Readings on the Precious Blood (Days 28-31)
July 28, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Day 28

 A reading from the Book of Revelation

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice,
‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honour and glory and blessing!’
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,
‘To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might
for ever and ever!’
And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the elders fell down and worshipped. (Revelation 5:11-14)

From the hymns in honor of the martyrs St. Ursula and Comanions by St. Hildegard of Bingen (+1179)

O bloodshed

that rang out on high,

when all the elements

joined together

in a voice of lamentation

and a vast tremor,

because the blood of their creator

had touched them:

anoint us

where we are sick.


O lover sweet,

so sweet the embrace:

Help us to keep

our virginity!


In dust we were begotten—


in Adam’s guilt.

So rough it is now to refuse

whatever tastes of that one fruit.

Set us aright, O Savior Christ!


We burn in our desire to follow you.

How hard it is for us, the wretched,

to imitate your innocence,

the spotless King of angels.


Yet we have put our trust in you,

for you desire to seek again a gem in putrefaction.


Now unto you we cry, our bridegroom and our consolation,

who has redeemed us on the Cross.


For in your blood we are betrothed to you—

your blood our wedding gift;

for mortal husbands we refuse, choosing you instead,

the Son of God.


O beauteous form, O fragrance sweeter than

the most desired of delights:

our sighs of longing ever seek for you

within this lonely wilderness of tears.

When shall we look on you

and with you ever stay?


We live within the world,

and you within our minds,

and we embrace you in our hearts

as if you’re present even now.


The mighty lion, you have burst the heavens,

descending to the Virgin’s palace-womb,

destroying death

and building life within a golden city.


Grant us her company

to dwell with you, O bridegroom sweet,

who saved us from the devil’s jaws

who dragged our primal parents into death.


O ruby blood

which flowed from on high

where divinity touched.

You are a flower

that the winter

of the serpent’s breath

can never injure.


O victors in your triumph!

Your blood poured out, you hail

the building of the Church

for you have entered in the Lamb’s own blood,

and now enjoy the feast with the slaughtered calf.


How great is your reward!

Your living bodies you’ve despised

in imitation of God’s Lamb

his pain you take as glory,

for through it he has brought you

to your inheritance restored!


O Virgin Mother Church,

lament and mourn!

A savage wolf has snatched

your children from your side.

O woe to serpent’s trickery!

But O, how precious is

the Savior’s blood

that with the royal banner sealed

his bridegroom’s promise

to the Church,

whose children

he is seeking.


“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!” – for ever and ever.

 “To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might -- for ever and ever!’

Day 29

A reading from the Book of Revelation.

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,
‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’
And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, singing,
‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honour
and power and might
be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’

 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
For this reason they are before the throne of God,
   and worship him day and night within his temple,
   and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
   the sun will not strike them,
   nor any scorching heat;
for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd,
   and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ (Revelation 7:9-17)

From the medieval “Quest for the Holy Grail” and “The Grail Legend” by Emma Jung (1955) and Marie-Louise von Franz (1998)

Bors, when you had received the High Master, the High Companion, that is, when you had partaken of the body of Our Lord, you set out to learn if Our Lord would vouchsafe to you to find the precious treasure which will fall to the knights of Jesus Christ, the true men of worth in this Quest. You had not gone far when Our Lord appeared to you in the form of a bird, and manifested to you the grief and pain He suffered for us. First I will rehearse what it was you saw. When the bird came to the tree that was without leaf and fruit, he looked at his young and saw that none of them was alive. Then he took his place among them and began to smite his breast with his beak until the blood streamed forth; then he died, while the young birds revived with his blood. This much you saw.  Now I will tell you the meaning of it. “The bird signifies Our Creator, who formed man in His own likeness. And when he was driven out of paradise because of his own sin, he came into a land where he found naught but death, for there was no life there. The leafless and fruitless tree plainly signifies the world, where there was nothing then but unhappiness and poverty and  suffering. The young birds signify the human race, the members of which were then so forlorn that they were all bound for hell, the good as well as the bad, for they were all alike in merit. When the Son of God beheld this, He ascended the tree, namely the Cross, and was there pierced with the beak of the lance, that is, the point, in the left side until the blood gushed forth. With this blood the young birds were revived, for they were His own creation; for He delivered them from hell where all was death, and where even yet there is no life. This bounty to the world, to me and you and all other sinners, God came to reveal to you in the guise of a bird, in order that you should not fear to die for Him any more than He did for you.

