MedievalBooksOfHours

Les Enluminures

Morgan MS M.1093, f. 102v

4. Hours of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost

Illustrating the Hours of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost (Greek for the “fiftieth”) commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ as described in the Book of Acts (2: 1-20): “And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” In the Bible, the Virgin is not present.

The Virgin Mary sits with an open book, flanked by the apostles, some with hands joined in prayer, some gesturing toward the dove of the Holy Ghost, with wings outstretched, emitting rays. In the background is a brocade cloth of honor and arched leaded-glass windows. A fantastic bird and a peacock inhabit the floral and foliate border.