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July - The Month of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

The month of July is dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.  Our Lord's blood poured out on the Cross purchased our salvation, washed clean the robes of the martyrs, and gave birth to the Church as it flowed from his wounded side. The Precious Blood of Christ — now pulsing through his Mystical Body — continues its salvific work, preserving and purifying, repairing and providing nourishment for regeneration and renewal of its members.  Therefore the Church developed a devotion to Jesus' physical blood and its mystical power, just as it did for his Sacred Heart from which his blood poured out on the Cross.

The ancient Israelites considered blood to be both sacred as well as polluting.  It was an essential part of their rituals but was also regarded as something that could cause ritual impurity if not properly dealt with.  In Christianity, the blood of Jesus as well as the blood of the martyrs was considered redemptive.  Just as the animals of ancient Jewish ritual washed away the sins of the Israelites, the blood of Jesus has washed away our sins.  The blood of the martyrs watered the seed of Christianity and gave birth to the Church.

Many saints had a devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus, most notably St. Catherine of Siena. Devotion to the Precious Blood spread greatly through the preaching of Bl. Gaspar del Bufalo, a 19th century priest and founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, and was later approved and recommended by the Holy See.

In the pre-Vatican II Church, July 1 was celebrated as the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.  In the post-conciliar liturgical calendar, this feast was combined with that of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ) which is celebrated on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday in the United States.  In much of the world, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ is celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday and is considered a Holy Day of Obligation.


Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Lord, have mercy.
V. Christ, have mercy.
R. Christ, have mercy.
V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Lord, have mercy.

V. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, hear us.
V. Christ, graciously hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word or God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, save us.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in Agony, save us.
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us.
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us.
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us.
Blood of Christ, victor over demons, save us.
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, save us.
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, save us.
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, save us.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, save us.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, save us.
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, save us.
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, save us.
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, save us.
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, save us.
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, save us.
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, save us.

Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.

V. Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
R. And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray.  Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, 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. Amen.

Prayer Intention of the Holy Father for July

Theme: Lapsed Christians

That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.

July

July, the seventh month in our calendar, was originally the fifth month of the year, and as such was called by the Romans Quinctilis.  The later name of Julius was given in honor of Julius Caesar, who was born in the month.  The Anglo-Saxons called July “Moed-monach” or “Mead-month,” from the meadows being then in bloom, and “After Lida” - the latter mild month, in contradistinction to June, which they named “the former mild month.”

July 3: Dog Days begin
July 15: St. Swithin
July 25: St. James

Mottos:

“St. Swithin’s Day, if it do rain,
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin’s Day an’ it be fair
For forty days t’will rain nae mair.”

A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay,
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon,
A swarm of bees in July is not worth a fly.

In July, shear your rye.

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