Among the Jews this was a harvest feast and was celebrated about seven weeks after the Passover. Later it commemorated the promulgation of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.
The Christian feast is on the seventh Sunday after Easter and commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles in the Cenacle.
It is a "harvest-feast" of souls, since on that day the Holy Spirit empowered the Apostles, removed their fear, gave them the power of being heard in many different languages, and many thousands were baptised on that day.
Pentecost is 50 days after Easter ("Pente" meaning 50)
Our Lady and the apostles and people numbering 120 in all, were all together in the Cenacle, praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit, whom the Lord had promised to send.
And suddenly a sound came like a great rush of wind, and lightning flashed through the sky. And tongues of fire rested on all of them, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each one of us, in his native language".
The Descent of the Holy Spirit is the third of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.
And today is recognised as the great beginning of the Church.
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