Perhaps there has never been a more beautiful icon of Pentecost.  This one could also be titled 'Our Lady, Spouse of the Holy Spirit' because of the way Momma Mary is central in the scene. In much of Christian Iconography, the women are not even included in the painting!  This one however shows it more true to the bible which recounts that the women were very much present and as my pastor has often quipped, Mary was most likely instructing “the boys” on true faith.

The legend of Mary's faith is extraordinary.  In fact it said that they had to gently remove her from Jesus’ grave because she alone was certain in her heart that he would rise again and she wanted to wait for it… from that same trust and deep understanding of her son’s words she was able to teach the apostles with and without words, especially the nine days after the ascension in that upper room, waiting for the Spirit to descend.

Many women played an "equal to the apostles" role in the early Church and in my understanding that hasn't changed today!  Different roles perhaps, but not less important.  See the icon of St. Photini here as she is an example of a woman called by the Church "Equal to the Apostles".

With all that being said, the prayers to the Holy Spirit that are on the back of the card and on some versions inscribed around the icon, are repeated many times per day on the farm.  It has been emphasized repeatedly from the pulpit that God is gentle and humble of heart and will not barge His way into our hearts.  Again and again pastors have made it clear that opening one's heart in surrender to the Holy Spirit is the key to living a truly Christian life.  We are told that such prayers, repeated from the heart often, remind us to stay in that attitude of surrender.  That's why the farm takes that pastoral advice to heart.

Click here to download or listen to this prayer being intoned.

A friend from Arise recently pointed out that the Church often prays or sings the sequence below in western rite liturgies on Pentecost Sunday. I find it beautiful indeed.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul's most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue's sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.

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