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Holy Spirit, Devotion to

HOLY SPIRIT, DEVOTION TO

In the Christian Era has its roots in the Old Testament, although among the Hebrews the Spirit (ruah, breath, wind) was regarded more as a manifestation of the divine presence and activity than as a divine person. The operations of the Spirit (1 Cor ch. 14) were not uncommon in the apostolic Church, but these provide no clear evidence of the recognition of the personal distinction of the Holy Spirit or of the tribute of a special devotion. By the mid-fourth century Catholic doctrine regarding the Holy Spirit was explained fully and clearly, but for long this resulted in no widespread popular devotion. Among the elite, however, devotion to the Holy Spirit, especially as Sanctifier, existed from early times. From the earliest Christian writers, both Greek and Latin, to the present, there is a rich and unbroken tradition of devotion to the Holy Spirit that is supported by Christian art and archeology, hymnology (e.g., veni sancte spiritus, veni cre ator spiritus), and liturgy. In the Middle Ages popular devotion to the Holy Spirit was given an impetus with the rise of confraternities dedicated to Him, notably those connected with the Hospitalers of the Holy Spirit (see p. brune, Histoire de l'ordre Hospitalier du Saint-Esprit, Paris 1892). In the 17th century there was a remarkable surge of popular devotion to the Holy Spirit (see Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique. Doctrine et histoire, ed. M. Viller et al. [Paris 1932] 5: 160410), and in recent times the encyclicals of Leo XIII (Provida Matris, 1895, and Divinum illud munus, 1897) and of Plus XII (Mystici Corporis, 1948) have been effectual in promoting devotion to the Holy Spirit among the faithful.

Bibliography: h. b. swete, The Holy Spirit in the New Testament (London 1909); The Holy Spirit in the Ancient Church (London 1912). h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq and h. i. marrou (Paris 190753) 5.1:525529. j. ruthcÉ, L'Élite et la dévotion au Saint-Esprit (Gembloux 1926). f. sÜhling, Die Taube als religiöses Symbol im Christlichen Altertum (Freiburg 1930). e. l. heston, The Spiritual Life and the Role of the Holy Ghost in the Sanctification of the Soul as Described in the Works of Didymus of Alexandria (St. Meinrad, Ind. 1938). p. galtier, Le Saint-Esprit en nous d'après les Pères grecs (Rome 1946). s. tromp, De Spiritu Sancto anima corporis, mystici, 2 v. (Rome 1932). a. gardeil, Le Saint-Esprit dans la vie chrétienne (4th ed. Paris 1950). t. maertens, Le Souffle et l'Esprit de Dieu (Paris 1955). j. isaac, La Révélation progressive des personnes divines (Paris 1960). g. lefebvre, L'Esprit de Dieu dans la sainte liturgie (Paris 1958). f. vandenbroucke, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique. Doctrine et histoire, ed. m. viller et al. (Paris 1932) 4.2:131618.

[m. f. laughlin]

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