Devotion to the Precious Blood is connected to devotion to the Passion and Death of Our Lord, since through the sheding of His Blood, mankind was redeemed. Consequently, one can say the Church has always honored the Blood of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:9 states, "we are justified by His blood", and Hebrews 13:12 states, "and so Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people by His blood, suffered outside the gate." 1 John 1:7 also writes of the Precious Blood: "...and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."
Closer to our modern era, devotion to the Precious Blood has been greatly encouraged by Blessed Gaspar Buffalo, founder of the Congregation of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. Pope Pius IX was exiled from Rome in 1849. A companion of Pope Pius IX was Don Giovanni Merlini, the third general of that Congregation. Don Giovanni Merlini suggested to Pope Pius IX that he make a vow to give the Feast of the Precious Blood to the entire church, if he should regain the papal territory. Pope Pius IX immediately extended it to the whole Church. Before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the Feast of the Precious Blood was celebrated on July 1st.
"Unlimited is the effectiveness of the God-Man’s Blood — just as unlimited as the love that impelled him to pour it out for us, first at his circumcision eight days after birth, and more profusely later on in his agony in the garden, in his scourging and crowning with thorns, in his climb to Calvary and crucifixion, and finally from out that great wide wound in his side which symbolizes the divine Blood cascading down into all the Church’s sacraments. Such love suggests, nay demands, that everyone reborn in the torrents of that Blood adore it with grateful love." (Pope John XXIII: Devotion to the Most Precious Blood.)
Documents on the Precious Blood:
- On Promoting Devotion to the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (June 30, 1960), by Pope John XXIII
- Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood
- Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus (approved by Blessed John XXIII on February 24, 1960)
- Offering in Reparation to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus (approved by Pope Pius VII on September 22, 1817)
- Prayer to be said each day for 3 years (Blessed by Pope Leo XIII on April 5, 1890)
- Feast of the Precious Blood (July 1st)
- An Offering of the Precious Blood for Souls