The Month of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord

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In today's entry in his seminal work, The Liturgical Year, Dom Prosper Gueranger begins,

“John the Baptist has pointed out the Lamb, Peter has firmly fixed His throne, Paul has prepared the Bride...”

We've heard this many times before, but there are no coincidences with God. It is not a coincidence that we just celebrated, on June 23rd, the Birth of St John the Baptist, who recognized Jesus while they were both still in the womb! And on June 29th, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

Today, the old liturgical calendar celebrates the Feast of the Precious Blood of Jesus--sadly, this feast was removed from the Post Conciliar calendar, but the entire month is also traditionally dedicated to celebration of Christ's Precious Blood.

This Blood is our Ransom. 

The Price of our Redemption.

How can we not celebrate it?

Dom Guranger addresses this, as if anticipating its sad disappearance from the calendar:

this their joint work, admirable in its unity, at once suggests the reason for their feasts occurring almost simultaneously on the cycle. The alliance being now secured, all three fall into shade; while the Bride herself, raised up by them to such lofty heights, appears alone before us, holding in her hands the sacred cup of the nuptial-feast.

This gives the key of today’s solemnity; revealing how its illumining the heavens of the holy Liturgy, at this particular season, is replete with mystery. The Church, it is true, has already made known to the sons of the New Covenant, and in a much more solemn manner, the price of the Blood that redeemed them, its nutritive strength, and the adoring homage which is its due.

Yes; on Good Friday, earth and heaven beheld all sin drowned in the saving stream, whose eternal flood-gates at last gave way, beneath the combined effort of man’s violence and of the love of the divine Heart.

The festival of Corpus Christi witnessed our prostrate worship before the altars whereon is perpetuated the Sacrifice of Calvary, and where the outpouring of the Precious Blood affords drink to the humblest little ones, as well as to the mightiest potentates of earth, lowly bowed in adoration before it.

How is it, then, that Holy Church is now inviting all Christians to hail, in a particular manner, the stream of life ever gushing from the sacred fount?

What else can this mean, but that the preceding solemnities have by no means exhausted the mystery?

The peace which the Blood has made to reign in the high places as well as in the low; the impetus of its wave bearing back the sons of Adam from the yawning gulf, purified, renewed, and dazzling white in the radiance of their heavenly apparel; the Sacred Table outspread before them, on the waters’ brink, and the Chalice brimful of inebriation; all this preparation and display would be objectless, if man were not brought to see therein the wooings of a Love that could never endure its advances to be outdone by the pretensions of any other.

Therefore, the Blood of Jesus is set before our eyes, at this moment, as the Blood of the Testament; the pledge of the alliance proposed to us by God; the dower stipulated upon by Eternal Wisdom for this divine union to which he is inviting all men, and whereof the consummation in our soul is being urged forward with such vehemence by the Holy Ghost.

Today, and this month, let us meditate on this Precious gift, perhaps by praying the Chaplet of the Precious Blood.

 


The Chaplet of the Precious Blood of Jesus

The Chaplet of the Precious Blood of Jesus is made up of seven mysteries in which we meditate on the seven principal times that Jesus shed His Most Precious Blood. To pray the chaplet, we meditate on each mystery while praying five Our Fathers. At the end of the Chaplet, we pray it three more times, totaling thirty-three times in honor of the thirty-three years of Our Lord’s life on earth.

 

O God, come to my assistance.

O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be ...

FIRST MYSTERY: JESUS IS CIRCUMCISED

"When the eighth day arrived for his circumcision, the name Jesus was given the child." (Lk. 2:21) 

Five Our Fathers ... 

Glory be ...

We beseech you, therefore, help your servants, whom you have redeemed by your Precious Blood.

SECOND MYSTERY: JESUS' AGONY IN THE GARDEN

"In his anguish he prayed with all the greater intensity, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground." (Lk. 22:44)

Five Our Fathers ... 

Glory be ...

We beseech you, therefore, help your servants, whom you have redeemed by your Precious Blood.

THIRD MYSTERY: JESUS IS SCOURGED AT THE PILLAR

"At that, he released Barabbas to them. Jesus, however, he first had scourged." (Mt. 27:26)

Five Our Fathers ... 

Glory be ...

We beseech you, therefore, help your servants, whom you have redeemed by your Precious Blood.

FOURTH MYSTERY: JESUS IS CROWNED WITH THORNS

"They stripped off his clothes and wrapped him in a scarlet military cloak. Weaving a crown out of thorns they fixed it on his head." (Mt. 27:28-29)

Five Our Fathers ... 

Glory be ...

We beseech you, therefore, help your servants, whom you have redeemed by your Precious Blood.

FIFTH MYSTERY: JESUS CARRIES HIS CROSS

"In the end, Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified. Jesus was led away, and carrying the cross by himself, went out to what is called the Place of the Skull." (Jn. 19:16-17)

Five Our Fathers ... 

Glory be ...

We beseech you, therefore, help your servants, whom you have redeemed by your Precious Blood.

SIXTH MYSTERY: JESUS IS CRUCIFIED AND DIES ON CALVARY

"When they came to Skull Place, as it was called, they crucified him there ... Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing."' (Lk. 23:33-34)

Five Our Fathers ... 

Glory be ...

We beseech you, therefore, help your servants, whom you have redeemed by your Precious Blood.

SEVENTH MYSTERY: JESUS' SACRED SIDE IS PIERCED

"One of the soldiers thrust a lance into his side and immediately blood and water flowed out." (Jn. 19:34)

Three Our Fathers ... 

Glory be ...

We beseech you, therefore, help your servants, whom you have redeemed by your Precious Blood.

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 this present life, so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

 

Images: The Precious Blood of Jesus, Miguel Cabrera; The Circumcision of Jesus, Parmigianino; Christ in Gethsemane, Heinrich Hoffman; The Flagellation of Christ, Peter Paul Reubens; The Crowning with Thorns, Caravaggio; Christ Carrying the Cross, Sebastiano del Piombo; Christ Crucified, Diego Velazquez; Longinus piercing Christ's side with a spear, Gerard de la Vallee (all images in the public domain)

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