Throughout the month of July, the Church is especially devoted to the Precious Blood. This comes about from the old Feast of the Precious Blood that was celebrated on July 1 from 1849-1969 (and to this day in churches which follow the old calendar). Though relatively recent and short-lived when the Church’s entire 2000-year history is taken into account, the origins of this feast are from much, much earlier.
Pope St. Clement I, whose basilica in Rome showcases one of the earliest known depictions of Eucharistic worship, wrote in the late first century: “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.”
These instructions are reminiscent of what Jesus Himself said at the Last Supper: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” - Matthew 26:28
We venerate the Precious Blood as it has been poured out in God’s great mercy to cover and remove the weight of our sins.
Though it is no longer a fixed feast in the Church’s liturgical calendar, there is still a special Mass in honor of the Precious Blood that can be celebrated (when there are no other mandatory feast days on the calendar) any time in July, or even throughout the year.
The opening prayer for this Mass:
O God, who by the Precious Blood of your only Begotten son have redeemed the whole world, preserve in us the work of your mercy, so that, ever honoring the mystery of our salvation, we may merit to obtain its fruits. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Admitted to your sacred table, O Lord, we have with joy drawn water from the fountains of the Savior: O may his blood, we beseech thee, become within us a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.
Learn about the other monthly devotions here.