Novena to the Holy Spirit for Migrants and Refugees
Prayer Reflection for Solidarity with Immigrants,
Refugees and Victims of Human Trafficking
Opening Prayer (to be recited each day of the Novena)
Veni Sancte Spiritus
Come, Holy Spirit, send forth the heavenly radiance of your light.
Come, Father of the Poor, come, Giver of Gifts, come, Light of the Heart.
Greatest Comforter, Sweet Guest of the Soul, Sweet Consolation.
In labor, rest, in heat, temperance, in tears, solace.
O Most Blessed Light, fill the inmost heart of your faithful.
Without your spirit, there is nothing in man, nothing that is not harmful.
Cleanse that which is unclean, water that which is dry, heal that which is wounded.
Bend that which is inflexible, fire that which is chilled, correct what goes astray.
Give to your faithful, those who trust in you, the sevenfold gifts.
Grant the reward of virtue, grant the deliverance of salvation, grant eternal joy.
The Lord said to Abram: “Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will find blessing in you.” (Genesis 12:1-3).
Reflect: In what ways do I see migrants as a blessing to our Church, our communities, and nation?
“Every human being has the right to freedom of movement and of residence within the confines of his own state. When there are just reasons in favor for it, he must be permitted to migrate to other countries and to take up residence there. The fact that he is a citizen of a particular state does not deprive him of membership to the human family, nor of citizenship in the universal society, the common, world-wide fellowship of men.” – John Paul II, Address to the New World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Immigrants (October 17, 1985)
Loving God, place in my heart the gift of charity, so that I can recognize your face
in the lives of those who have left everything hoping to find kinship in far-away lands.
“You shall not exploit a poor and needy hired servant, whether one of your own kindred or one of the resident aliens who live in your land, within your gates. On each day you shall pay the servant’s wages before the sun goes down, since the servant is poor and is counting on them. Otherwise the servant will cry to the Lord against you, and you will be held guilty.” (Deuteronomy 24:14-15).
Reflect: How are poverty and lack of opportunities pushing people out of their homes?
How am I welcoming them? How do I treat them after they have settled in my community?
“Justice will never be fully attained unless people see in the poor person, who is asking for help in order to survive, not an annoyance or a burden, but an opportunity for showing kindness and a chance for greater enrichment.” – John Paul II, Centesimus Annus: On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum, no. 58.
Loving God, place in my heart the gift of generosity, that I may recognize the blessings
you have bestowed upon me and are now inviting me to share with those most in need.
When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. (Matthew 2:13-14).
Reflect: How aware am I of the persecution of Christians around the world?
How can I lift up my voice in their defense?
“Today so many Christians, perhaps more than in the early times, are persecuted, killed, pushed out, stripped just for being Christian… Today, before this fact that is happening in the world, in the complicit silence of so many authorities that could stop it, we are faced with this Christian fate: to take the very path of Jesus… Today, the Gospel tells us where this story began: with Jesus.” – Pope Francis, Morning Meditation, September 7, 2015.
Loving God, place in my heart the gift of goodness, that through me your sweet consolation
can be experienced by those being persecuted for your sake.
“The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures he makes me lie down; to still waters he leads me; he restores my soul. He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.” (Psalm 23:1-4).
Reflect: How does my life style affect the stability of war-torn areas across the world?
How do I receive refugees fleeing violence and war?
“To be especially lamented is the condition of so many millions of refugees, and of every group of people suffering persecution sometimes in institutionalized form for racial or ethnic origin or tribal grounds. This persecution on tribal grounds can at times take on the characteristics of genocide.” – Justice in the World, Statement of the World Synod of Catholic Bishops (November 30, 1971), no. 21
Loving God, place in my heart the gift of peace, that I may be your instrument
to wipe the tears of those yearning to breathe free, and experience rest and solace.
When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee.” (Matthew 2:19-22).
Reflect: How much do I know about unaccompanied minors’ perilous journey to safety?
What can I do to help heal the scars caused by the separation of families?
“I would also like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence… This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.” – Pope Francis, ‘Mexico-Holy See Colloquium on Human Migration and Development’ (July 14, 2014)
Loving God, place in my heart the gift of gentleness, that I may see the
image of your son in the eyes of young people who are separated from their families due to violence.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Judge with true justice, and show kindness and compassion toward each other. Do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the resident alien or the poor; do not plot evil against one another in your hearts.” (Zechariah 7:9-10).
Reflect: What is at the root of the ill-feelings against migrants and refugees?
What do I do to confront those attitudes?
“The call to solidarity is also a call to promote the effective recognition of the rights of immigrants and to overcome all discrimination based on race, culture, or religion— Catholic lay people, diocesan officials, and bishops should continue to work together with community organizations, labor unions, and other religious bodies on behalf of the rights of immigrants in the workplace, schools, public services, our legal system, and all levels of government.” – Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity, A Statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops.
Loving God, place in my heart the gift of patience, and clean any ill-feelings
I, or others, might have against your children seeking refuge in our nation.
“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord and a day of vindication by our God; to comfort all who mourn.” (Isaiah 61:1-2).
Reflect: Am I aware of the presence of survivors of human trafficking in my community?
What do I do to help heal their wounds?
“This is the mission of the Church and of every baptized person in our time too, even in the era of globalization; a mission that with attentive pastoral solicitude is also directed to the variegated universe of migrants – students far from home, immigrants, refugees, displaced people, evacuees – including for example, the victims of modern forms of slavery, and of human trafficking.” – Pope Benedict XVI, 95th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2009).
Loving God, place in my heart the gift of kindness, that I may
help heal the scars left by the sin of human trafficking.
“For the Lord, your God, is the God of gods, the Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who has no favorites, accepts no bribes, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and loves the resident alien, giving them food and clothing. So you too should love the resident alien, for that is what you were in the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:17-19).
Reflect: What do I do to help others remember the legacy of immigrants in our nation?
“The Church has the right, indeed the duty, to proclaim justice on the social, national and international level, and to denounce instances of injustice, when the fundamental rights of man and his very salvation demand it. The Church . . . has a proper and specific responsibility which is identified with her mission of giving witness before the world of the need for love and justice contained in the Gospel message, a witness to be carried out in Church institutions themselves and in the lives of Christians.” – Justice in the World, Statement of the World Synod of Catholic Bishops (November 30, 1971), no. 36
Loving God, place in my heart the gift of faithfulness, that I may always defend
the dignity of those who yearn for new beginnings.
“He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions, so that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us.” (Acts 17:26-27).
Reflect: How do people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds help me discover new insights about God?
“As Catholics we are called to take concrete measures to overcome the misunderstanding, ignorance, competition, and fear that stand in the way of genuinely welcoming the stranger in our midst and enjoying the communion that is our destiny as Children of God…Communion does not abolish differences but brings together one family, diverse and united in the one Lord.” – Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity, A Statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops
Loving God, place in my heart the gift of joy, that I may welcome my brothers and sisters in Christ
as we come together as a family striving to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.