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Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.

Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Amen.
(from the Divine Praises)

The month of July is dedicated to the Most Precious Blood. (The Feast of the Most Precious Blood, established by Pope Pius IX in 1849, is celebrated each year on the first Sunday of July.) The early Fathers say that the Church was born from the pierced side of Christ, and that the sacraments were brought forth through His Blood.

“The Precious Blood which we worship is the Blood which the Savior shed for us on Calvary and re-assumed at His glorious Resurrection; it is the Blood which courses through the veins of His risen, glorified, living body at the right hand of God the Father in heaven; it is the Blood made present on our altars by the words of Consecration; it is the Blood which merited sanctifying grace for us and through it washes and beautifies our soul and inaugurates the beginning of eternal life in it.”

The Old Testament

Cain and able Cain and Abel are making an offering. Abel’s sacrifice is pleasing to God, Cain’s is not. This gives rise to the sin of hatred, and fratricide is its resolution. The thirsting earth soaks up Abel’s blood as it shouts to heaven for vengeance. This shouting prefigured the scene on  Calvary, where Christ’s Blood cried to heaven for the redemption of mankind. Millenia pass, and now we see Israel oppressed by Egypt. God commands the people to kill a lamb and to sprinkle the doorposts with its blood; houses thus be sprinkled are spared by the messenger of death. But where the doors are not reddened with the blood of the lamb, all male firstborn from king to slave die. This blood on the doorposts was a type of the Blood of Christ. Can the blood of a lamb save a man? No, but as a figure of the Redeemer’s Blood it certainly does. For when the Destroyer sees the thresholds of a human heart marked with Christ’s sacred Blood, he must pass by. And another soul is saved.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace , Pius Parsch

The New Testament

Precious BloodIt is night on Mount Olive, and the moon is shining. We see the holy face crimsoned with blood during the agony in the garden.

Unhappy, despairing Judas casts the blood-money down in the temple. “I have betrayed innocent blood!”

In the scourging chamber we see the Lord in deepest humiliation; under raw strokes the divine Blood spurts out over the floor. Christ is led before Pilate. We go through Jerusalem’s streets following the bloody footsteps to Golgotha.

Down the beams of the Cross blood trickles. A soldier opens the sacred side. Water and Blood.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace , Pius Parsch

 

Symbols of the Precious Bloodblood_3

Adam is sleeping an ecstatic sleep. God opens his side, removes a rib and forms Eve, the mother of all the living. But our view transcends this action and in spirit we behold the second, the divine Adam, Christ. He is sleeping the sleep of death. From His opened side blood and water flow, symbols of baptism and the Eucharist, symbols of the second Eve, the Church, the Mother of all the living. Through blood and water Christ willed to redeem God’s many children and to lead them to an eternal home.

A finale. Holy Church transports us to the end. The heavenly liturgy is in progress. Upon the altar is the Lamb, slain yet alive, crimsoned by His own Blood. Round about stand the countless army of the redeemed in garments washed white in the Blood of the Lamb. Hosts of the blessed are singing the new canticle of redemption: “You have redeemed us out of every tribe and tongue and nation by Your Blood.”

Now from vision to present reality. How fortunate we are to have divine Blood so near to us, to offer it to the heavenly Father for the sins of the whole world!

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace , Pius Parsch

Devotion to the Precious Blood

Devotion to the Precious Blood is not a spiritual obligation only for priests, but for every follower of Christ. Devotion, as we know, is a composite of three elements: It is first- veneration, it is secondly- invocation, and it is thirdly- imitation. In other words, devotion to the Precious Blood of Christ, the Lamb of God who was slain, is first of all to be veneration on our part, which is a composite of knowledge, love and adoration. We are to study to come to a deeper understanding of what those two casual words, Precious Blood, really mean.

I found this passage in the oldest document, outside of sacred scripture, from the first century of the Christian era – to be exact, from Pope St. Clement I, dated about 96 A.D. Says Pope Clement: “Let us fix our gaze on the Blood of Christ and realize how truly precious It is, seeing that it was poured out for our salvation and brought the grace of conversion to the whole world.”

To understand the meaning of the Precious Blood we must get some comprehension of the gravity of sin, of the awfulness of offending God, because it required the Blood of the Son of God to forgive that sin. We are living in an age in which to sin has become fashionable.

Excerpted from The Precious Blood of Christ, Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.