It is clear that blood is essentially a mana substance and anything which possesses mana invariably owes its effectiveness to an underlying archetypal idea. In this case it is the belief in the identity of blood=life=soul. The conception of blood as soul prevailed in the Middle Ages, too, according to which the Eucharistic blood represented the soul of Christ, and for the same reason the Grail vessel also contained his soul.

If such mysterious power is attributed to ordinary human or even to animal blood, how much more then to the blood of Christ! In the Christian doctrine it is precisely this blood that is the means of salvation for all humanity. It strikes one as significant that it is not only the death of Christ, the actual fact of his dying, that is stressed as the redeeming factor, but just as much, if not more so, the blood shed in the process, because it is in the blood that the essentially atoning power adheres. When, in most of the versions, the bleeding lance appears as pertaining to the Grail, this is because it is the instrument by which the redeeming blood was brought forth into manifestation. The drops of blood flowing from the tip, which is some versions drip into the Grail vessel, naturally also symbolize the sacrificial death of Christ, eternally taking place. By reason of these views the blood became the central sacrament and mystery of the Christian ritual. At all times, but quite particularly in the Middle Ages, this concept of the blood and the ideas connected with it stirred men’s feelings to their depths. Evidence for this is to be found in abundance in the writings of the Church, for the Church took great pains to grasp the wondrous mystery intellectually, and in the accounts of pious believers who sought, through self-abnegation and participation in the mystery, to experience the meaning of Christ’s suffering. 

Inasmuch as Longinus’ lance causes the redeeming blood of the Saviour to flow, it is of the greatest importance….It therefore symbolizes the human capacity for continually being able to discern what is essential in the latent symbol of God, and this enables the symbol increasingly to dispense its inexhaustible, life-giving, spiritual strength to humanity. In so far as Christ ascended to Heaven with his body, he left no traces of his physical life on earth apart from this very blood which remained on the lance and in the Grail vessel. It is therefore the only permanent evidence of his earthly life and of the “substance of his soul.” Thus the lance is also man’s arrow of love, aimed at the heart of Christ, and it was looked upon as such in the Middle Ages.

In that way, fantasies, feelings and emotions rising up from the unconscious, as well as audacious new thought contents had a better chance of finding expression in those traditions, so that it could in fact be said that the living essence of Christ, his blood, lived on especially intensively in such interpretations and that in transforming itself, it also developed further….The vessel containing Christ’s blood is a symbol that emerges with absolute spontaneity….It is as though it contained the living remnant of Christ and his soul-substance, that element out of which a mystical continuation of his being is made possible.


The redeemed cried out in a loud voice: -- Salvation comes from our God and from the Lamb.

To our God be blessing, glory and wisdom. – -- Salvation comes from our God and from the Lamb.

Day 30

A reading from the Book of Revelation.

And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
‘Now have come the salvation and the power
   and the kingdom of our God
   and the authority of his Messiah,
for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down,
   who accuses them day and night before our God.
But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
   and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
Rejoice then, you heavens
   and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
   for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath,
   because he knows that his time is short!’ (Revelation 12:7-12)

From a prayer by St. Albert the Great (+1280)

      I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin’s heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God.

      I adore You enclosed in the veins of Jesus, preserved in His humanity like the manna in the golden urn, the memorial of the eternal Redemption which He accomplished during the days of His earthly life. I adore You, Blood of the new, eternal Testament, flowing from the veins of Jesus in Gethsemane, from the flesh torn by scourges in the Praetorium, from His pierced hands and feet and from His opened side on Golgotha. I adore You in the Sacraments, in the Eucharist, where I know You are substantially present....

      I place my trust in You, O adorable Blood, our Redemption, our regeneration. Fall, drop by drop, into the hearts that have wandered from You and soften their hardness.

      O adorable Blood of Jesus, wash our stains, save us from the anger of the avenging angel. Irrigate the Church; make her fruitful with Apostles and miracle-workers, enrich her with souls that are holy, pure and radiant with divine beauty.


Alleluia! for the Lord, our God Almighty, now reigns! -- for the marriage of the Lamb has come. 

