Readings on the Precious Blood (Days 21-27)
July 21, 2021
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Day 21

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews.

Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe them. We have an altar from which those who officiate in the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood. Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:7-16)

From “Divine Intimacy” by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen (+1953)

That blood which the Word, when He became incarnate, took from our human nature, He gave back to us—every drop of it—as the price of our redemption. And He gave it back, not as if constrained by anyone, but freely, because He willed to, because He loved us. “Christ . . . has loved us,” says St. John, “and washed us from our sins in His own Blood.” All the mysteries of our redemption are mysteries of love; and, therefore, all urge us to love. But the one on which we meditate today is especially moving, since it makes us consider the redemption from its most terrible aspect: the shedding of the Blood of Jesus, which, from Calvary, flowed forth to crimson the whole world, to sprinkle all souls. Christ has redeemed us, “neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by His own Blood,” St. Paul exclaims….This is a great truth which, if really understood, would more than suffice to make us genuine saints. We must have a “sense” of Christ’s Blood, that Blood which He shed to the last drop for us, and which, through the Sacraments, especially Penance, continually flows over our souls to cleanse them, purify them and enrich them with the infinite merits of the Redeemer. “Bathe in His Blood, immerse yourself in His blood, clothe yourself in the Blood of Christ,” “was St. Catherine of Siena’s continual cry.

St. Paul earnestly invites us to correspond with Christ’s gift. “Jesus . . . that He might sanctify the people by His own Blood, suffered outside the gate. Let us go forth therefore to Him. . . Bearing His reproach.” If we want the Blood of Christ to bear all its fruit in us, we must unite our own blood with it. His alone is most precious, so precious that a single drop is sufficient to save the whole world; nevertheless, Jesus, as always, wants us to add our little share, our contribution of suffering and sacrifice, “bearing His reproach.” If we are sincere we will have to admit that we do all in our power to escape Christ’s shame and disgrace. A lack of consideration, a slight offense, a cutting word, are all that it takes to arouse our passions. How can we say that we know how to share in Christ’s humiliations? Behold our divine Master treated like a malefactor, dragged amidst the coarse insults of the soldiers outside the gate of Jerusalem and there crucified between two thieves! And we? What part do we take in His Passion? How do we share in His reproach?

To redeem us, “Jesus ... endured the Cross despising the shame...: and “you,” St. Paul reproaches us, “have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Can we say that we know how to struggle “unto blood” to overcome our faults, our pride, our self-love? Oh! How weak and cowardly we are in the struggle, how self-indulgent and full of pity for ourselves, especially for our pride! Jesus, Innocence itself, expiated our sins even unto a bloody, ignominious death! We, the guilty ones, far from atoning for our faults unto blood, cannot even sacrifice our self-love. The blood which flows from sincere, total renunciation of self, from humble, generous acceptance of everything that mortifies, breaks, and destroys our pride : this is the blood which Jesus asks us to unite with His!  The Precious Blood of Jesus will give us the strength to do so, “for the soul which becomes inebriated and inundated by the Blood of Christ, is clothed with true and genuine virtue” (St. Catherine of Siena).


That he might sanctify the people with his own blood, Jesus suffered without the gate.  -- Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 

You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  -- Let us go forth therefore unto him without the gate, bearing his reproach.

Day 22

A reading from the First Letter of St. Peter

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood: May grace and peace be yours in abundance. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:1-9)

From the “Dialogues” of St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi (+1607) 

The first fruit, my daughter (she speaks in the Person of the Eternal Father), of my union is the inheritance I cause the soul to enjoy by means of the Incarnate Word, the Spirit breathing in human hearts; and this inheritance I am myself. Though the Word has shown it to you in a shadowy way, when, dwelling here below amongst you, he was asked by the mother of the sons of Zebedee, that one might sit at His right and the other at His left, and He answered her that they knew not what they asked, and that it was not his to give the right or the left, showing thereby the greatness of this inheritance, because they did not and could not understand it: Nescitis quid petatis. “You know not what you ask” (Matt 20: 22); and because it was so great that his own humanity could not give it. And do you know how this immense inheritance can be acquired? It can be acquired by you, in virtue of the Incarnate Word, by the sprinkling and infusion of his Blood. This outpouring he made copiously on the cross, and makes it now at my right, whilst by the channels of the Sacraments, the grace he merited, is infused into you and communicated by this Blood. And take notice, daughter, that this infusion produces in you many and various effects.  First, it causes to bud, then it nourishes, inebriates, transforms, and glorifies. It causes the lilies of jocundity to blossom around a beautiful fountain, and among these lilies the Word hides and feeds: Qui pascitur inter lilia. “Who feeds among the lilies” (Cant 2:16); breathing into the souls, his brides, an ardent feeling of love, whereby he constantly infuses into them the virtues and graces, so that some are always drowning and dying, for love, therein, while some survive in the same Blood. A soul dies to herself for love, living only for me and in me, and seeking nothing in all her operations but my honor and the salvation of the creatures; all of which proceeds from charity. Others die also all along the way; for, by the infusion of this Blood they remain so absorbed in God that they are as if dead, and, ceasing from all works, they attend but to commune with and enjoy me, and, though still here below, they are absorbed in the sublime and divine contemplation. The fountain is of blood and water; of water, to cleanse ; of blood, to embellish; and from the water and the blood they receive that most sweet odor which is afterwards felt everywhere: Christi bonus odor sumus. “We are the good odor of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:15).


