Pentecost – A Christian Holiday Celebrating the Holy Spirit’s Arrival

Father Thomas Maikowski serves as the administrator of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, a Catholic church dedicated to spiritual growth, located in northern Arizona. Catholic clergy such as Father Thomas Maikowski celebrate two major religious holidays in the spring: Easter and Pentecost.

Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples after Christ was crucified and resurrected and is generally accepted as the birthday of the church, although it is not widely recognized or celebrated by all members of the Christian community. In general, only those in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgical church communities observe it.

The celebration of Pentecost occurs 50 days after Easter and originally involved a feast to commemorate the beginning of the spread of the gospel message throughout the world. Today, churches and religious groups that recognize Pentecost tend to celebrate the holyday with a special mass or worship service.

The history of Pentecost stems from passages in the Bible’s New Testament that detail the birth of the church as a foundation for the building of the Kingdom of God on earth. According to biblical passages, the Holy Spirit visited the apostles of Jesus Christ 50 days after the resurrection and granted them the ability to speak in a way that was understood by people who spoke languages different than those spoken by the apostles. The apostles then used the gift to begin sharing the gospel message on a much greater scale.