What is Pentecost?
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The Story, Origins, & Meaning of Pentecost

Top of Tree Almond Blossoms against Clouds and Blue Sky
Pentecost is the Coming of the Holy Spirit

Each year on Pentecost Sunday - 7 weeks after Easter - we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit.

On the first Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit came down in a special way upon Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the apostles and followers of Jesus - a group of about 120 people - gathered in the Upper Room in Jerusalem.

It happened 10 days after the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven, and 50 days after his Resurrection.

The word "Pentecost" comes from the Greek word "pentekoste" meaning "fiftieth" (day).

Pentecost is the Birthday of the Church

The day when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, is considered the day the Church was born.

The Apostles were no longer afraid, as a divine power greater than themselves gave them strength and courage to preach the Good News of the life and teachings, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the gift of his salvation.

And about 3000 people were baptized, and added to the church on that day.

The Holy Spirit continues to dwell in the Church as the source of it's life.

The Story of Pentecost.

Before his ascension back into heaven (40 days after Easter) from the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave instructions to his followers MMM to stay in Jerusalem, there to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 24:51 and Acts 1:1-11)

After the Ascension, the 11 Apostles went to the upper room, (most likely the same place as the Last Suppper) and with one mind continued steadfastly in prayer with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." (Acts 1:12-14)

About 120 people were gathered together. (Acts 1:15)

One morning, about 10 days later - they were all together in one place. Suddenly, there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind blowing. It filled the whole house where they were sitting, Parted tongues of fire appeared, coming down on each of them.

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in foreign languages, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak.

Devout Jews from every nation gathered, and heard the Apostles speak in their own languages.

Peter gave a sermon. (Acts 2:14-36)

Those who received his word were baptized. About 3000 souls were added to the Church that day. (Acts 2:37-41)

The Origin of Pentecost.

The celebration of Pentecost actually started in the Old Testament, at the direction of God.

Several months after the first Passover - which prefigures the death and resurrection of Our Lord - the Israelites were gathered in the Wilderness.

After 3 days of preparation, God gave the the 10 commandments from Mount Sinai, amid loud trumpet blasts, cloud, fire, smoke, lightning, and thunder. (Exodus Chapters 19 and 20)

The Meaning of Pentecost

Pentecost really has its meaning for each one of us when we receive the Holy Spirit into our souls.

The worthy reception of Baptism brings the Holy Spirit, and the worthy reception of Confirmation brings an increase of the Holy Spirit.

It is important that we be properly prepared for the coming of the Holy Spirit. The better we are prepared, the more grace we can receive, the more we can share in the life of God.

Why Pentecost is a Cause for Celebration

Because so many people responded to the powerful coming of the Holy Spirit, listened to the words of Peter and the Apostles, and were baptized, it is considered as the birthday of the Church.

The Church is the means which Jesus Christ founded to bring his graces to mankind, and help bring mankind to salvation and to heaven.

For those united to Jesus Christ and his Church, Pentecost is a cause for celebration!

Happy Birthday to the Church !

Thank your stars!

Go to Pentecost Poems, Prayers, and Thoughts.

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