When the Holy Spirit – the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity – seals us in the Sacrament of Confirmation, He brings Seven Gifts. One of these gifts is the Gift of Fortitude, which strengthens us against temptation and empowers us to boldly proclaim the Gospel in word and example. We have seen the effects of the Gift of Fortitude in the example set by the martyrs – and in particular the example set by the Apostles. One day, they’re barricaded in the Upper Room huddled in fear, and then the Holy Spirit comes upon them on Pentecost and suddenly they have no fear of death or bodily harm. In fact not only do they have no fear of martyrdom, they embrace the fact that they have been found worthy to die like the Master.
Now, I am not saying that we are all called to be martyrs in the sense that we physically die for Jesus Christ. No, but there is a white martyrdom which we all suffer daily. There are temptations hurled at us by the world, the flesh and the Devil; insults and reproaches heaped on us by those who hate or misunderstand our faith, even our own Federal Government is trying to mandate that our Catholic hospitals and schools provide free contraception, abortifacients and sterilizations – which we under no circumstances may provide. All of this we must face. It seems overwhelming unless we have fortitude. So with the Solemnity of Pentecost just six days away, let us today ask the Holy Spirit for His gift of Fortitude.
Novena to the Holy Spirit
The Gift of Fortitude
“By the gift of Fortitude, the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to undertake without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. ‘He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.’”
“Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in times of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from You, my God and greatest Good.” Amen.
Our Father ~ Hail Mary ~ Glory Be to the Father (seven times) ~ Act of Consecration (see Novena to the Holy Spirit (Day 1))
Prayer for the Seven Gifts
“Almighty and Eternal God, Who has vouchsafed to regenerate us by the water and the Holy Spirit, and has given us forgiveness of all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from Heaven upon us Your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear.” Amen.
– Novena taken from Novena and Prayers to the Holy Spirit, Original Text by Daniel A. Lord, S.J., P. 2 & 7