His spouse has prepared herself in fine linen, the just deeds of the saints. -- for the marriage of the Lamb has come. 

Day 31

A reading from the Book of Revelation.

Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’. (Revelation 19:11-16)

From an address by Pope Francis to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood

Since the beginnings of Christianity, the mystery of the Blood of Christ has fascinated many people…. the Blood of Christ is the source of salvation for the world. God chose the sign of blood, because no other sign is so eloquent to express the supreme love of life given for others. This donation is repeated in every Eucharistic celebration, in which alongside the Body of Christ, His precious blood is made present; the Blood of the new and eternal Covenant, shed for all for the redemption of sins (cf. Mt 26: 26).

The meditation of Christ’s sacrifice leads us to perform works of mercy, giving our life for God and for our brothers, without sparing. Meditation of the mystery of the Blood of Christ shed on the cross for our redemption drives us, in particular, towards those who could be cured from their moral and physical sufferings, and who instead are left to languish on the margins of a society of consumption and indifference. It is from this perspective that your service to the Church and to society becomes evident in all its importance. For my part, I suggest to you three aspects that may help you in your activity and in your witness: the courage of the truth, attention to all, especially to the most distant, and the ability to fascinate and to communicate.

The courage of the truth. It is important to be brave people, build courageous communities that are not afraid to stand up to affirm the values of the Gospel and the truth about the world and man. It is a matter of speaking plainly and not turning away in the face of attacks on the value of human life from conception to its natural end, on the dignity of the human person; before social ills, and before the various forms of poverty. The witness of the disciples of Jesus is called to touch the lives of the parishes and neighbourhoods, not to leave indifferent but to affect, transforming people’s hearts and lives.

The second aspect is attention to all, especially to those who are distant. In your mission you are called to reach out to everyone, to make yourselves understood by all, to be “popular” by using a language through which everyone can understand the message of the Gospel. The recipients of the love and goodness of Jesus are all: neighbours, but above all those who are most distant. Therefore, we need to identify the most suitable ways of being able to bring together a multiplicity of people in homes, in social environments and on the street. To do this, you have before you the example of Jesus and of the disciples who walked the streets of Palestine announcing the Kingdom of God with the many signs of healing that confirmed the Word. Strive to be an image of a Church who walks the street, among the people, even running personal risks, sharing the joys and hardships of those you meet.

The third aspect that I suggest for your witness is the ability to fascinate and communicate. This is aimed especially at preaching and catechesis, the itineraries for a deeper understanding of the Word of God. It is a question of inspiring ever greater involvement in order to offer the contents of the Christian faith and to allow it to be savoured, encouraging new life in Christ. The Gospel and the Holy Spirit evoke words and gestures that enflame hearts and help them to open up to God and to others. For this ministry of the Word, we can draw inspiration from the attitude with which Jesus dialogued with people so as to reveal His mystery to all, to fascinate ordinary people with lofty and demanding teachings. The strength of this attitude is hidden in “the way Jesus looked at people, seeing beyond their weaknesses and failings: ‘Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom’ (Lk 12: 32 )” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 141). Imitating the style with which Jesus preached, He helps us to approach others by making them perceive God’s tenderness. I think we are living in a time in which it is necessary to bring about the revolution of tenderness.

Here are three characteristics that can be useful for your journey of faith and your apostolate. But let us not forget that the true strength of Christian witness comes from the Gospel itself. And this is where the centrality of the Blood of Christ and its spirituality emerges. It is a question of relying above all on the “superabundance of love” expressed in the Blood of the Lord, which brought to light the Church Fathers and the great saints and mystics of Christian history, from Saint Bonaventure to Saint Catherine of Siena, up to a Saint especially dear to you: Saint Gaspar del Bufalo. This Roman priest, founder of the Missionaries of the Most Precious Blood, endeavoured to keep alive the ardour of faith in the Christian people by travelling through the regions of central Italy. With the example of his love for God, his humility, his charity, he was able to bring reconciliation and peace everywhere, tending to the spiritual and material needs of the most fragile people who lived on the margins of society.


He is clothed in a garment sprinkled with blood,-- and his name is called the Word of God. 

On his garment and on his thigh a name is written: King of kings and Lord of lords  -- and his name is called the Word of God.