April is the Month dedicated to the Holy Spirit.
To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son: "with the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified." (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
The person of the Holy Spirit is referred to in various ways in Sacred Scripture. Jesus calls Him the ‘Paraclete’ (Consoler or Advocate) and also the ‘Spirit of Truth’. The New Testament also refers to the Spirit of Christ, of the Lord and of God. Many symbols are invoked to represent the Holy Spirit. Among them are water; fire and the anointing with oil. Drawing on the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan the Holy Spirit is frequently depicted as a dove.
The Holy Spirit has been present throughout salvation history. He inspired the prophets who preached the Messiah and He brought the prophecies to fulfilment in Christ. The Virgin Mary was filled with grace by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus revealed the Holy Spirit in His teaching and bestowed Him upon the Church when he breathed on the apostles after the resurrection and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (Jn 20: 22-23) At Pentecost Christ poured out the Spirit in abundance in conferring His Church with its mission and thereby revealed the Spirit as a divine person.
The Holy Spirit dwells in the Church and He is communicated by Christ through the sacraments. In particular, at Baptism He restores divine life and in Confirmation the Holy Spirit strengthens the faithful to bear witness to the Truth of Christ. It is particularly apt in April to pray for all those who have received or are preparing to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation. We can all call upon the Holy Spirit to guide us as He is the master of prayer.
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Father all-powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Eternal Son of the Father, Redeemer of the world, save us.
Spirit of the Father and the Son, boundless life of both, sanctify us.
Holy Trinity, hear us.
Holy Spirit, Who proceedest from the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
Holy Spirit, Who art equal to the Father and the Son, enter our hearts.
Promise of God the Father, have mercy on us.
Ray of heavenly light, have mercy on us.
Author of all good, [etc.]
Source of heavenly water
Spirit of love and truth
Spirit of wisdom and understanding
Spirit of counsel and fortitude
Spirit of knowledge and piety
Spirit of the fear of the Lord
Spirit of grace and prayer
Spirit of peace and meekness
Spirit of modesty and innocence
Holy Spirit, the Comforter
Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier
Holy Spirit, Who governest the Church
Gift of God, the Most High
Spirit Who fillest the universe
Spirit of the adoption of the children of God
Holy Spirit, inspire us with horror of sin.
Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth.
Holy Spirit, shed Thy light in our souls.
Holy Spirit, engrave Thy law in our hearts.
Holy Spirit, inflame us with the flame of Thy love.
Holy Spirit, open to us the treasures of Thy graces.
Holy Spirit, teach us to pray well.
Holy Spirit, enlighten us with Thy heavenly inspirations.
Holy Spirit, lead us in the way of salvation.
Holy Spirit, grant us the only necessary knowledge.
Holy Spirit, inspire in us the practice of good.
Holy Spirit, grant us the merits of all virtues.
Holy Spirit, make us persevere in justice.
Holy Spirit, be Thou our everlasting reward.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Send us Thy Holy Spirit.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, pour down into our souls the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us the Spirit of wisdom and piety.
V. Come, Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of Thy faithful,
R. And enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
Let us pray.
Grant, O merciful Father, that Thy Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame and purify us, that He may penetrate us with His heavenly dew and make us fruitful in good works, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, forever and ever. R. Amen.
Holy Father's Prayer Intentions For April 2018
Universal: For those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters
That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.
Easter Sunday is April 1st
Divine Mercy Sunday is April 8th
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls,
and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world.
O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy,
envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
Come, Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
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, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Wisdom is the first and highest gift of the Holy Spirit, because it is the perfection of the theological virtue of faith. Through wisdom, we come to value properly those things which we believe through faith. The truths of Christian belief are more important than the things of this world, and wisdom helps us to order our relationship to the created world properly, loving Creation for the sake of God, rather than for its own sake.
Understanding is the second gift of the Holy Spirit, and people sometimes have a hard time understanding (no pun intended) how it differs from wisdom. While wisdom is the desire to contemplate the things of God, understanding allows us grasp, at least in a limited way, the very essence of the truths of the Catholic Faith. Through understanding, we gain a certitude about our beliefs that moves beyond faith.
Counsel, the third gift of the Holy Spirit, is the perfection of the cardinal virtue of prudence. Prudence can be practiced by anyone, but counsel is supernatural. Through this gift of the Holy Spirit, we are able to judge how best to act almost by intuition. Because of the gift of counsel, Christians need not fear to stand up for the truths of the Faith, because the Holy Spirit will guide us in defending those truths.
While counsel is the perfection of a cardinal virtue, fortitude is both a gift of the Holy Spirit and a cardinal virtue. Fortitude is ranked as the fourth gift of the Holy Spirit because it gives us the strength to follow through on the actions suggested by the gift of counsel. While fortitude is sometimes called courage, it goes beyond what we normally think of as courage. Fortitude is the virtue of the martyrs that allows them to suffer death rather than to renounce the Christian Faith.
