The Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ is a feast included in the General Roman Calendar in 1849.


The feast, celebrated in Spain in the 16th century, was later introduced to Italy by Saint Gaspar del Bufalo. [1]

For many dioceses there were two days to which the Office of the Precious Blood was assigned, the office being in both cases the same. The reason was this: the office was at first granted to the Fathers of the Most Precious Blood only. Later, as one of the offices of the Fridays of Lent, it was assigned to the Friday after the fourth Sunday in Lent in some dioceses, including, by decision of the Fourth Provincial Council of Baltimore (1840), those in the United States. [2]

When Pope Pius IX went into exile at Gaeta in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1849), he had as his companion Father Giovanni Merlini, third superior general of the Fathers of the Most Precious Blood. After they had arrived at Gaeta, Don Merlini suggested that the pope make a vow to extend the feast of the Precious Blood to the entire Church, if he would again recover possession of the Papal States. The Pope took the matter under consideration, but a few days later, on 30 June 1849, the day the French army conquered Rome and the insurgents of the Roman Republic capitulated, he sent his domestic prelate Joseph Stella to Father Merlini with the message: "The pope does not deem it expedient to bind himself by a vow; instead His Holiness is pleased to extend the feast immediately to all Christendom."[2]

On 10 August of the same year, he officially included the feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the General Roman Calendar for celebration on the first Sunday in July, the first Sunday after 30 June, the anniversary of the liberation of the city of Rome from the insurgents.[3][4]

In reducing the number of feasts fixed for Sundays, Pope Pius X assigned the date of 1 July to this feast.

In 1933, Pope Pius XI raised the feast to the rank of Double of the 1st Class to mark the 1,900th anniversary of Jesus's death.[4]

In Pope John XXIII's 1960 revision of the General Roman Calendar, the feast was classified as of the first class (see General Roman Calendar of 1960).

The feast was removed from the Novus Ordo Roman Calendar in 1969, "because the Most Precious Blood of Christ the Redeemer is already venerated in the solemnities of the Passion, of Corpus Christi, of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and in the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. But the Mass of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ is placed among the votive Masses".[3]

It continues to be celebrated in communities that adhere to the Tridentine Mass.


In Catholic belief, the Blood of Christ is precious because it is Christ's own great ransom paid for the redemption of mankind. In this belief, as there was to be no remission of sin without the shedding of blood, the "Incarnate Word" not only offered his life for the salvation of the world, but he offered to give up his life by a bloody death, and to hang bloodless, soulless and dead upon the Cross for the salvation of humanity. Jesus is said to have given his life - his blood - for the sake of all humanity, atoning for every form of human sin.[5][need quotation to verify]

The Precious Blood is a call to repentance and reparation.[6]


"O God, Who by the Precious Blood of Thine Only Begotten Son hast redeemed the whole world, preserve in us the work of Thy mercy, so that, ever honoring the mystery of our salvation, we may merit to obtain its fruits. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."[7]

The hymn at Lauds on the feast is Salvete Christi Vulnera, which is known since at least 1798.[8]


  1. ^ "Lives of the Saints," by Omer Englebert, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1994, p. 254, ISBN 1-56619-516-0 (casebound)
  2. ^ a b Müller, Ulrich. "Feast of the Most Precious Blood." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 21 December 2019]Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 128
  4. ^ a b "The Saint Andrew Daily Missal, with Vespers for Sundays and Feasts," by Dom Gaspar LeFebvre, O.S.B., Saint Paul, MN: The E. M. Lohmann Co., 1952, p. 1409
  5. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year," edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist., Ph.D., New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1955, p. 251
  6. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year," p. 252
  7. ^ Roman Missal, Votive Masses, 7
  8. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Salvete Christi Vulnera" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Feast of the Most Precious Blood". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.