THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world
Gospel: John; 19. Verses 3At that time, Jesus when He had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummmated And bowing His head, He gave up the Ghost. Then the Jews (because it was the Parasceve), that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the sabbath-day (for that was a great (sabbath-day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and they might be taken away. The soldiers, therefore, came: and they broke the legs of the first and of the other that was crucified with Him. But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did no break His legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opend His side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it hath given testimony, and his testimony is true.
I THE PRECIOUS BLOOD II DEVOTIONS TO DROPS OF BLOOD
III. THE THREE OFFERINGS IV. SEVEN OFFERINGS OF PRECIOUS BLOOD
V THE PRECIOUS BLOOD AND HEAVEN VI LITANY OF PRECIOUS BLOOD
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I THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
The feast of the Precious Blood was instituted by Pope Pius IX in 1849 in thanksgiving for the victory of the Papal and French army over the revolutionary forces which had driven him from Rome. Pius XI in 1934 raised it to the rank of double o f the 1st class to mark the nineteen hundredth anniversary of our lord's death.
The liturgy transcends the circumstances of the feast's institution and, recalls all that we owe to the Precious Blood of the Redeemer. Recalling the scene on Calvary and the piercing of our Saviour's side, the Mass emphasizes especially its significance for our salvation let us with boundless gratitude venerate the Precious Blood on of our saviour which the offers to God upon the altar.
The blood of our Divine Saviour. Jesus, at the Last Supper, ascribes to it the same lifegiving power that belongs to His flesh (see EUCHARIST). The Apostles, St. Peter (1 Peter 1:2, 19), St. John (1 John 1:7; Apocalypse 1:5 etc.), and above all St. Paul (Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:10) regard it as synonymous with Jesus's Passion and Death, the source of redemption. The Precious Blood is therefore a part of the Sacred Humanity and hypostatically united to the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. In the fifteenth century some theologians, with a view of determining whether the blood shed by the Saviour during His Passion remained united to the Word or not, raised the point as to whether the Precious Blood is an essential part or only a concomitant of the Sacred Humanity. If an essential part, they argued, it could never be detached from the Word; if a concomitant only, it could. The Dominicans held the first view, and the Franciscans the second. Pius II, in whose presence the debate took place, rendered no doctrinal decision on the point at issue, However, chiefly since the Council of Trent (Sess, XIII, c. 3) called the body and blood of Jesus "partes Christi Domini the trend of theological thought has been in favour of the Dominican teaching. Francisco Suárez and de Lugo look askance at the Franciscans' view, and Faber writes: "It is not merely a concomitant of the flesh, an inseparable accident of the body. The blood itself, as blood, was assumed directly by the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity" (Precious Blood, i). The blood shed during the triduum of the Passion therefore reunited to the body of Christ at the Resurrection, with the possible exception of a few particles which instantly lost their union to the Word and became holy relics to be venerated but not adored. Some such particles may have adhered and yet adhere to the instruments of the Passion, e.g. nails, scourging pillar, Scala Sancta. Several places like Saintes, Bruges, Mantua etc. claim, on the strength of ancient traditions, to possess relics of the Precious Blood, but it is often difficult to tell whether the traditions are correct. Viewed as a part of the Sacred Humanity hypostatitically united to the Word, the Precious Blood deserves latreutical worship or adoration. It may also like the Heart or the Wounds from which it flowed, be singled out for special honour, in a way that special honour was rendered it from the beginning by St. Paul and the Fathers who so eloquently praised its redeeming virtue and rested on it the Christian spirit of self-sacrifice. As Faber remarks, the lives of the saints are replete with devotion to the Precious Blood. In due course of time the Church gave shape and sanction to the devotion by approving societies like the Missionaries of the Precious Blood; enriching confraternities like that of St. Nicholas in Carcere, in Rome, and that of the London Oratory; attaching indulgences to prayers and scapulars in honour of the Precious Blood; and establishing commemorative feasts of the Precious Blood, Friday after the fourth Sunday in Lent and, since Pius IX, the first Sunday of July.
BENEDICT XIV, De servorum Dei Beatificatione, II, 30; IV, ii, 10, de Festis, I, 8 (Rome, 1747); FABER, The Precious Blood (Baltimore, s.d.); HUNTER, Outlines of Dogm. Theol. (New York, 1896); IOX, Die Reliquien des Kostb. Blutes (Luxemburg, 1880); BERINGER, Die Ablässe (12th ed., Paderborn, 1900).
