Catholic Dictionary




The blood of Jesus Christ distinctively mentioned many times in the New Testament. It is the living symbol of the Redemption and of the Savior's death on the Cross. An object of adoration as part of the Sacred Humanity, it is hypostatically united with the Second Person of the Trinity. Moreover, it is an integral part of Christ, who is really present in the Blessed Sacrament. In 1849, Pope Pius IX extended the Feast of the Precious Blood to the whole Church, assigning to it the first Sunday in July, changed by Pope St. Pius X in 1914 to July 1. Since the Second Vatican Council the feast has been merged with that of Corpus Christi, so that the new Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Festum Corporis et Sanguinis Christi) occurs on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. In some countries it is transferred to the following Sunday.