This article written by Cheryl Hadley, a Secular Carmelite living in North Carolina.
From the time of the Passion, when Christ poured out His blood for our salvation, the faithful have practiced devotion to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. In the month of July, the Church honors the Precious Blood and encourages us in this devotion. The traditional feast day devoted to the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ is July 1st.The devotion has its scriptural roots in numerous references from the New Testament. In Romans 5:9, we read of justification by His blood. In Hebrews 10:19, we read of our sanctification and consecration by the Precious Blood. In 1 John 1:7 we are told that it cleanses us from all sin.
Romans 5:9: "Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God."
Hebrews 10: 19-22: "Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
John 1:6-7: "If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin"
Many saints have spoken of devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus; notable among them is St. Catherine of Siena, who often wrote about the Precious Blood of Jesus in her Dialogue---a written account of her mystical visions. Below is the Constant Prayer of St. Catherine of Siena to the Precious Blood of Jesus.
In more recent times, this devotion has more widely taken root in our Catholic tradition. Devotion to the Precious Blood spread greatly through the prayer, preaching, and work of Bl. Gaspar del Bufalo, a 19th century Roman priest, and founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. You can read about his life and work here.
Blessed Gaspar brought this beloved devotion out of the sanctuary and into the hearts of Catholics around the world. It is through his life’s work that the devotion grew widespread in the Church.
The faithful are encouraged to honor the Precious Blood always and especially during the month of July. Consider making an act of love to the Precious Blood every day this month, such as an Act of Consecration to the Precious Blood of Jesus and the Litany of the Precious Blood as an act of love and reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Precious Blood courses through the Church, giving life to the Body of Christ. It was the cleansing agent that allowed the holy saints and martyrs to wash their robes clean. It is the price of our redemption, the object of our salvation, and the assurance of our eternal inheritance.
As we honor the Precious Blood of Jesus in union with the Church this month, may it awaken in our hearts a love and gratitude for Christ’s gift to us, for He has saved us by His blood.
This article has been updated and was originally published in June 2015 . © The Catholic Company