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II. DEVOTIONS OF DROPS OF BLOOD OUR LORD LOST ON HIS WAY TO CALVARY
St. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, with St. Matilda and St. Bridget, wishing to know something of the Passion of Jesus Christ, offered fervent and special prayers, upon which Our Lord revealed to them:
2 "Our Fathers", 2 "Hail Marys" and 2 "Glory Bees", in honor of the drops of Blood I lost, I will concede the following 5 graces:
To all the faithful who shall recite for 3 years, each day,
The plenary indulgence and remittance of your sins.
2nd You will be free from the pains of Purgatory.
3rd If you should die before completing the said 3 years, for you it will be the same as if you had completed them.
4th It will be upon your death the same as if you had shed all your blood for the Holy Faith.
5th I will descend from Heaven to take your soul and that of your relatives, until the fourth generation.
Be it known that the number of armed soldiers were 150; those who trailed me while I was bound were 23. The number of executioners of justice were 3;8 the blows received on my head were 150; those on my stomach, 108; kicks on my shoulders, 80. I was led, bound with cords by the hair, 24 times; spits in the face were 180; I was beaten on the body 6666 times; beaten on the head, 110 times. I was roughly pushed, and at 12 o'clock was lifted up by the hair; pricked with thorns and pulled by the beard 32 times; received 20 wounds on the head; thorns of marine junks, 72; pricks of thorns in the head, 110; mortal thorns in the forhead, 3. I was afterwards flogged and dressed as a mocked king; wounds in the body, 1000. The soldiers who led me to the Calvary were 608; those who watched me were 3, and those who mocked me were 1008; the drops of blood which I lost were 28,430.
Please keep this prayer card with others that you say daily to remind you to recite these prayers. Please record the date you started
III. THREE OFFERINGS OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD.
At the prayer of several devout members of the Pious Union erected in Rome, under the protection of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Lady, the same Pope Pius IX., by an autograph Rescript of June 18, 1851, kept in the Segretaria of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, granted certain indulgences to all who say the following offering of the Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Most Holy Trinity, in thanksgiving for the gifts and privileges with which the most holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, was enriched, most especially those which she received in her Immaculate Conception, viz. i. An indulgence of 300 days every time they are said with contrition, together with the accompanying prayer to the Blessed Virgin. ii. A plenary indulgence to all who say them every day for an entire month, to be gained on that day when, after Confession and Communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray there for a time according to the intention of his Holiness.
I. Eternal Father! in Union with the most Holy and Immaculate Virgin and in her name, and in union with and in the name of all the Blessed in heaven and of all the elect upon earth, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in thanksgiving for the gifts and privileges with which Thou hast enriched Mary, as Thy most obedient Daughter, particularly in her Immaculate Conception. I offer Thee also His Precious Blood for the conversion of poor sinners, for the propagation and exaltation of Thy Holy Church, for the safety and prosperity of our chief pastor the Bishop of Rome, and according to his intentions.
Gloria Patri, &c.II. Eternal and Incarnate Word ! in union with the most Holy and Immaculate Virgin and in her name, and in union with and in the name of all the Blessed in heaven and of all the elect upon earth, I offer Thee Thine own most Precious Blood in thanksgiving for the gifts and privileges with which Thou hast enriched Mary, as Thy most loving Mother, particularly in her Immaculate Conception. I offer Thee also this Precious Blood for the conversion of poor sinners, for the propagation and exaltation of Thy holy Church, for the safety and prosperity of our chief pastor the Bishop of Rome, and according to his intentions.
Gloria Patri, &c.III. Holy and Eternal Spirit! in union with the most Holy and Immaculate Virgin and in her name, and in union with and in the name of all the blessed in heaven and of all the elect upon earth, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Jesus in thanksgiving for the gifts and privileges with which Thou hast enriched Mary, as Thy most faithful Spouse, particularly in her Immaculate Conception. I offer Thee also this Precious Blood for the conversion of poor sinners, for the propagation and exaltation of Thy Holy Church, for the safety and prosperity of our chief pastor the Bishop of Rome, and according to his intentions.
Gloria Patri, &c.
IV. SEVEN OFFERINGS OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for the propagation and exaltation of my dear Mother the Holy Church, for the safety and prosperity of her visible Head, the Holy Roman Pontiff, for the cardinals, bishops and pastors of souls, and for all the ministers of the sanctuary.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Blessed and praised forevermore be Jesus Who hath saved us by His Precious Blood!
Amen.Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for the peace and concord of nations, for the conversion of the enemies of our holy faith and for the happiness of all Christian people. Glory be, etc. above Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for the repentance of unbelievers, the extirpation of all heresies, and the conversion of sinners.
Glory be, etc. aboveEternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for all my relations, friends and enemies, for the poor, the sick, and those in tribulation, and for all those for whom Thou willest I should pray, or knowest that I ought to pray.
Glory be, etc. aboveEternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for all those who shall this day pass to another life, that Thou mayest preserve them from the pains of hell, and admit them the more readily to the possession of Thy Glory.
Glory be, etc. above
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for all those who are lovers of this Treasure of His Blood, and for all those who join with me in adoring and honoring It, and for all those who try to spread devotion to It . .
Glory be, etc. above
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for all my wants, spiritual and temporal, for the holy souls in Purgatory, and particularly for those who in their lifetime were most devoted to this Price of our redemption, and to the sorrows and pains of our dear Mother, most
Holy Mary . . .
Glory be, etc. above
Blessed and exalted be the Blood of Jesus, now and always, and through all eternity. Amen. 300 days Ind.
A HIDDEN TREASURE
Appearing to one of the sisters of her community shortly after her death, St. Teresa of Avila told the sister that she would be willing to return to a life of suffering on earth until the end of time if thereby she could merit that degree of glory with which God rewards one devoutly recited "Hail Mary." St. Paul speaks in like manner when he says:
"The sufferings of this life are not to be compared with the glory to come."
If one short prayer is thus rewarded, what reward awaits those who offer to the Eternal Father, the Precious Blood of Jesus. "An offering," says Father Faber, is "More than a prayer." "In prayer we are the recipients, but when we make an offering God vouchsafes to accept something from us." In Our Lord's own words to Sister Mary Martha Chambon, Apostle of the Holy Wounds, " To offer to the Eternal Father the Sacred Wounds of Jesus is to offer Him His Glory, to offer Heaven to Heaven." Each time you offer to My Father the merits of My Divine Wounds," He said to her, "You gain an immense fortune . . . You must not remain poor, your Father is very rich."
If you and I, at this very moment, were standing on the threshold of eternity, we would see a limitless duration extending before us which our vision would fail to terminate. Looking on this endlessness the awful truth would come to us that the time of merit had passed forever. The saints realized this truth while yet in life, and we can see the vastness of their reward.
Those who have passed into eternity realize that there will be no further opportunities for additional merit, for time has passed forever. If regrets were possible in Heaven, unused opportunities would be the cause, for the blessed know what greater capacity for giving accidental honor to God they would have had if they had used all their opportunities. Because of God's mercy they have no regrets, but their status is sealed forever.
The position of the priest in heaven must be tremendous for he offers daily a Victim-of-Infinite-Worth; and yet each one of us can offer the same Victim in a different manner by sincerely saying: "Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus." Just suppose that if you were to make the seven offerings each day. It would take only a few minutes of time, and yet the vast merit gained would last eternally. What an investment !
Promises of Our Lord to Sister Mary Martha Chambon
V THE PRECIOUS BLOOD AND HEAVEN
Those who pray with humility and who meditate on My Passion, shall one dayparticipate in the glory of My Divine wounds. Their members will receive from them a resplendent beauty and glory. The more you shall have contemplated My Painful wounds on this earth, the higher shall be your contemplation of them glorious in Heaven. The soul who during life has honored and studied the Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ and has offered Them to the Eternal Father for the Souls in Purgatory will be accompanied at the moment of death by the Holy Virgin and the Angels; and Our Lord on the Cross, all brilliant in glory will receive her and crown her.
VI LITANY OF THE PREDIOUS BLOOD
V/ Christ, have mercy.
R/ Christ, have mercy.
V/ Lord, have mercy.
R/ Lord, have mercy.
V/ Jesus, hear us.
R/ Jesus, graciously hear us.
V/ God, the Father of Heaven,
R/ have mercy on us.
V/ God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R/ have mercy on us.
V/ God, the Holy Ghost R/ have mercy on us.
V/ Holy Trinity, One God,
R/ have mercy on us.
Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, Save Us
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God,
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament,
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world.
R/ spare us, O Lord
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
R/ graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
R/ have mercy on us.
You have redeemed us, O Lord, in your Blood.
R/ And made us, for our God, a kingdom.
Let us pray. Almighty and eternal God, you have appointed your only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world, and willed to be appeased by his Blood. Grant we beg of you, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation, and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life, so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.