The novena in honour 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.
The Ascension of Our Lord, which occurred 40 days after Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter, is the final act of our redemption that Christ began on Good Friday. On this day, the risen Christ, in the sight of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven.
The Feast of the Ascension marks the beginning of the first novena, or nine days of prayer. Before His Ascension, Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit to His apostles. Their prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit, which began on Ascension Thursday, ended with the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, ten days later.
Today, Catholics recall that first novena by praying the Novena to the Holy Ghost between Ascension and Pentecost, asking for the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
This year the Novena to the Holy Sirit begins on Friday 11th of May.
The Church has not written any official prayers for the novena. The following prayers are suggested.