In the Traditional Catholic Church, July 1st was recognized as the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, instituted in 1849 by Pope Pius IX, then after Vatican II, this feast day was combined with the Feast of Corpus Christi, which in 1969 officially was changed to the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. But regardless of the change, the entire month of July is dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, and in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, July 1st is celebrated as the Feast of the Most Precious Blood as a Votive Mass.
This feast commemorates all of the times Our Dear Lord shed His Most Precious Blood. Just six months ago, we began the New Year celebrating the Feast of the Circumcision ….the first time the Blood of Jesus was shed on earth. Today’s feast celebrates the Circumcision along with all of the other times He shed His blood… the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging at the pillar, the Crowning of thorns, and finally….the Crucifixion. This feast is a liturgical celebration of the Blood, whose shedding made it possible for us to be cleansed of our sins in Baptism. It is the same blood which washes away our sins every time we go to confession.
The Most Precious Blood of Jesus came to replace the sacrifices of old…His blood replaced the blood of the goat and bulls who were offered as sacrifices before. As it says in the book of Hebrews 9: 12- 15
“Neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by His Own Blood, entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and of oxen, and the ashes of a heifer, being sprinkled, sanctify such as are defiled, to the cleansing of the flesh: How much more shall the Blood of Christ, Who by the Holy Ghost offered Himself unspotted unto God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the Living God? Therefore He is the Mediator of the New Testament: that by means of His death for the redemption of those transgressions which were under the former testament, they that are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”
The Blood of the Paschal Lamb was poured out to pay the debt of Adam’s sin. The blood of Jesus’ humanity was exactly what was needed to pay back the debt owed God… only God was worthy to repay the debt. And because Jesus is God, just one drop of His blood would have been enough…just one drop would have fulfilled the debt and redeemed us all, but God is awesome…and as a means to show us….His creatures, who are so often ungrateful and lukewarm in their hearts…He chose to undergo all of the events of His Passion and death to show us the depth of His love for us, and also to show us that as His creatures..created in His image…we must be ready to shed our blood….figuratively and literally…for Him….and His Holy Church.
Most of us cringe at the idea of pain…particularly as a means of sacrifice for others. But we have been instructed by Our Lord to do just that, and not only physically but spiritually as well. We must offer our hearts as well. We must be willing to forgive others…offer them the same forgiveness that was poured over us by the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. As God forgives us each time we avail ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession…we must be willing to forgive others….without hesitation… without contingencies. We must never be slow to offer others the Mercy that was won for us by Our Blessed Lord on Calvary.
The devotion to the Most Precious Blood is not an option…as a follower of Christ we are obligated to adore this element of our salvation. It is vital in the cleansing of our sins. It is what washes us clean. We cannot be saved without it…it is that important, and deserves a rightful place in our hearts…in our devotion. Sadly, in our modern society we are falling into the grips of the secular world, more and more. The less we learn about our Faith, the less we learn about this fundamental aspect of our salvation the further we fall into the snares of the world…and into the realm of the devil’s reach. As followers of Christ we have an obligation to know God, to love God and to adore God. His Most Precious Blood is to be venerated by Christians everywhere.
The Precious Blood makes clean. Unlike all other blood, which stains, the Blood of Jesus purifies and washes clean and white. According to the words of St. John, in the Apocalypse, the Angels wonder, asking: “These that are clothed in white robes, who are they?” The Lord answers: “These are they that have washed their robes, and have made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.” The Precious Blood exists for no other reason than to regain for the souls of men their dress of innocence and to be washed clean.
In a passage written in 96 A.D. from Pope St. Clement I, we read:
“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.”
During this month, let us avail ourselves to learn a bit more about this Truly wonderful gift. And let us develop a devotion to the Most Precious Blood so that we may truly become what God created us to be.
PRAYER TO THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS
O Most Precious Blood of Jesus, infinite price of the redemption of sinful humanity, solace and refreshment of our souls, you continuously foster our cause before the throne of Supreme Mercy. I profoundly adore you and want, as much as possible, to make reparation for the insults and disrespect you receive from human beings, especially from those who dare to blaspheme.
Who will not bless this Blood of infinite value! Who would not be set aflame with love toward Jesus who shed this Blood? Who would I be if this Divine Blood had not redeemed me? Who removed it from the veins of my Lord to the last drop? Love did it! O immense love, which bestowed upon us this saving balm! O immeasurable balm which sprang from a spring of immense love, may all hearts and languages praise you, exult you and give you thanks now and forever. Amen.
 Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy