Did you know that in the Catholic Church, each of the 12 months of the year has a devotional theme?
July is the month we honor the Precious Blood of Jesus. Falling right between June’s devotion to the Sacred Heart and August’s devotion to the Immaculate Heart, July is an ideal time to connect our devotion to Jesus and Mary into deeper gratitude for the bond they share as well as to heighten our connection to the blood of the Lamb of God. Continuing our monthly series on ways to showcase each month’s Catholic theme in your life, here are 10 ways you can more closely align your life to the Precious Blood..
1Pray the Fatima Morning Offering
Celebrate the Precious Blood’s association with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary by praying the Fatima Morning Offering daily, as it offers up the Blood of Christ joined to our own prayerful devotion, and ends with these words, invoking the Precious Blood along with the Twin Hearts:
Precious Blood of Jesus, save us!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
2Spend some time in Eucharistic Adoration
This month, we’re called to focus on the reality of the presence of the blood of Christ in the Eucharist. Adoration provides us with the opportunity to do our humble part to console the tears of blood Christ shed in Gethsemane, and throughout His Passion.
3Receive Communion ... and not just on Sundays
Consider going to Daily Mass as often as you can this month, since when we devoutly receive communion, we bring Christ into our hearts and He will become our lifeblood. “Truly, truly I say to you: unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you cannot have life within you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day …” John 6:23
4Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet regularly this month
“But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.” —John 19:33–34
The Divine Mercy Chaplet recalls this moment of Christ’s Passion (“O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the font of life”). Here’s how to pray the Chaplet.
5Invoke St. Longinus in prayer
When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” —Mark 15:39
St. Longinus is the centurion who pierced the side of Our Lord while He was hanging on the Cross. It is said that Longinus, nearly blind, was healed when some of the blood and water from Jesus fell into his eyes. He was killed for his faith and his lance is contained in one of the pillars in the Basilica of St Peter’s in Rome. What a faith, what a savior have we, that even a man who wounded the side of God can become a saint. Here’s a novena to St. Longinus.
6Decorate the house in honor of the month's devotion
Place a vase of red flowers, and/or a red tablecloth/runner on your table or mantel. Place an image of the face of Jesus in a prominent place where you gather as a family, such as a kitchen island or dining table. Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus goes all the way back to the Veil of Veronica and the Shroud of Turin, with the unforgettable image of the Holy Face covered with blood.
7Lead your family in a prayer to the Precious Blood
Consider including this as part of your Grace before Meals, or consider praying the Nine Day Novena of the Holy Face of Jesus. It may be said any time, but why not begin it on a Tuesday, the day of the week devoted to the Holy Face? The novena repeats,
“Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition.”
8Pray the Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Here’s the Litany.
9Give the gift of the Chaplet of the Precious Blood of Jesus
Praying this chaplet could be a great gift for a friend going through a hard time this month.
10Perform a deed of sacrificial love or an act of mercy
Seeking to emulate Jesus, do something generous. Give your time, talent, or treasure to those in need this month, even when it isn’t easy, and offer it up. Encourage your kids to do so as well!
How to enthrone the Sacred Heart in your home (and heart)
How to keep up your prayer life on summer vacation