A Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit Stained Glass Window
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This prayer was written by St. Alphonsus de' Liguori (1696-1787), who was an Italian bishop and doctor of the Church and founder of the Redemptorist order. Liguori was a true renaissance cleric, an accomplished writer, composer, musician, artist, poet, lawyer, philosopher, and theologian. He received his appointment as Bishop of Sant' Agta dei Goti in 1762.

De' Liguori began his career in the legal profession in Naples, Italy, but upon growing disillusioned with the profession, he entered the priesthood at age 30, where quickly developed a reputation for being intensely self-critical, despite his prodigious intellectual gifts and equally impressive work ethic working with homeless children and the poor of Naples. De' Liguori was an equally stern taskmaster with priests who later fell under his leadership, reprimanding those who completed mass in less than 15 minutes. But De' Liguori was much beloved by congregations and was noted for his elegantly simple writing and speaking. He once said, "I have never preached a sermon which the poorest old woman in the congregation could not understand." Late in life, De' Liguori fell into serious illness and was persecuted by other priests who resented the pattern of strict morality he demanded of himself and others. Before his death, he was ejected from the congregation he himself had founded. 

Bishop De' Liguori was canonized as a saint by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839, half a century after his death. He remains one of the most widely read of all Catholic authors, with The Glories of Mary and The Way of the Cross among his most popular works. 

The Prayer

In the following pray from St. Alphonsus de' Liguori, we ask the Holy Spirit to grant us His seven gifts. The seven gifts are first enumerated in the Old Testament book of Isaiah (11: 1-3), and they appear in many Christian devotional works, including this prayer: 

Holy Spirit, divine Consoler, I adore You as my true God, with God the Father and God the Son. I adore You and unite myself to the adoration You receive from the angels and saints.
I give You my heart and I offer my ardent thanksgiving for all the grace which You never cease to bestow on me.
O Giver of all supernatural gifts, who filled the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with such immense favors, I beg You to visit me with Your grace and Your love and to grant me the gift of holy fear, so that it may act on me as a check to prevent me from falling back into my past sins, for which I beg pardon.
Grant me the gift of piety, so that I may serve You for the future with increased fervor, follow with more promptness Your holy inspirations, and observe your divine precepts with greater fidelity.
Grant me the gift of knowledge, so that I may know the things of God and, enlightened by Your holy teaching, may walk, without deviation, in the path of eternal salvation.
Grant me the gift of fortitude, so that I may overcome courageously all the assaults of the devil, and all the dangers of this world which threaten the salvation of my soul.
Grant me the gift of counsel, so that I may choose what is more conducive to my spiritual advancement and may discover the wiles and snares of the tempter.
Grant me the gift of understanding, so that I may apprehend the divine mysteries and by contemplation of heavenly things detach my thoughts and affections from the vain things of this miserable world.
Grant me the gift of wisdom, so that I may rightly direct all my actions, referring them to God as my last end; so that, having loved Him and served Him in this life, I may have the happiness of possessing Him eternally in the next. Amen.
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