The Eternity of the Precious Blood

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Meditation on the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

The Eternity of the Precious Blood

St. Peter tells us (I Peter i. 20) that the Precious Blood of Christ was “foreknown before the foundations of the world.” From all eternity God had decreed that the Precious Blood of the Word made Man should be shed for us. Before man had sinned. God had provided a remedy, and had determined that if man should rebel against the sovereignty of God, He would not cast the rebel off, but would redeem him from sin, even at such a price as this. How can we sufficiently admire the love and mercy of God, thus counteracting the effect of sin even before it was committed!

God’s foreknowledge of what was to happen did not affect the perfect freedom of the human will, any more than the presence of a spectator affects the freedom of those whose actions he watches. God determined that the Precious Blood should be shed because He foreknew that man would sin, and he foreknew that man would sin, because in His omniscience. He foresaw that man acting freely would use his freedom to disobey. Make an act of faith in man’s freedom and God’s foreknowledge.

When God looks forward at my life what does he foresee? This depends on myself and on my voluntary choice of good or of evil. What return from me for the inestimable gift of the Precious Blood does He foresee? Am I going to grieve and wound Him, Who, from all eternity, decreed that His Precious Blood should be shed to win for me the Kingdom of Heaven?

The Anticipation of the Precious Blood

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Meditation on the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

The Anticipation of the Precious Blood

When the promise of the Redeemer to come was made to our first parents in the Garden of Eden after their fall, the shadow of the Precious Blood fell upon the world and reconciled it with God. The curse that had been incurred had lost its fatal power to destroy. The anger of God was appeased: He looked upon the earth through the medium of the Blood of His only-begotten Son, that was to be shed for sin, and for Its sake offered forgiveness and mercy to the sinners who repented of their sins. So may He extend to me the forgiveness and mercy, that I need far more than did Adam and Eve, for I have sinned far more deeply and more often than they.

As the ages rolled on, the same shadow, sheltering men from God’s fierce anger, still rested on the earth. In its sweet shade rested Abraham and all the Patriarchs, Samuel and all the Prophets; through its influence sinners found mercy and saints obtained graces innumerable. If it did so much for the heathen world, what must it not do for Catholic Christians? Grant, O Lord, that now and ever I may rest beneath the shadow of Him whom I have desired!

All through the thousands of years before Christ came, the tradition of the necessity of the shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins was almost universal. The Jewish sacrifices were expressly ordained to keep up the memory of it. In heathen countries the blood of victims was almost everywhere offered. God never leaves Himself without a witness even among those who have departed from Him. Admire His goodness in so doing.

 

The Precious Blood – Its Name

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Meditation on the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

The Precious Blood–Its Name

Why is the Blood of Jesus called the Precious Blood? Because it was the blood of God Himself, veiled under the form of man; and therefore every drop of it, flowing through His sacred veins, deserved our supreme homage, as being united to His Divinity. Hence we can adore the Precious Blood as we adore the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and all else that belongs to the Sacred Humanity, with that supreme homage that belongs to God alone.

We also term it the Precious Blood, inasmuch as it was the Blood of One Who was not only full of grace, but was Himself the source of all grace. The grace that dwelt with Him was infinite, and the grace that manifested itself through the veil of His flesh had no bounds or limits, save those, that the mere fact of His Human Nature carried with it. If, therefore, the blood of the Saints is counted as most precious, if we treasure up a piece of cloth stained with their blood, how much more is the Blood of the King of Saints precious beyond all price?

The Precious Blood is also precious on account of its effects. One drop of it is sufficient not only to cleanse the world from sin, but to earn all possible graces for all the millions who have ever lived on earth. How infinite then must be its preciousness! What has it not done for man? What has it not done for me? It has washed me clean and made me pure, in spite of all my sins. O Jesus, give me an ever-increasing devotion to the Precious Blood!

Saint Leo II

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Saint Leo II

Pope
(† 683)

The pontificate of this great Pope was very brief but very fruitful, since in the ten months of his reign he accomplished good works which have caused his name to be blessed by all succeeding generations. Born in the seventh century in Sicily, he had been a Canon Regular, that is, an ecclesiastical dignitary who resided in his bishop’s palace, was charged with recitation of the Office in the cathedral, and was relied upon to serve as the auxiliary of the Ordinary. Saint Leo was a devout student of Holy Scripture, and was well versed in the Greek as well as the Latin language.

In his day grave difficulties frequently arose between the Holy See and the emperors of Constantinople, whose representatives at Ravenna tried to control the bishops of that see; the latter had been striving to become autonomous. Saint Leo published a decree ordering that in the future no bishop of Ravenna could enter into function before being consecrated for that office at Rome, by the Roman Pontiff.

He built three churches in Rome, to honor Saint Paul the Apostle, Saint Sebastian, and Saint George. Saint Leo was highly gifted in the domain of music, and he renovated the Gregorian literature or library, then in a state of confusion; he also composed new hymns, still conserved by the Church. He took special care of widows and orphans and the poor in general, relieving their sufferings with a truly apostolic charity.

Saint Leo confirmed the Acts of the Sixth Ecumenical Council which his predecessor had convoked at Constantinople against the Monothelite heresy, and translated its acts into Latin for the benefit of the Occidentals. When he died in July of 683, his death was deeply regretted by all the faithful. He was interred according to established custom in the church of Saint Peter. He is ordinarily pictured embracing a beggar or holding a book of music.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 7

SS. Processus and Martinian

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SS. Processus and Martinian, Martyrs

BY the preaching and miracles of SS. Peter and Paul at Rome, many were converted to the faith, and among others several servants and courtiers of the emperor Nero, of whom St. Paul 1 makes mention. 2 In the year 64 that tyrant first drew his sword against the Christians, who had in a very short time become very numerous and remarkable in Rome. A journey which he made into Greece in 67, seems to have given a short respite to the Church in Rome. He made a tour through the chief cities of that country, attended by a great army of singers, pantomimes, and musicians, carrying instead of arms, instruments of music, masks, and theatrical dresses. He was declared conqueror at all the public diversions over Greece, particularly at the Olympian, Isthmian, Pythian, and Nemæan games, and gained there one thousand eight hundred various sorts of crowns. Yet Greece saw its nobility murdered, the estates of its rich men confiscated, and its temples plundered by this progress of Nero. He returned to Rome only to make the streets of that great city again to stream with blood. The apostles SS. Peter and Paul, after a long imprisonment were crowned with martyrdom. And soon after them their two faithful disciples Processus and Martinian gained the same crown. Their acts tell us that they were the keepers of the Mamertine jail during the imprisonment of SS. Peter and Paul, by whom they were converted and baptized. St. Gregory the Great preached his thirty-second homily on their festival, in a church in which their bodies lay, at which he says, the sick recovered their health, those who were possessed by evil spirits were freed, and those who had foresworn themselves were tormented by the devils. Their ancient church on the Aurelian road being fallen to decay, Pope Paschal I. translated their relics to St. Peter’s church on the Vatican hill, as Anastasius informs us. Their names occur in the ancient Martyrologies. See Tillemont, Hist. Eccl. t. 1. p. 179. and Hist. des Emp. Crevier, &c. 1 Continue reading