Plea for Prayers as Pentecost Approaches

VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2004 ( John Paul II plans to preside over the celebration of vespers, the Church’s evening prayer, next Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica on the eve of Pentecost.

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“I invite all the faithful, especially the members of the movements of Renewal in the Spirit, to participate in the prayer vigil, to invoke on ourselves and on the whole Church a copious effusion of the gifts of the Holy Spirit,” the Pope said after praying the Regina Caeli with the thousands of people gathered today in St. Peter’s Square.

The Renewal in the Spirit, or Catholic Charismatic Renewal, arose in 1967 when some students of Duquesne University in Pennsylvania took part in a retreat during which they experienced the effusion of the Holy Spirit and the manifestation of charismatic gifts.

The Charismatic Renewal spread worldwide, and adherents say that 100 million Catholics now follow its spirituality. The renewal movement has an international panel recognized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

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