Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Month of the Precious Blood

The month of July isn't only Disaster Prevention Month in the Philippines; nor is it merely Nutrition Month. The devotion of the Church assigns this month to the Precious Blood of Christ. The following is an excerpt about the devotion from

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Like the Sacred Wounds of Jesus, His Precious Blood deserves special honor because of its close relation to the Sacred Passion. That honor was given to it from the beginning by the Apostles who praised its redeeming power. (Rom. 5:9 "we are justified by His blood"; Heb. 13:12 "and so Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people by His blood, suffered outside the gate"; 1 John 1:7 "and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.")
In recent times the devotion has been encouraged by Blessed Gaspar Buffalo, founder of the Congregation of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. When Pope Pius IX was in exile from Rome in 1849, he had as his companion Don Giovanni Merlini, the third general of that Congregation. This saintly priest suggested to the pope that he make a vow to give the feast of the Precious Blood to the entire church, if he should regain the papal territory. Without binding himself by the vow, the pope immediately extended the feast to the whole Church. On the old calendar it was celebrated on July 1, but Catholics may still continue this tradition by increasing their devotion to the most precious Blood throughout the entire month of July.

The Raccolta, the Enchiridion of Indulgences, says this about the month of July as the month of the devotion to the Precious Blood of Christ:
Pope Pius IX., by a Rescript of June 4, 1850, kept in the Archivium of the Congregation of Missionaries of the Precious Blood, granted to all the faithful -
i. An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines, for every day of "the month consecrated to the Blood of Jesus Christ," on whatever day the month may begin by the custom of any public church or oratory, the condition of gaining the Indulgence being to assist at the devotion with contrition.
ii. A plenary indulgence to all who shall assist at it at least ten times in the month; which they may gain in the course of the said month, or on one of the seven days immediately following it, if, having Confessed and Communicated, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray there for a time according to the mind of the Sovereign Pontiff.
iii. An indulgence of 300 days to those who shall practise this devotion in private, with devout prayers and good actions in honour of the Precious Blood.
iv. A plenary indulgence, if they shall practise it for a month together, provided that on the last day of the month, or one of the seven following days, they go to Confession and Communion, visit a church, and pray as aforesaid.

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