"John the Baptist has pointed out the Lamb, Peter has firmly established his throne, Paul has prepared the bride; their joint work, admirable in its unity, at once suggests the reason for their feasts occurring almost simultaneously in the cycle. The alliance being now secured, all three fall into shade; whilst the bride herself, raised up by them to such loftly heights, appears alone before us, holding in her hands the sacred cup of the nuptial-feast."
"This gives the key of today's solemnity, revealing how its appearance in the heavens of the holy liturgy at this particular season is replete with mystery. The Church, it is true, has already made known to the sons of the new covenant, in a much more solemn matter, the price of the Blood that redeemed them, its nutritive strength, and the adorng homage is its due. On Good Friday, earth and heaven beheld all sin drowned in the saving stream, whose eternal flood-gates at last gave way beneath the combined effort of man's violence and of the love of the divine Heart. The festival of Corpus Christi witnessed our prostrate worship before the altars whereon is perpetuated the Sacrifice of Calvary, and where the outpouring of the precious Blood affords drink to the humblest little ones, as well as to the mightiest potentates of earth, lowly bowed in adoration before it."
"How is it, then, that holy Church is now inviting all Christians to hail, in a particular manner, the stream of life ever gushing from the sacred fount? What else can this mean, but that the preceding solemnities have by no means exhausted the mystery? The peace which this Blood has made to reign in the high places as well as in the low; the impetus of its wave bearing back the sons of Adam from the yawning gulf, purified, renewed, and dazzling white in the radiance of their heavenly apparel; the sacred Table outspread before them on the waters' brink, and the chalice brimful of inebriation - all this preparation and display would be objectless, all these splendours would be incomprehensible, if man were not brought to see therein the wooings of a love that could never endure its advances to be outdone by the pretensions of any other. Therefore, the Blood of Jesus is set before our eyes at this moment as the Blood of the Testament; the pledge of the alliance proposed to us by God [Exodus 24: 8; Hebrews 9: 20]' the dower stipulated by eternal Wisdom for this divine union to which He is inviting all men, and its consummation in our soul which is being urged forward with such vehemence by the Holy Ghost."
"'Having therefore, brethren, a confidence in entering into the Holies by the Blood of Christ,' says the apostle, 'a new and living way which He hath dedicated for through the veil - that is to say, His flesh - let us draw near with a pure heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with clean water, let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He is faithful that hath promised. Let us consider one another to provoke unto charity and to good works [Hebrews 10: 19-24]. And may the God of peace who brought again from the dead the great Pastor of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Blood of the everlasting Testament, fit you in all goodness, that you may do His will: doing in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom is glory forever and ever. Amen! [Hebrews 13: 20,21].'"
"Nor must we omit to mention here, that this feast is a monument of one of the most brilliant victories of holy Church in our own age. [Blessed Pope] Pius IX had been driven out from Rome in [November] 1848 by the triumphant revolution; but the following year, just about this season, his power was re-established. Under the aegis of the apostles on June 28 and the two following days, the eldest daughter of the Church [a former nickname for France], faithful to her past glories, swept the ramparts of the eternal city; and on July 2, Mary's festival [the feast of the Visitation on the traditional calendar], the victory was completed. Not long after this, a twofold decree notified to the city and the world the Pontiff's gratitude and the way in which he intended to perpetuate, in the sacred liturgy, the memory of these events."
"On August 10, from Gaeta itself [a town between Rome and Naples], the place of his exile in the evil day, [Blessed Pope] Pius IX, before returning to reassume the governments of his States, addressing himself to the invisible head of the Church, confided her in a special manner to His divine care, by the institution of this day's festival; reminding Him that it was for His Church that He had vouchsafed to shed all His precious Blood. Then, when the Pontiff re-entered his capital [on 12 April 1850, when he was finally assured that the French would not interfere in his affairs], turning to Mary, just as [Pope St.] Pius V and [Pope] Pius VIII had done under other circumstances, the Vicar of Christ solemnly attributed the honour of the recent victory to her who is ever the help of Christians; for on the feast of her Visitation it had been gained; and he now decreed that this said feast of July 2 should be raised from the rite of double major to that of second class throught the whole world [under the pre-1962 system of classifying feasts and holy days]. This was a prelude to the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which the immortal Pontiff had already projected, whereby the crushing of the serpent's head would be completed."
Precious Blood of Jesus, save us!
Sanguis Christi, inebria me!
From Dom Prosper Guéranger's entry in The Liturgical Year for July 1, in Volume XII of the 1983 Marian House edition of the English translation by the Benedictines of Stanbrook.