Feast of the Most Precious Blood

Most Precious Blood, Feast of the

Formerly July 1
In the Roman Catholic Church, July was the month of the Most Precious Blood—referring to the blood of Jesus, which ever since the time of the Last Supper has been regarded by Christians as possessing redemptive power. But it wasn't until 1849 that a specific day was chosen for general observance of this festival. At that time Pope Pius IX was forced into exile while Rome was under attack by the French. One of his companions, who happened to be a general officer of the Fathers of the Most Precious Blood, tried to convince the Pope to promise that if he regained his papal lands he would establish this festival as a universal observance. The Pope, of course, said he didn't want to bargain with God, but that he would extend the festival to the whole church anyway. Since he reached this decision on the day before the first Sunday in July, it was originally the first Sunday that was dedicated to the Most Precious Blood. But Pius X moved the feast to the first day of July. In 1969 it was suppressed altogether and is no longer on the church calendar.
SOURCES:
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 166
RelHolCal-2004, p. 99
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