The Month of July, Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus

In the Liturgical Calendar year, the month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Church dedicates the month of July to the Precious Blood of Jesus. How did it come about that the month of July is dedicated to His Precious Blood?

During the first war for Italy’s Independence in 1849, Pope Pius IX went into exile. While in exile, the Superior General, Don Giovanni Merlini of the Precious Blood Order (the same order who staffed Sacred Heart Church and often other parishes in the area for so long in our diocese) asked the Pope to create a universal feast in honor of the Precious Blood of Jesus to end this war. On June 30, the pope made the proclamation. And, in July, the war came to an end. Upon his return to Rome, on August 10, Pope Pius IX declared the first Sunday in July would be dedicated to the Feast of the Blood of Jesus Christ. Later Pope Pius X declared July 1 as the feast day. And at Vatican II, it was declared the whole month of July would be dedicated to the Precious Blood of Christ.

There are many prefiguration stories in the Old Testament that prepares us for the sacredness of Jesus’ blood and the redemption of us through his blood. Let’s look at some of them:

  • When Cain and Able made sacrifices to the Lord, the Lord was pleased with Able’s but not with Cain’s. In jealousy, Cain killed Able and as the blood of Able was shed on the earth, the earth cried out for vengeance for the death of Able. This would be fulfilled when the blood of Jesus was seeped into the earth and the heavens cried out for the redemption of humanity. Jesus descended into Hell to rescue those who had died and were unable to advance into Heaven until Jesus rescued the keys to Heaven. Thus, Able is forgiven as well as all of us sinners by the blood of Jesus who ransoms us from sin and death.
  • Time passes and the Israelite’s, God’s chosen people, are enslaved in Egypt. As the plagues continue against the Egyptians, the Pharaoh remains stubborn. Finally, the culmination of Plagues was the Passover. The lamb was to be sacrificed and blood poured over the doorposts so the angel of death would pass over that house sparing the first born from death. No blood on the doorpost meant death to the first born. When you and I receive the blood of Christ, the evil one sees that our heart has the blood of Christ poured over it and he must continue on and cannot destroy the heart and soul of the one protected by the blood of the lamb, the precious blood of Jesus!
  • And in the New Testament, we continue to have meditations on the awesomeness of the Precious Blood of Jesus. All of the brutal scenes during the Passion are for us to meditate on how the Blood of the Lamb, the Blood of Jesus is the lifesaving force that gives us eternal life. To the point of where the soldier slices open the side of Jesus so that blood, Eucharist, and water, baptism flows from his side, both signs of the life God wants us to have with him: Life with him on earth through baptism and life with him for eternity through the Eucharist.

May we spend extra time in prayer meditating on the awesomeness of the Precious Blood of Jesus and as we drink from the cup at Mass, take in more fully what he has done for us to give us the gift of life including eternal life. As we pray on Fridays’ after 6:30 Mass during The Seven Offerings of the Precious Blood: Eternal Father, we offer you the Precious Blood of Jesus, poured out on the cross and offered daily on the altar, (State your prayer intention here.)

In the month of July, we will honor many notable saints.

July 1, Junipero Sierra, Missionary who started many churches in the southwest of the United States and Patron Saint of Religious Vocation promotion.
July 3, Saint Thomas, who helps us overcome our doubts, increases our faith, and spent his post-Pentecost travels through India.
July 6, Maria Goretti, a favorite among young adults who can see her heroic virtue and desire to imitate her.
July 14, Kateri Tekawitha, first born person in North America to be beatified.
July 16, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the namesake of our Carmelite Sisters, who offer daily prayers and sacrifices specifically for us in our diocese.

Please look up these and other amazing saints we will celebrate during the month of July, and, consider joining us for Holy Mass on one of these great Saint feast days and receive the most holy body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.