Most Precious Blood of Jesus
July 1, 2016
As June is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, July is the month in which we honor the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. The Church observes the Feast of the Most Precious Blood on the first Sunday of July, which this year occurs on July 3th. On July 2, the Church commemorates Our Blessed Mother’s Visitation. The two feasts, Precious Blood and Visitation are linked both historically and liturgically in some interesting ways.
On November 24, 1848, Blessed Pius IX was forced to flee the Vatican by the triumphant surge of the Masonic-backed revolution in Italy. His Holiness fled to Gaeta disguised as a simple priest, but on June 29, 1849, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul and for the subsequent days, French forces came to his aid, restoring order on July 2, 1849, Our Lady’s feast of the Visitation. It was while the Holy Father was in exile in Gaeta that he proclaimed the feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, on the first Sunday in July.
Blessed Pius IX upon his triumphant return to Rome, honored Mary, help of Christians for her assistance, since the papal victory had been secured on the feast day of her Visitation, July 2. He then raised her feast day from a double major to that of second class, throughout the universal Church. This was actually the prelude to the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception which is recalled in the Gospel of the Visitation.