Choose your language EoF

Back To The Holy Spirit

The example of Blessed Elena Guerra for the preparation for Pentecost

“From here started the spark that we hope will become a fire, to reawaken in the world the devotion to the Holy Spirit,” so Blessed Elena Guerra noted in her diary, so we read today on a plaque in the atrium of the ancient Palazzo Ghivizzani in Lucca, chosen as the headquarters of the Sisters’ Community and transformed by the prayer of Elena and the Oblates, into a new Cenacle, a holy place from where a fire of love and grace spread throughout the Church.

“From here” from this house and our City Elena Guerra pointed to the prophecy of the Holy Spirit as the force for an authentic renewal of the Church and the world. “Let us return to the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit may return to Us!” This is the passionate and constant cry of Elena Guerra, convinced that only in the “return” to the Holy Spirit can the earth and people renew their lives.

Forum Camerun Giugno 2024 720×90 Aside Logo

It is a dream, never fulfilled, that also touches the sad and dark days of our time, marked by wars and divisions. It is the hope of a Church that is living the synodal journey. It is the prayer that unanimously should rise from all hearts, to the Father, in these days of preparation for the Great Solemnity of Pentecost.

Returning to the Holy Spirit for a renewal of Church and Society

The “return” to the Holy Spirit is not dictated by a pietistic-devotional attitude, into which it is easy to fall, when solid foundations of an inner life are lacking, but arises from the profound conviction that only the Spirit guides to the Truth and to the understanding of the words of the Incarnate Word.

The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, whom Christ revealed and the Father sent into the world and poured into hearts, giving full fulfillment to the paschal mystery, so that man could return to full communion and friendship with God. The renewal of the Church must precede that of the Society, in which it is a reflection and consequence.

Elena Guerra matures the conviction that for an authentic renewal of the Church, it is necessary to return to the Sources, to the first experience of Christian life, as it was born and developed from the Upper Room. Giving life to a permanent Cenacle guarantees the action of the Spirit in life. Domenico Abbrescia notes, “Helena is the nostalgic saint of the Rising Church, the suffering saint because this historical-spiritual reality has been dissolving, the prophetic saint who fights to the last so that her charismatic dream becomes reality.”


To celebrate Pentecost, to enter into the prayer of the Upper Room, is not to make remembrance of the past, of an event archived or assigned to the history books; but it is a living and present reality, it is to make it possible for the Spirit to work in the hearts of those who welcome it. “Pentecost,” the Blessed wrote, “is a permanent mystery; the Spirit continues to come in all souls who truly desire it. In a very warm and compelling passage she spoke of the necessity of the Holy Spirit, drawing inspiration from what the Sequence attributes to the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit and the works of mercy

“Everyone down here,” he exclaimed, “needs the Holy Spirit. The innocent need it not to sin, sinners need it to be converted and the righteous to gain perseverance. The ignorant need it because He is the light of hearts, the weak need it because He is the divine strength, the afflicted need it because He is the excellent Comforter, the derelict need it because He is the Guest of souls, the poor need it because He is the gift of the Most High God, the lukewarm need it because He is fire, the arid need it because He is the living fountain, the wandering need it because He is the guide that makes us dodge every evil path.”

He concludes the exhortation with a question, which requires a personal response, “And will you not need, and great need of the Holy Spirit?” Only to the extent that man and the Church are inhabited by the Holy Spirit can the world experience the truth and fullness of Love.

“With the Holy Spirit,” Blessed Elena reminds us, “we can do every good thing, and without Him we can do nothing. Only when the Holy Spirit has enriched us with His supernatural gifts, could we experience apostolic ardor, and be able to proclaim the Gospel to a world that is often distracted, indifferent to the life of the Spirit, when it is not even overwhelmed by violence or in the centrifuge of an all-destroying hatred. For this we need the light and power of the Holy Spirit to walk and implement the Commandment of love. “What better thing for us than to be guided and sustained by Love?” wondered Elena Guerra.

The Blessed did not cease her mission as a prophet and apostle of the Holy Spirit, she still suggests, “Let us return to the Holy Spirit…,” and from heaven she continues with us and for the whole Church the supplication and praise, “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the flame of Your Love.”


  • Umberto Palagi


You might also like