Women and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with His Brethren' (Acts 1:14), and we
also see Mary by her Prayers Imploring the Gift of the Spirit, Who had already Overshadowed her in the Annunciation"
(Lumen Gentium, n. 59).
She Helped the Disciples Prepare
for Spirit's Coming
The First Community is the Prelude to the Birth of the
Church; the Blessed Virgin's Presence helps to sketch
her Definitive Features, a Fruit of the
Gift of Pentecost.
2. In the Atmosphere of Expectation that Prevailed in the Upper Room after the
Ascension, what was Mary's Position in
Relation-to the Descent of the Holy Spirit?
The Council expressly underscores her Prayerful
Presence while waiting for the Outpouring-of the Paraclete:
she Prays, "Imploring the Gift of the Spirit".
This Observation is Particularly Significant since at the Annunciation the
Holy Spirit had Descended upon her,
"Overshadowing" her and Bringing-about the
Incarnation of the Word.
Having already had a Unique Experience of the Effectiveness of such a Gift, the
Blessed Virgin was in a Condition to Appreciate it more than anyone; indeed,
she owed Her Motherhood to the
Mysterious Intervention of the Spirit,
Who had made her the Way by which the
Savior came into the World.
Unlike those in the Upper Room who were Waiting in Fearful Expectation,
she, Fully Aware of the Importance of her
Son's Promise to the Disciples (cf. John 14:16), Helped the Community
to be Well Disposed to the Coming of the "Paraclete".
Thus, while her Unique Experience made her
Ardently Long for the Spirit's Coming, it also Involved
her in Preparing the Minds and
Hearts of those around her.
3. During that Prayer in the Upper Room, in an Attitude of Deep Communion with the
Apostles, with some Women and with Jesus' "Brethren",
the Mother of the Lord
Prays for the Gift of the
Spirit for herself and for the Community.
It was Appropriate that the First Out-pouring of the
Spirit upon her, which had happened in view of
her Divine Motherhood,
should be Repeated and Reinforced. Indeed, at the Foot of the Cross
Mary was Entrusted with a 'New' Motherhood, which concerned
Jesus' Disciples. It was precisely this Mission that demanded a Renewed Gift
of the Spirit. The Blessed Virgin therefore wanted
It for the Fruitfulness of
her Spiritual Motherhood.
While at the Moment of the Incarnation the Holy Spirit
had Descended upon her as a Person called to take-part Worthily in the
Great Mystery, every thing is now accomplished for the sake of the Church,
Whose Image, Model and Mother Mary is called to be.
In the Church and for the Church,
Mindful of Jesus' Promise, she waits for
Pentecost and Implores a Multiplicity of Gifts
for everyone, in accordance with each one's Personality and Mission.
4. Mary's Prayer has Particular Significance
in the Christian Community: It Fosters the Coming
of the Spirit, Imploring His Action in the
Hearts of the Disciples and in the World. Just as in the
Incarnation the Spirit had Formed the Physical
Body of Christ in Her Virginal Womb,
now in the Upper Room the same Spirit comes-down to give
Life to the Mystical Body.
Thus Pentecost is also a Fruit of the
Blessed Virgin's Incessant Prayer, which is
Accepted by the Paraclete with Special Favor because
It is an Expression of Her Motherly
Love for the Lord's Disciples.
In contemplating Mary's Powerful Intercession as
she waits for the Holy Spirit,
Christians of every age have frequently had Recourse to her Intercession
on the Long and Tiring Journey to Salvation, in order to Receive the
Gifts of the Paraclete in Greater Abundance.
Mary had a Deep Influence on the Early Community
5. Responding to the Prayer of the Blessed Virgin
and the Community gathered in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost, the
Holy Spirit Bestows the Fullness of His Gifts on the
Blessed Virgin and those present, working a Deep Transformation in them for the Sake of Spreading the
Good News. The Mother of Christ
and His Disciples are Granted New Strength and New Apostolic Energy for the
Church's Growth. In particular, the Outpouring-of the Spirit leads
Mary to Exercise her
Spiritual Motherhood in an Exceptional Way, through
her Presence Imbued with Charity and her
Witness of Faith.
In the Nascent (blossoming) Church she
passes on to the Disciples her Memories of the
Incarnation, the Infancy, the Hidden Life and the Mission of her
Divine Son as a Priceless Treasure, thus
Helping to make Him Known and to Strengthen the
Faith of Believers.
We have no information about Mary's Activity in the Early
Church, but we may suppose that after Pentecost
her Life would have continued to be Hidden and Discreet, Watchful and Effective. Since
she was Enlightened and
Guided by the Spirit, she
Exercised a Deep Influence on the Community of the Lord's Disciples.
Veni, Creator Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit, Creator
One of the most widely used Hymns in the Church, Veni, Creator Spiritus, is attributed to Blessed Rabanus
Maurus; (776-856). It is used at Vespers, Pentecost, Dedication of a Church, Confirmation, and Holy Orders and whenever the Holy
Spirit is Solemnly Invoked. A Partial Indulgence is granted to the Faithful who recite it. A Plenary Indulgence is granted if it is
recited on January 1st or on the Feast of Pentecost.
Veni, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.
Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissima donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.
Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.
Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.
Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.
Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utrisque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis
surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula.
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
and in our Souls 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,
O Heavenly Gift of God Most High,
O Fount of Life and Fire of Love,
and Sweet Anointing from above.
Thou in Thy Sevenfold Gifts are known;
Thou, Finger of God's Hand we own;
Thou, Promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the Tongue with Power Imbue.
Kindle our Sense from above,
and make our Hearts o'erflow with Love;
with Patience firm and Virtue high
the Weakness of our Flesh Supply.
Far from us Drive the Foe we dread,
and grant us Thy Peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for Guide,
turn from the Path of Life aside.
Oh, may Thy Grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the Eternal Spirit blest.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who Rose from Death, be Glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in Earth and Heaven.