Thursday, June 30, 2022
Catholic Prayer: July Devotion: The Precious Blood
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Like the Sacred Wounds of Jesus, His Precious Blood deserves special honor because of its close relation to the Sacred Passion. That honor was given to it from the beginning by the Apostles who praised its redeeming power. (Rom. 5:9 "we are justified by His blood"; Heb. 13:12 "and so Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people by His blood, suffered outside the gate"; 1 John 1:7 "and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.")
In recent times the devotion has been encouraged by Blessed Gaspar Buffalo, founder of the Congregation of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. When Pope Pius IX was in exile from Rome in 1849, he had as his companion Don Giovanni Merlini, the third general of that Congregation. This saintly priest suggested to the pope that he make a vow to give the feast of the Precious Blood to the entire church, if he should regain the papal territory. Without binding himself by the vow, the pope immediately extended the feast to the whole Church. On the old calendar it was celebrated on July 1, but Catholics may still continue this tradition by increasing their devotion to the most precious Blood throughout the entire month of July.
See this article from the Catholic Culture library, Apostle of Devotion to His Most Precious Blood: St. Gaspar del Bufalo.
Most Precious Blood of Life Eternal, price of sinful man's redemption, by whose saving streams the thirst of souls is quenched, and their stains are washed away, Thou Who dost plead the cause of man before the throne of infinite mercy, from the depths of my heart I adore Thee and desire, as much as lies in my power, to make atonement for the injuries and insults that are constantly offered Thee by mankind, and especially by those who rashly dare to blaspheme Thee. Who will not bless and praise this Blood of infinite value? Whose soul would not be inspired with love for Jesus Who shed It all for us? What would be my fate, had I not been redeemed by this Divine Blood? And what drew Thee from the veins of my Saviour even to the last drop? It was love! O boundless love, which has given us this saving balm! O priceless balm, welling from the fount of immeasurable love! Grant that all hearts and tongues may praise Thee, magnify Thee, and give Thee thanks, now and throughout all ages. Amen.
St. Junipero Serra
Feastday: July 1
Patron: of Vocations
Beatified: Pope John Paul II
Canonized: September 23, 2015, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., by Pope Francis