Bernard van Orley, workshop of Netherlandish, c. 1488–1541
Christians celebrated Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came down upon Christ’s followers.
In Acts 2 we’re told:
When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place.2 Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. 3 And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.
5 There were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 And they were astounded and amazed, saying,<sup class="footnote" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; vertical-align: top; top: 0px;" data-fn="#fen-HCSB-26957a" data-link="[a]”>[a] “Look, aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 How is it that each of us can hear in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites; those who live in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking the magnificent acts of God in our own languages.” 12 They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, “What could this be?” 13 But some sneered and said, “They’re full of new wine!”
It’s one of my favorite holidays because it’s when the people were given the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord