Mary Prays for Outpouring of the Spirit

During that prayer in the Upper Room, in an attitude of deep communion with the Apostles, with some women and with Jesus’ “brethren”, the Mother of the Lord prays for the gift of the Spirit for herself and for the community.

The Blessed Virgin therefore wanted it for the fruitfulness of her spiritual motherhood.

It was appropriate that the first outpouring of the Spirit upon her, which had happened in view of her divine motherhood, should be repeated and reinforced. Indeed, at the foot of the Cross Mary was entrusted with a new motherhood, which concerned Jesus’ disciples. It was precisely this mission that demanded a renewed gift of the Spirit. The Blessed Virgin therefore wanted it for the fruitfulness of her spiritual motherhood.

While at the moment of the Incarnation the Holy Spirit had descended upon her as a person called to take part worthily in the great mystery, everything is now accomplished for the sake of the Church, whose image, model and mother Mary is called to be.

Mary implores the Spirit in the hearts of the disciples and in the world.

In the Church and for the Church, mindful of Jesus’ promise, she waits for Pentecost and implores a multiplicity of gifts for everyone, in accordance with each one's personality and mission.

Mary’s prayer has particular significance in the Christian community: it fosters the coming of the Spirit, imploring his action in the hearts of the disciples and in the world. Just as in the Incarnation the Spirit had formed the physical body of Christ in her virginal womb, now in the Upper Room the same Spirit comes down to give life to the Mystical Body.

Thus Pentecost is also a fruit of the Blessed Virgin’s incessant prayer, which is accepted by the Paraclete with special favour because it is an expression of her motherly love for the Lord’s disciples.

In contemplating Mary’s powerful intercession as she waits for the Holy Spirit, Christians of every age have frequently had recourse to her intercession on the long and tiring journey to salvation, in order to receive the gifts of the Paraclete in greater abundance.The Mother of Christ and his disciples are granted new strength.

Responding to the prayer of the Blessed Virgin and the community gathered in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit bestows the fullness of his gifts on the Blessed Virgin and those present, working a deep transformation in them for the sake of spreading the Good News.

The Mother of Christ and his disciples are granted new strength and new apostolic energy for the Church’s growth.

In particular, the outpouring of the Spirit leads Mary to exercise her spiritual motherhood in an exceptional way, through her presence imbued with charity and her witness of faith.

In the nascent Church she passes on to the disciples her memories of the Incarnation, the infancy, the hidden life and the mission of her divine Son as a priceless treasure, thus helping to make him known and to strengthen the faith of believers.

Her life would have continued to be hidden and discreet, watchful and effective.

We have no information about Mary’s activity in the early Church, but we may suppose that after Pentecost her life would have continued to be hidden and discreet, watchful and effective.

Since she was enlightened and guided by the Spirit, she exercised a deep influence on the community of the Lord’s disciples.


Excerpt from §3, 4 & 5, Pope Saint John Paul II, General Audience, May 28, 1997