The price of your redemption was not something of fleeting value like gold or silver,
but the costly shedding of the blood of Christ, the lamb without blemish.  – Through him, in the one Spirit, we can approach the Father.

The blood of Jesus Christ washes away all our sins.  – Through him, in the one Spirit, we can approach the Father.

Day 23

A reading from the First Letter of St. Peter

If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. (1 Peter 1:17-21)

From The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena (+1380)

Eternal God, eternal Trinity, you have made the blood of Christ so precious through his sharing in your divine nature. You are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for you. But I can never be satisfied; what I receive will ever leave me desiring more. When you fill my soul I have an even greater hunger, and I grow more famished for your light. I desire above all to see you, the true light, as you really are.

I have tasted and seen the depth of your mystery and the beauty of your creation with the light of my understanding. I have clothed myself with your likeness and have seen what I shall be. Eternal Father, you have given me a share in your power and the wisdom that Christ claims as his own, and your Holy Spirit has given me the desire to love you. You are my Creator, eternal Trinity, and I am your creature. You have made of me a new creation in the blood of your Son, and I know that you are moved with love at the beauty of your creation, for you have enlightened me.

Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery deep as the sea, you could give me no greater gift than the gift of yourself. For you are a fire ever burning and never consumed, which itself consumes all the selfish love that fills my being. Yes, you are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its light and causes me to know your truth. By this light, reflected as it were in a mirror, I recognise that you are the highest good, one we can neither comprehend nor fathom. And I know that you are beauty and wisdom itself. The food of angels, you gave yourself to man in the fire of your love.

You are the garment which covers our nakedness, and in our hunger you are a satisfying food, for you are sweetness and in you there is no taste of bitterness, O triune God!


The price of your redemption was not something of fleeting value like gold or silver, but the costly shedding of the blood of Christ  -- the lamb without blemish. 

The blood of Jesus Christ washes away all our sins – the lamb without blemish.

Day 24

A reading from the First Letter of St. John

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10)

From a hymn by John Wesley (+1791)

Jesu, Thy blood and righteousness

My beauty are, my glorious dress:

’Midst flaming worlds, in these array’d,

With joy shall I lift up my head.

Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;

For who aught to my charge shall lay?

Fully through these absolved I am

From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

The deadly writing now I see

Nail’d with Thy body to the tree:

Torn with the nails that pierced Thy hands,

The old covenant no longer stands.

Though, sign’d and written with my blood,

As hell’s foundations sure it stood,

Thine hath wash’d out the crimson stains,

And white as snow my soul remains.

Satan, thy due reward survey;

The Lord of Life why didst thou slay?

To tear the prey out of thy teeth;

To spoil the realms of hell and death.

The holy, the unspotted Lamb,

Who from the Father’s bosom came,

Who died, for me, even me, to atone,

Now for my Lord and God I own.

Lord, I believe the precious blood

Which at the mercy-seat of God

For ever doth for sinners plead,

For me, even for my soul, was shed.

Lord, I believe, were sinners more

Than sands upon the ocean-shore,

For all Thou hast the ransom given,

Purchased for all peace, life, and heaven.

Lord, I believe the price is paid,

For every soul the atonement made;

And every soul Thy grace may prove,

Loved with an everlasting love.

Carnal, and sold to sin, no more

I am; hell’s tyranny is o’er:

The immortal seed remains within,

And, born of God, I cannot sin.

Yet nought whereof to boast I have;

All, all Thy mercy freely gave;

No works, no righteousness are mine;

All is Thy work, and only Thine.

When from the dust of death I rise

To claim my mansion in the skies,

Even then, this shall be all my plea,

“Jesus hath lived, hath died for me.”

Thus Abraham, the friend of God,

Thus all heaven’s armies bought with blood,

Saviour of sinners Thee proclaim;

Sinners, of whom the chief I am.

Naked from Satan did I flee,

To Thee, my Lord, and put on Thee:

And thus adorn’d, I wait the word,

“He comes: arise, and meet thy Lord.”

This spotless robe the same appears

When ruin’d nature sinks in years:

No age can change its constant hue;

Thy blood preserves it ever new.

