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Novena to the Holy Spirit – Day 1

Pray the first day of Novena to the Holy Spirit.


Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they will be created.
– And you will renew the face of the earth.


God our Father, your love for us gives us strength to accomplish your will. Fill us, as you filled St Philip, with the love of your Holy Spirit, so that like him we may share your love with others. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reading | 1 Jn 4:7–9

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him.

Responsory | cf. rm 5:5; 8:11

The love of God has been poured into our hearts (alleluia).
– By his Spirit living in us (alleluia).


I love, and loving must love ceaselessly
So whole a conquest in me love hath won;
My love to Thee, Thy love to me dost run;
In Thee I live, and Thou dost live in me.

These words, from one of the two sonnets that survive from St Philip Neri, summarise well the way that he experienced and understood the love of God and neighbour. “We must give ourselves to God altogether,” he insisted, for God has already given himself completely to us. As St Thomas says, in the fruit of love “the Holy Spirit is given in a special manner, as in his own likeness, since he himself is love.” Such a total gift of self on God’s part demands a response that is likewise total, and leaves no room for any rival. “As much love as we give to creatures,” St Philip says, “just so much do we take from the Creator.”

Yet he will insist over and over that the fruit of our love for God must be visible in the love we have for our neighbours, and in our concern for them in their need: “God never comes where there is no love of neighbour.” From the very beginning of his days in Rome, long before his ordination as a priest, and even before his Pentecost, St Philip organised charitable groups and institutions in the city. Later, during the Holy Year of 1550, he established the Confraternity of the Holy Trinity (Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini) to serve the pilgrims who came to Rome for the Jubilee. This work continued in subsequent Holy Years, and in the interim the confraternity devoted itself to caring for the sick in hospitals and convalescent homes. St Philip frequently joined in their work, even in his old age, and constantly sent his penitents to the hospitals as well. “A diligent charity in ministering to the sick,” he advised them, “is a compendious way to the acquisition of perfect virtue.”

This was dirty, exhausting, thankless work, but he performed it with cheerfulness and an evident love – and expected his disciples to come to it with the same attitude. Many found it a great mortification, especially those who in their own lives were used to being cared for and waited on, rather than the other way around. But this mortification of self-will and pride is at the heart of St Philip’s spiritual approach, and was for him the measure of all spiritual progress: “The greatness of our love for God must be tested by the desire we have of suffering for his love.” He was not oblivious to the sacrifices that works of charity involved, but he knew that real charity would overcome these obstacles. “The love of God makes us do great things.”

Litany (optional)

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, One God,
Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son,
Holy Spirit, co-equal with the Father and the Son,
Promise of the Father, most bounteous,
Ray of Heavenly Light,
Author of all good,
Source of living Water,
Consuming Fire,
Burning Love,
Spiritual Unction,
Spirit of truth and power,
Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
Spirit of counsel and fortitude,
Spirit of knowledge and piety,
Spirit of fear of the Lord,
Spirit of compunction,
Spirit of grace and prayer,
Spirit of love, peace and joy,
Spirit of patience,
Spirit of longanimity and goodness,
Spirit of benignity and mildness,
Spirit of fidelity,
Spirit of modesty and continence,
Spirit of chastity,
Spirit of adoption of sons of God,
Holy Spirit, our Comforter,
Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier,
You Who in the beginning moved upon the waters,
You through Whom spoke holy men of God,
You Who overshadowed the Virgin Mary,
You by Whom Mary conceived Christ,
You Who descend upon men at Baptism,
You Who, on the Day of Pentecost appeared through fiery tongues,
You by Whom we are reborn,
You Who dwell in us as in a Temple,
You Who govern and animate the Church,
You Who fill the whole world,

That You will renew the face of the earth, We beseech You, hear us.
That You may shed Your Light upon us,
That You may pour Your Love into our hearts,
That You may inspire us to love our neighbour,
That You may teach us to ask for the graces we need,
That You may enlighten us with your heavenly inspirations,
That You may guide us in the way of holiness,
That You may make us obedient to Your commandments,
That You may teach us how to pray,
That You may always pray with us,
That You may inspire us with horror for sin,
That You may direct us in the practice of virtue,
That You may make us persevere in a holy life,
That You may make us faithful to our vocation,
That You may grant us good priests and bishops,
That You may give us good Christian families,
That You may grant us a spiritual renewal of the Church,
That You may guide and console the Holy Father,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us.
Holy Spirit, hear us. Holy Spirit, Graciously hear us.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Create a clean heart in us, O Lord. Renew a right spirit in us, O Lord.

Let us pray:
O God, who enlightens the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant to us the same Spirit, that we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father – Hail Mary – Glory Be

Concluding Prayer

Heavenly Father, hear the prayers that we make in the name of your Son, and give us the Paraclete whom he promised you would send. May your love for us give us strength to respond to you, and to bear fruit in our love for you and for our neighbour. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Click here to pray day 2

Read more about St Philip Neri and the Holy Spirit

This novena is extracted from our book Novena to the Holy Spirit. After Jesus’s ascension into heaven, his apostles remained nine days in Jerusalem, praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit. This has inspired the Christian novena to prepare for major feasts or for special intentions.

Pray to the Holy Spirit with the novena, hymns, litanies, and learn more about the Holy Spirit, by ordering your copy of Novena to the Holy Spirit today.