Pentecost: “The best fruit of the Holy Spirit is sainthood”
JERUSALEM – Pentecost, meaning the descent of the Holy Spirit on the community of Apostles on the 50th day after Jesus’ resurrection, was celebrated on Sunday, May 24 in Jerusalem. Bishop William Shomali was the main celebrant of the Solemn Mass at the Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion, a few steps from the Cenacle, during which he conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation to three persons.
“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.” Thus Saint Luke begins the second chapter of the Acts of Apostles to describe the event of the Pentecost. Fifty days after his victory over death, and ten days after his Ascension into heaven, Christ sent, according to his promise, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Consolation, who gives believers and the Church the gift of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, fear of the Lord and piety.
The Christian feast of Pentecost has its origins in the Jewish festival of “Shavuot”, a celebration in thanksgiving to God for the harvest of wheat, and for the Law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. In the Church, this feast is an opportunity to thank God for the gifts of the Holy Spirit poured upon the apostles and the Virgin Mary, on Mount Zion, and within us since our baptism and confirmation.
According to Tradition, Latin Patriarch, or his vicar, presides over holy mass at the German Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition which is one of the Christian places nearest to the Cenacle, where it is not allowed to say Mass since expelling the Franciscans five centuries ago.
Tradition has it that the Latin Patriarch, or his vicar, presides the Mass for the German Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition, which is one of the closest Christian places to the Upper Room/Cenacle, where the celebration of Mass is not allowed since the expulsion of the Franciscans there five centuries.
A solemn Mass was celebrated this year by Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, who also conferred the sacrament of confirmation to three baptized adults, including Ms. Eva Maurer Morio, a volunteer at the Latin Patriarchate and Home of Our Lady of Sorrows for almost a year .
A large number of faithful attended the Eucharistic celebration, which was a serene and collected time of communion, of piety and solemnity, thanks to the Gregorian chants which mark the Benedictine liturgy for centuries.
In his homily, the Patriarchal Vicar spoke of the fruits of the Holy Spirit saying that: “The best fruit of the Holy Spirit is holiness, and this year our Church of Jerusalem gave two beautiful fruits with Saint Marie Alphonsine Ghattas and Saint Mariam of Jesus Crucified Baouardy, who were canonized last week. Saint Mariam in particular, has much to teach us in life about the Holy Spirit. She has continued to speak, throughout her life and her work, about docility to the Holy Spirit, His action in souls, and also encouraged devotion to the Holy Spirit through prayer . “
Celebrating Pentecost on Mount Zion is a privilege for local Christians and those coming on pilgrimage. Joy is manifested on the faces of all the participants, who were then invited to share in the refreshments in the courtyard of the Abbey.
May the Holy Spirit accompany us during the new liturgical season that begins the “Ordinary Time”, that of Christian wisdom embodied in our daily life, by fidelity to the New Law – of Jesus Christ.
Photos : Fr Simon-Petrus Mahall, osb
(1) St. Mariam’s prayer reads: “Holy Spirit, inspire me, Love of God, consume me; On the true path, lead me. Mary, my Mother, watch over me; With Jesus, bless me; From all evil, from all illusion, From all danger, preserve me.”