When Thou shalt call in that great day

For my account, thus will I say:

“Thanks to my gracious Lord, if aught

Of good I did, glad I it wrought:

“And while I felt Thy blood within

Cleansing my soul from every sin,

Purging each fierce and foul desire;

I joy’d in the refining fire.

“If pride, desire, wrath stirr’d anew,

Swift to my sure resort I flew:

See there my Lord upon the tree!

Hell heard: instant my soul was free.”

Then shall heaven’s hosts with loud acclaim

Give praise and glory to the Lamb,

Who bore our sins, and by His blood

Hath made us kings and priests to God.

O ye, who joy to feed His sheep,

Ever in your remembrance keep,

Empty they are, and void of God,

Till brought to the atoning blood.

Jesu, be endless praise to Thee,

Whose boundless mercy hath for me,

For me, and all Thy hands have made,

An everlasting ransom paid.

Ah, give me now, all-gracious Lord,

With power to speak Thy quickening word;

That all who to Thy wounds will flee

May find eternal life in Thee.

Thou God of power, Thou God of love,

Let the whole world Thy mercy prove:

Now let Thy word o’er all prevail;

Now take the spoils of death and hell.


God is light and in him there is no darkness at all -- and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

 If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another -- and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

 Day 25

 A reading from the First Letter of St. John

This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth. There are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree. If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:6-12)

From “The Mystical Vine” by St. Bonaventure (+1274)

The most profuse of Jesus’ bloodsheddings is to be found in the piercing by the nails. Who could doubt but that our innocent Jesus must have poured out a tremendous amount of his sacred blood, when his hands and feet were pierced? In those streams of blood our rose became empurpled. Here we find the most ardent charity and suffered of the deepest dye. Ponder awhile the ardour of this rose of charity in the red of its suffering. Whoever endured such hard and painful things? And remember here that it is God himself who is the sufferer. He whose habit was to remove completely, or at least to alleviate, the violence of their pains in his servants, refused to allow any alleviation at all in his own case, and endured to the full the harsh wine-press of his passion. Them he knew how to spare, but himself he refused to spare. The Gospel of Saint John witness to this in that passage, where we read how, on his captors saying that they were seeking him, he gave himself up to them, saying, “I am he. If therefore you seek me let these go their way.” O what ardour of a true charity—indeed of the truest charity! Here charity itself reveals itself and delivers itself over to the hands of its savage enemies. Charity seeks not to spare itself, but supplicates for the salvation of its own. And so our most gentle Saviour, the dear Jesus, after much derision, was seized both by the Jews and the Gentiles, and, after much shedding of blood was pierced by nails both in his hands and his feet, being at length fastened to the wood of the cross. Examine and see how red this rose of sanguinary passion becomes in order to express its burning charity. Charity and passion vie one another: the one for more ardour, the other for a deeper red. But it is through the ardour of charity that the passion acquires its redness in a wonderful way, since apart from love there would be no suffering. And it is the redness of the passion that manifests so great and incomparable an ardour of charity. But just as a rose closes when the cool of the night comes on, and opens right out in the warmth of the sunrise, its expanding petals proclaiming by their redness the welcome heat, so the most lovely flower of heaven, the most good Jesus, was for a long time shut up, as it were by the cool of the night, that is, the sin of the first man, the full bounty of grace not yet having touched it. But when the fullness of time at length drew near, he was warmed by the rays of a burning charity, and then, every part of his body becoming exposed, the ardour of the rose of charity flared up in the redness of his poured-out blood.

See then how our Jesus, so red, blossoms into a rose. Examine every part of his body. Where is there a flower not to be found? Look first at one hand, then at the other; look at each foot in turn. Perchance you may discover a rose there. Look into the opening in his side. There is not lacking a rose there, though it is less red, being mixed with water, for “there came out blood and water.” This is he that came by water and blood, even the most good Jesus Christ. O dearest Lord and Saviour of all, O good Jesus, what can I do to shew my gratitude in a worthy manner? For from the very beginning of thy life, from thy birth until thy death so hard, yes, and after death, thou didst pour out thy blood for me alone. Thou hast been at pains thus to demonstrate the ardour of thy supreme charity in the frequent outpourings of thy blood. O how manifold and beautiful has thy rose become with its many petals! Who can count them all? Count the drops of blood, shed from the most loving Jesus’ side and from his body, and you will have the number of passion roses and their petals of charity, for each drop of blood is a petal.


This is the one who came in water and blood, Jesus Christ  – not in water only, but in water and blood.

It is the Spirit who gives testimony, because the Spirit is truth – not in water only, but in water and blood.

Day 26

A reading from the Book of Revelation

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Look! He is coming with the clouds;
   every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
   and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.
So it is to be. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:1-8)

From a sermon by Msgr. Ronald Knox (+1957)

Today it is quite a common thing to be able to say, in literal fact, that you have given your blood for somebody else. As it is, we have grown accustomed to a more violent, and, some would say, a less gracious metaphor. St John, at the beginning of his Apocalypse, refers to our Lord as one “who has proved his love for us by washing us clean from our sins in his own blood”.

