The Holy Spirit as our Advocate?

  • Stanisław Celestyn Napiórkowski The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Prof. em.
Keywords: the Holy Spirit as our Advocate?; intercession; appealing to the saints


Is the Holy Spirit our Advocate, who intercedes for us? Rom 8, 26-27 seems to say just this. Various translations of the Bible and commentaries to its text do not give an unambiguous answer. It is the same with Biblicists who were consulted about this question: Romaniuk, Jankowski, Stachowiak, Langkammer; some, like Gaugler, cannot see any problems here at all; also Martin Luther does not see such a problem in his Commentary on Romans. John Paul II interprets the Holy Spirit’s intercession as supporting us in our prayer; similarly St Augustine, who explains the words concerning the Holy Spirit interpellat pro sanctis as interpellare Sanctos facit. The author of the article shares St Augustine’s position, as he does not think it is possible that the Holy Spirit could pray for us and be our Advocate in such a meaning. Incidentally, in a way, the author brings up the problems of intercession and appealing to the saints, as they are manifested in liturgy and in extra-liturgical piety. He quotes examples that are worrying with respect to theological correctness or indeed incorrect.