John 15: 26-27 says, “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.”

And Luke 24: 48-49 states, “You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Mystery of the Holy Trinity. Much of what we envision of how the Holy Trinity looks is garnered from artistic renderings and imaginings. Many artists, iconographers, painters, sculptors, and mosaic makers would often draw upon the artistic conventions of their era. These depictions in art were necessary as until the 20th century, the Church depended on the different media of art to communicate catechesis and the tenets of the Faith and the Good News. These expressions of the Faith were found in the grandeur of stained glass, the silent poignancy of carved statues, the stoic witness of the architectural monuments of the intricately designed Church buildings, the wonderfully and painstakingly illustrated manuscripts, and the serene gaze of painted ceilings and saints. These creative expressions both spoke of and gave interpretation to the story of Salvation. William M. Thompson (1987) has eloquently proposed that amidst the profound joys, the crisis of existential turmoil, and the mundanity of the every-day, these artistic expressions were necessary and needed to weave, explain, articulate, and apply the mysteries of Christianity in the lives of the Faithful. Labriola, further unpacks his argument that “Christian art was crucial to [the] education and perseverance in the faith. Christian art provided a lifeboat for survival in the tempest-tossed seas of daily existence.” (1996, p.143)

Of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit is the most difficult to interpret and depict in art, and over the years, based on scriptural descriptions of the Holy Spirit’s attributes, artists have tried to bring alive the person of the Holy Spirit. According to these conventions, there are various symbols that are associated with the Holy Spirit. The following speak of the main imagery that is linked to the Holy Spirit:

  1. Wind (representing the Revelation of God)

The name of the Holy Spirit, is translated as the Hebrew word, ruah, which means “breath”, “air”, or “wind” (CCC. 691). Jesus explains to Nicodemus in John 3:8: “The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Wind is a powerful force that is often associated with the breath of God, and the Holy Spirit is frequently depicted as a mighty wind or breath of life. Just as wind can move and shape the landscape around us, so too can the Holy Spirit move and shape our hearts and minds.  As a revelation of God, the wind reminds us of His power and presence around us. Just as the wind is unseen and yet can be felt and heard, so too is the Holy Spirit at work in our lives, guiding and directing us even when we cannot see Him. The wind also reminds us of the breath of life that God breathed into humanity at the beginning of creation, giving us life and making us in His image.


  1. Water (A call to Renewal)

Jesus in John 7: 37-39 describes the Holy Spirit using water: ‘“Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as scripture says: ‘Rivers of living water will flow from within him.’” He said this in reference to the Spirit that those who came to believe in him were to receive.’

To augment this, CCC. 694 explains: “Water. The symbolism of water signifies the Holy Spirit’s action in Baptism, since after the invocation of the Holy Spirit it becomes the efficacious sacramental sign of new birth: just as the gestation of our first birth took place in water, so the water of Baptism truly signifies that our birth into the divine life is given to us in the Holy Spirit. As “by one Spirit we were all baptised,” so we are also “made to drink of one Spirit.” Thus the Spirit is also personally the living water welling up from Christ crucified as its source and welling up in us to eternal life.”

Water is another symbol of the Holy Spirit, and is often associated with purification and renewal. Water has the power to cleanse and refresh, washing away impurities and restoring life. In the same way, the Holy Spirit works in our lives to cleanse us from sin and renew us in our faith, helping us to grow and mature in our relationship with God.


  1. Fire (An invitation to Re-ignite):

Scripture tells us, “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” (Acts 2:1-4)


CCC. 696 elaborates: ‘Fire. While water signifies birth and the fruitfulness of life given in the Holy Spirit, fire symbolises the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions. the prayer of the prophet Elijah, who “arose like fire” and whose “word burned like a torch,” brought down fire from heaven on the sacrifice on Mount Carmel. This event was a “figure” of the fire of the Holy Spirit, who transforms what he touches. John the Baptist, who goes “before [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elijah,” proclaims Christ as the one who “will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Jesus will say of the Spirit: “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” In the form of tongues “as of fire,” the Holy Spirit rests on the disciples on the morning of Pentecost and fills them with himself. The spiritual tradition has retained this symbolism of fire as one of the most expressive images of the Holy Spirit’s actions. “Do not quench the Spirit.”’


Fire is perhaps the most powerful and transformative symbol of the Holy Spirit. Fire has the power to both purify and consume, burning away everything that is not of God and transforming us into the image of Christ. The Holy Spirit ignites the flame of faith within us, and as we yield to His work, we are refined and transformed by the purifying fire of His presence.



This Pentecost, you are invited to come and experience the Wind, Water, and Fire of the Holy Spirit. Let God our Father reveal Himself and His plans for you, be renewed in the living springs of the Holy Spirit, and let your faith and mission be re-ignited!



Pentecost Rally 2023

Theme: Wind, Water & Fire!

Revelation, Renew & Re-ignite!

24th-26th May 2023

Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Bethel at the Church of St. Michael


Article written via the Grace of God by,

Brian Bartholomew Tan

(Images created in Canva)



Catechism of the Catholic Church. (1992). The Names, Titles, and Symbols of the Holy Spirit. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved from

Thompson, W. M. (1987). Fire and Light. New York: Paulist Press.

Labriola, A. C. (1996). The Holy Spirit in Art: The Theological Bearing of Visual Representation. Boston College. CTSA Proceedings 51: 143-172.