It is not surprising that the Christianity of the Reformation, with its strong insistence on the doctrine of the Atonement, should have fastened on that language and made it familiar to us. For us Catholics, the Precious Blood is proposed as a special subject of meditation during this month of July, and for us, too, the same symbolism does duty. Read a Catholic poet like Crashaw, and you will find him referring to “that blood, whose least drops sovereign be To wash my worlds of sin from me”. Read an Evangelical poet like Cowper, and you will find him preaching the same doctrine; “The dying thief rejoiced to see That fountain in his day, And there may I, as vile as he, Wash all my sins away”. St John’s metaphor has become a commonplace of Christian devotion.

Do you still find it crude, over-strained, unacceptable? Be it so, we are not tied to any particular form of imagery which the piety of a past age has bequeathed to us. Only, in this month of July, we do well to remember the bitter Passion of our Lord, and that giving of his life-blood which sealed it, and seals us through it. A price was paid to redeem you (St Paul says); and because the price paid was so high, because the world itself was not worthy of such a ransom, we must go on reiterating, blindly and uncomprehendingly, our gratitude. Moreover, because the price paid for us was so high, no price can be too high which is demanded of us by our loyalty to Christ, though it should be death itself. To be always generous with God, to go on and on giving him of our best in spite of weariness and disillusionment, to despise soft options, and interpret our duty in terms of love, not in terms of mere justice, to be ready if we might to give him more than he asks of us, ready if that were possible to give him more than he deserves of us - that is the meaning of our devotion to the Precious Blood; may his grace make us worthy of it.


Christ loved us, and poured out his blood to free us from our sins.  - He has made of us a kingdom of priests.

Live then in love, even as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. - He has made of us a kingdom of priests.

Day 27

A reading from the Book of Revelation

Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They sing a new song:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll
   and to open its seals,
for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
   saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;
you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,
   and they will reign on earth.’ (Revelation 5:6-10)

From Theology of the Precious Blood by Fr. Edwin Kaiser C.PP.S. (+1984)

In the mystic Body of Christ, the Church, the Blood vivified by the Holy Spirit, gives life. From the Blood is all power and authority to rule, to teach, to sanctify. The center of worship and grace is the Eucharistic shedding of the Blood in the Mass, an unending renewal of Calvary's shedding. Toward the Eucharistic Body and Blood are all the other sacraments directed. But even the Eucharistic Sacrament and Sacrifice have their power through the Blood which once was shed. From the same source come all extra-sacramental graces, all answer to prayer, public and private, all acts of virtue. As there is no grace save through the Blood, so there is no sin save through some rejection of the Blood, at least when a member of the Church violates God's law. Wherefore sin may be viewed as a frustration of Christ's Blood, even as virtue is its fruition in the individual soul. Since the Church deals with weak and frail man she exercises the ministry of forgiveness through the Precious Blood.

The graces given in the Church through the Blood far excel those given to mankind before the fall: then one sin corrupted the whole race and left it without hope. In the Church only the individual is accounted guilty of his sin and even it may be forgiven. Nevertheless, the solidarity of man redeemed is greater than before the fall, at least among the faithful, because the bonds of grace are greater. All are united under the Vicar of Christ and the bishops. All are marked by an indelible mark as members of the Church, as soldiers of Christ. All worship the same Body and Blood which are given as food for their souls. A chosen group is empowered to administer to others the fruits of salvation, the distinct and special priesthood which has power to offer the Body and Blood in the Church. Corresponding to all the needs of life, the Sacraments give, increase, restore the life of grace. Human parenthood is made sacred by the mystic bond of matrimony and rendered as inviolable as the union of Christ and His Church. Throughout all man's natural life his supernatural life is preserved and enriched by means of the Precious Blood. And even in eternity, the prayers of the faithful and the suffrages of the Church shorten and lessen the pains of purgatory.

The ultimate term of the Precious Blood is eternal glory. The grace in the individual soul blossoms forth into the fruition of heavenly vision. One of the joys of that blessed state is union with those who have triumphed over sin especially Mary Immaculate who shares in all the merits of the Precious Blood. The Lamb that was slain shall be the object of eternal bliss for all those who have washed their robes in Its Blood. In the Heavenly Jerusalem, which John saw in prophetic vision, all the Church shall reign triumphant; from every tribe and tongue and people and nation all who are saved shall proclaim the glory of the Precious Blood: "Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals; For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us for God with thy blood."


They sang a new canticle, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals.”  -- For you were slain, and have redeemed us for God with your blood. 

And you made them for our God a kingdom and priests, and they shall reign over the earth.  -- For you were slain, and have redeemed us for God with your blood.