The fifth gift of the Holy Spirit, knowledge, is often confused with both wisdom and understanding. Like wisdom, knowledge is the perfection of faith, but whereas wisdom gives us the desire to judge all things according to the truths of the Catholic Faith, knowledge is the actual ability to do so. Like counsel, it is aimed at our actions in this life. In a limited way, knowledge allows us to see the circumstances of our life the way that God sees them. Through this gift of the Holy Spirit, we can determine God's purpose for our lives and live them accordingly.
Piety, the sixth gift of the Holy Spirit, is the perfection of the virtue of religion. While we tend to think of religion today as the external elements of our faith, it really means the willingness to worship and to serve God. Piety takes that willingness beyond a sense of duty, so that we desire to worship God and to serve Him out of love, the way that we desire to honor our parents and do what they wish.
7. Fear of the Lord
The seventh and final gift of the Holy Spirit is the fear of the Lord, and perhaps no other gift of the Holy Spirit is so misunderstood. We think of fear and hope as opposites, but the fear of the Lord confirms the theological virtue of hope. This gift of the Holy Spirit gives us the desire not to offend God, as well as the certainty that God will supply us the grace that we need in order to keep from offending Him. Our desire not to offend God is more than simply a sense of duty; like piety, the fear of the Lord arises out of love.
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Saints of the Month
4/01 St Hugh of Grenoble
Hugh may be best known as patron and benefactor of St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian Order.
4/02 St Francis of Paola
It was Francis's desire to be a contemplative hermit, yet he believed that God was calling him to the apostolic life.
4/03 St Benedict the African
His parents were slaves brought from Africa to Messina, Sicily.
4/04 St Isidore of Seville
An amazingly learned man, he was sometimes called "The Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages"...
4/05 St Vincent Ferrer
If any saint is a patron of reconciliation, Vincent Ferrer is.
4/06 St Crescentia Hoess
she grew up in poverty and willingly embraced it in her vocation, Crescentia had a good head for business.
4/07 St John Baptist de la Salle
Afflicted with asthma and rheumatism in his last years, he died on Good Friday at 68 and was canonized in 1900.
4/08 St Julie Billiart
A mysterious illness overtook her when she was about 30. She was paralyzed and became a complete invalid.
4/09 St Casilda
Casilda was herself raised as a Muslim and showed special kindness to Christian prisoners.
4/10 St Magdalen of Canossa
She died in 1835. Pope John Paul II canonized her in 1988.
4/11 St Stanislaus
Known for his outspokenness, he aimed his attacks at the evils of the peasantry and the king
4/12 St Teresa of Los Andes
At age 20 she contracted typhus and quickly took her final vows. She died a short time later, during Holy Week.
4/13 St Martin I
He is the last of the early popes to be venerated as a martyr.
4/14 Bl Peter Gonzalez
He became a Dominican priest and proved to be a most effective preacher.
4/15 Bl Caesar de Bus
Working with his cousin, Caesar developed a program of family catechesis.
4/16 St Bernadette Soubirous
Bernadette's coffin was opened, there was no odor, and her body was completely untouched by the laws of nature.
4/17 St Benedict Joseph Labre
Benedict Joseph Labre was truly eccentric, one of God's special little ones.
4/18 St Peter of St Joseph Betancur
Peter was not a good student. No matter how hard he studied, he could not make good grades. He had to drop out of school. Read more...
4/19 St Leo IX
Pope Leo IX was the first pope who worked for reform in the Church.
4/20 St Agnes of Montepulciano
When she was just nine years old, she begged her mother and father to let her live at the nearby convent.
4/21 St Anselm
He received the title "Father of Scholasticism" for his attempt to analyze and illumine the truths of faith through the aid of reason.
4/22 Sts Soter & Caius
Soter & Caius were martyred Popes. Read more...
4/23 St George
George was a favorite patron saint of crusaders, as well as of Eastern soldiers in earlier times.
4/24 St Fidelis of Sigmaringen
Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues.
4/25 St Mark
The oldest and the shortest of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Mark emphasizes Jesus' rejection by humanity.
4/26 St Cletus
was the third bishop of Rome, and succeeded St. Linus
4/27 St Simeon
Simeon, or Simon, appears to have been a cousin of the Lord. His father was thought to be a brother of Joseph and his mother a sister of Mary.
4/28 St Peter Chanel
As a young priest he revived a parish in a "bad" district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick.
4/29 St Catherine of Siena
She was the 23rd child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful and intensely religious person.
4/30 St Pius V
This is the pope whose job was to implement the historic Council of Trent.