The Guardian Angel: The Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Weingarten, Germany 1055
Would you be wise? Then listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew 4:17, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” And remember this as you go forward out of Paul’s words in Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world; but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may demonstrate what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
These inerrant words from Scripture are meant for all of us, but right now please pray for Cardinal Dolan of New York, that he will do the right thing standing up for the rights of Catholics in New York. It has been proposed instead of being the grand marshal of this years St. Patrick’s Day Parade that openly will offend Christians, that Cardinal Dolan to hold a Eucharistic Procession instead.
Although the following quotes by Cardinal Burke were meant about what needs to be done now for the education of our young, these words would be important for all Catholics.
Cardinal Burke: “We as Catholics have not properly combated the culture, because we have not been taught our Catholic Faith, especially in the depth needed to address these grave evils of our time. It is being addressed, but it needs much more radical attention.” “What has also contributed greatly to the situation is an exaltation of the virtue of tolerance which is falsely seen as the virtue which governs all other virtues. In other words, we should tolerate other people in their immoral actions (their sin) to the extent that we seem also to accept the moral wrong. Tolerance is a virtue, but it is certainly not the principal virtue, the principal virtue is charity.” “Charity means speaking the truth. I have encountered it [not speaking the truth] many times myself as a priest and bishop. It is something we simply need to address. There is far too much silence, people do not want to talk about it because the topic is not ‘politically correct.’ But we cannot be silent any longer.”
Before the Eucharistic Miracle. Having said all the above, I want to finish with a quote by St. Thomas Aquinas, that I hope when I die, will apply to my life. While he is talking about the Sacrament of the Eucharist, it is how I feel about the teachings of the Catholic Church I love and founded by the Lord Jesus whom I love. “If in this world there be any knowledge of this sacrament stronger than that of faith, I wish now to use it in affirming that I firmly believe and know as certain that Jesus Christ, True God and True Man, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, is in this Sacrament…I receive Thee, the price of my redemption, for Whose love I have watched, studied, and laboured. Thee have I preached; Thee have I taught. Never have I said anything against Thee: if anything was not well said, that is to be attributed to my ignorance. Neither do I wish to be obstinate in my opinions, but if I have written anything erroneous concerning this sacrament or other matters, I Submit all to the judgment and correction of the Holy Roman Church, in whose obedience I now pass from this life.” St. Thomas Aquinas
The Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Weingarten, Germany 1055
This Eucharistic Miracle literally is taken from the foot of the cross. Saint Matthew the Evangelist, in describing the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, says: “The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” (Matthew 27:54).
St. Longinus was the Roman soldier who pierced the side of the Crucified Savior with a spear. He was the chief of the soldiers who were present at the Crucifixion of the Lord on Golgotha.
St. Longinus previously having been wounded in a past battle, he was blind in one eye. He was healed when he pierced the side of Jesus with his spear and some of the blood and water from Jesus fell into his eyes. Upon his healing, St. Longinus gives his profession of faith, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Recognizing the power of the Blood of Christ, gathered a portion of blood-soaked earth at the foot of the cross.
Having come to believe in the Savior, St. Longinus received Baptism from the apostles, and decided to leave military service. St Longinus secretly left Judea to preach about Jesus Christ the Son of God in his native land (Cappadocia), and two of his comrades followed him. He had always maintained the relic of the Blood of Christ taken from the foot of the cross.
St. Longinus had carried the relic of the Most Precious Blood of Christ to Mantua but in the process of time, was placed in a safe place and forgotten. Accordingly, it is reported that St Andrew, the disciple of Jesus and brother of St Peter, appeared in the dreams of two different seekers of the relic. As a result, the location of the Holy Blood in both the ninth and the eleventh centuries were located.
Few relics have been more precious in the Christian imagination than the blood of Christ. A small, elite group of religious sites in Western Europe claims possession of the relic, including the city of Mantova, a direct two-hour train ride from Milan. The Blood of Mantova, contained in a set of sacred vessels, rests in the crypt of the Basilica di Sant’Andrea. The present-day veneration of the relic includes an annual Good Friday procession through the city’s streets.
The earliest source for the Blood of Mantova appears in the Annales Regni Francorum for the year 804, which states that Pope Leo III went to Mantova at the request of Charlemagne to verify rumors of the newly-discovered relic. In 924, due to the Hungarian invasion of Italy, the relic was hidden and subsequently lost until it was rediscovered again in 1048.
The relic of the Most Precious Blood arrived even in Weingarten. According to an ancient document, in the year 1055, Emperor Henry III of the Franks was given part of the Precious Relic. Henry subsequently left the Most Precious Blood as an inheritance to Count Baldovino of Flanders, who in turn gave the Sacred Relic to his daughter, Judith.
When Guelfo IV of Bavaria sought Judith as his spouse, she gave him the Precious Relic, which he himself later gave to the Benedictines at Weingarten, directed at that time by Abbot Wilichon. The solemn ceremony took place March 4, 1094. For this reason the Benedictine Abbey received numerous indulgences from various popes, such that this church became a religious center of extraordinary importance.
Later the Precious Blood was divided into several portions and given to various rulers of the era, the most famous of whom was Charlemagne, and to different popes.
The basilica in Mantova (La Basilica di Sant’Andrea), which houses the relic in a crypt below the central nave, is dedicated to St Andrew. The church, built over a former Franciscan foundation in order to accommodate the growing pilgrim crowds, was founded in 1462 just one year after the head of St Andrew was given to Pope Pius II by the Byzantine despot Thomas Palaeologus. The apostolic relic has been enshrined in one of the four central pillars of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Soon after the eleventh-century rediscovery of the Holy Blood, Pope Leo IX (1053) and Emperor Henry III (1055) came to Mantova to adore the relic, which was subsequently divided into three parts. One portion remained in Mantova, while the pope and the emperor took their shares respectively to Rome and Germany. The emperor’s portion was eventually given to the Weingarten Abbey, which still acknowledges the Italian provenance of its sacred relic.
To this day, the Holy Blood of Weingarten is solemnly carried in a grand equestrian procession on the Friday after Ascension Day, locally known as Blutfreitag. This years celebration known as “The Ride” or “Procession of the Blood” will take place in Weingarten.
Some 3,000 horses ridden by representatives of the individual parishes and by the clergy of the individual churches participated. 30,000 pilgrims are expected to participate in this years’ event, which will take place on May 18.
“Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.”
Like St. Longinus so long ago, we too stand at the foot of the cross healed by the Blood of the Lamb. Remember that each and every Eucharist, the cup of blessing that we bless is a participation in the blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16).