Thursday, October 21, 2010

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Thursday often devoted to the Eucharist, it seemed a good day to post on the Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, (found here). This is the last of the approved litanies to receive its approbation, which was given by Pope Bl. John XXIII in 1960 (which can be seen in AAS 52, pp. 412-13).

The structure begins and concludes like the other litanies. However, the response to the 25 petitions is "save us" (salva nos). It is noted for these petitions recalling biblical passages in the Directory of Popular Piety (no. 178).

In many ways, we can look upon this Litany as the most neglected of the six approved litanies. This might owe to its very recent approbation (which was quickly followed by a rejection in many quarters of anything traditional, leaving this rather new devotion to develop little following). While the other approved litanies are included in the Manual of Prayers published by the Midwest Theological Forum, for example, this prayer is unfortunately omitted. Fortunately, however, the U.S. bishops have seen fit to print it both in the Manual of Indulgences (translating the newest version the Enchiridion) and the book Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.

This Litany is most suitable for every day of the month of July, which is traditionally devoted to the Precious Blood. Unfortunately, in the revised Roman Calendar, there is no longer a Feast of the Precious Blood. This is quite remarkable especially owing to the devotion to the Precious Blood which was held by Bl. John XXIII. However, this does not prevent priests from celebrating a Votive Mass of the Precious Blood. It may also be suitable for Thursdays (because of the Eucharist) or Fridays (because of the Passion). Like the other approved litanies, it is enriched with a partial indulgence.

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