Precious blood designates the adoration which Christians render to the blood of Jesus. It is an object of Catholic devotion, the parts of Christ’s blood being preserved as relics clearly sprang from medieval spirituality for the passion, Christ’s suffering and death. The devotion experienced it greatest cultivation in the 19th century when Pope Pius IX declared its feast day as a part of the Church’s liturgical year (1859). John XXIII promoted this devotion along with that of the Sacred Heart and the Name of Jesus in an apostolic letter in 1960. The feast day, July 1, was suppressed in 1969. The phrase, among Evangelical Christians, embodies the praise and thanksgiving for Christ’s death upon the cross through which salvation became possible. Coinciding with is the phrase “there’s power in the Blood,” meaning the blood of Christ can achieve many things, and those believing in it are recipients (see Attraction of Blood). A.G.H.
Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 765