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July, Month of the Most Precious Blood of Christ.

An unfathomable mystery of Love and Mercy.

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According to Church tradition, the month of July is dedicated to the contemplation of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. The Blood of Christ is the irrefutable proof of the love of the Heavenly Father for all men, without exception. All this has been well pointed out by Saint John XXIII, who was devoted to the Blood of the Lord from his childhood when at home he would hear the recitation of the special Litanies. Elected Pope, he wrote an apostolic letter to promote the cult (Inde a primis, June 30, 1959), inviting the faithful to meditate on the infinite value of that Blood, of which "even one drop could save the world from all unrighteousness" (Hymn “Adoro Te”, devotees of St. Thomas Aquinas).

At the very beginning of this month, which is dedicated to celebrating the glories and benefits of the Precious Blood of Jesus, and until some time ago, the Church has invited the faithful to celebrate, in honor of this Blood, a solemn feast as a culmination of the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart.

The origin of this feast is not ancient. It dates back to Pius IX, whose pontificate marked one of the most glorious periods for establishing this devotion. The feast of the Precious Blood was already celebrated in some places on the Friday of the fourth week of Lent. But it was Pius IX who wanted to establish a universal feast on the first Sunday of July as a memorial to the vicissitudes of the Holy See and as a perpetual "Te Deum" of thanksgiving for its deliverance from exile in Gaeta. The feast was then established by St. Pius X on July 1.

The significance behind the celebration of this feast is quite similar to that of the Sacred Heart, with which it shares the Gospel of the Mass. There is a very close relationship between the Heart and Blood, not only because from the Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, blood and water flowed but also because the first cup in which the Divine Blood was consecrated and vivified was the Heart of the Word incarnate. The Holy Mass exalts the redemptive efficacy of the Precious Blood and invites us to quench our thirst at the divine fonts of the wounds of Jesus, so that His Blood will be for us a pledge of eternal life.

The month of July brings us to meditate on the Passion of Jesus. It is dedicated to the memory of His Blood shed for our salvation. When Jesus on the cross was pierced by the spear of the soldier some liquid gushed forth from His Heart, which was not only blood, but blood mixed with water.

From this we understand that Jesus gave all of Himself to save us; He did not spare anything. He even went so far as to die willingly. He wasn’t forced into it, but He did it only for love towards mankind. His love is truly the greatest. For this reason in the Gospel He says: "No one has greater love than to lay down his life for his friends" (Jn 15:13). If Jesus sacrificed His life for all men, then this means that for Him they are all friends; no one is excluded. Jesus believes that even the worst sinner on earth is His friend. So much so that He compared the sinner to a sheep of His flock that had strayed and gotten lost in the desert of sin. But as soon as He realizes that the sheep has gone astray, He goes looking for it everywhere until He finds it.

Jesus loves everyone equally, both the good and the bad, and does not exclude anyone from His great love. There is no sin that can deprive us of His love. He always loves us. Even if there are friends and enemies among men in this world, for God this is not so. We are all His friends.

Let us draw near to Him with confidence, without fear, as St. Paul tell us in the Letter to the Hebrews: " Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Heb 4:16). We must therefore not be distant from God. He is good to all, slow to anger, abounding in love, as Holy Scripture says. He does not want what is evil for us, but only what is good, the good that makes us happy on this earth, and especially after our death in Paradise. Let us not close our hearts but listen to His sincere and heartfelt invitation when He tells us: "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28). Why do we hesitate to approach Him, since He is so good and lovable? If He gave His life for us can we think that He wants what is evil for us? Absolutely not! Those who approach God with confidence and simplicity of heart find great joy, peace and serenity.

The Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta, had always contemplated the love of God for the salvation of the world by meditating on the Passion suffered by Jesus. The "Twenty-Four Hours of the Passion" is the text that best describes the gift of this great Love of Jesus towards mankind, and Luisa wanted to describe just what Jesus felt in His Heart when He suffered the pains inflicted during His Passion.

Luisa’s expressions (written not only in the book of the Passion), which are the fruit of her meditations on the Passion in reference to the Precious Blood shed by Jesus, make us touch first-hand how in her spiritual and mystical experience she felt deeply united to her Divine Master truly in everything, and how Jesus’ sufferings obtain copious graces for humanity.

Three times did the Heart of Jesus shed blood: during His agony in the garden, in the act of the crucifixion, and after His death when a lance pierced His side. And all not by chance, but in the divine order and to give complete glory due to the Father, to make the reparation that all creatures owe Him and for the good that the same creatures merit.

The thorns that pricked the head of Jesus served to prick the pride, the haughtiness,  and the most hidden wounds of man in order to make the pus they contain go out, while the thorns tinctured with His Blood served to heal man and give back the crown that sin had taken from him.

All the streams of blood that flowed from His head were many small rivers that bound the human intelligence to the knowledge of His sovereignty over man.

The body of Jesus struck by the scourges and torn to shreds and His Blood poured out from his Humanity served to reunite scattered humanity. By doing all this, in the Resurrection nothing was scattered, but everything was reunited again to His Humanity. He also enclosed all creatures in Him, and so if anyone strayed from Him he did so as a consequence of his stubborn will that, by tearing itself away from Jesus, leads man to perdition.

Therefore, let us profit from the Blood of Christ shed for our salvation, and let us wash our souls in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Jesus asks us to convert and to amend our lives by keeping His Commandments. His Grace and His aid, received by the Priest, will make us live peacefully and happily on this earth and one day will bring us to enjoy eternal happiness in Paradise.

"The Blood of Christ is the key to Paradise" (St. Thomas Aquinas)


by don Marco

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