St. Albert the Great, Bishop, Doctor of the Church, Germany (1206-1280)
Feast day: November 15
"We must never forget that the Church is built around Christ and that, as Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Albert the Great have all said, following Saint Paul (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:17), the Eucharist is the sacrament of the Church's unity, because we all form one single body of which the Lord is the head." (Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, transmitted via satellite to the closing Mass of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, Quebec City, June 22, 2008)
Following is a meditation on the Precious Blood of Jesus from the writings of St. Albert the Great:
"I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God.
"I adore You enclosed in the veins of Jesus, preserved in His humanity like the manna in the golden urn, the memorial of the eternal Redemption which He accomplished during the days of His earthly life. I adore You, Blood of the new, eternal Testament, flowing from the veins of Jesus in Gethsemane, from the flesh torn by scourges in the Praetorium, from His pierced hands and feet and from His opened side on Golgotha. I adore You in the Sacraments, in the Eucharist, where I know You are substantially present....
"I place my trust in You, O adorable Blood, our Redemption, our regeneration. Fall, drop by drop, into the hearts that have wandered from You and soften their hardness.
"O adorable Blood of Jesus, wash our stains, save us from the anger of the avenging angel. Irrigate the Church; make her fruitful with Apostles and miracle-workers, enrich her with souls that are holy, pure and radiant with divine beauty."
“Do this in remembrance of me.” Two things should be noted here. The first is the command that we should use this sacrament, which is indicated when Jesus says, “Do this.” The second is that this sacrament commemorates the Lord’s going to death for our sake. This sacrament is profitable because it grants remission of sins; it is most useful because it bestows the fullness of grace on us in this life. “The Father of spirits instructs us in what is useful for our sanctification.” And his sanctification is in Christ’s sacrifice, that is, when he offers himself in this sacrament to the Father for our redemption to us for our use. Christ could not have commanded anything more beneficial, for this sacrament is the fruit of the tree of life. Anyone who receives this sacrament with the devotion of sincere faith will never taste death. “It is a tree of life for those who grasp it, and blessed is he who holds it fast. The man who feeds on me shall live on account of me.” Nor could he have commanded anything more lovable, for this sacrament produces love and union. It is characteristic of the greatest love to give itself as food. “Had not the men of my text exclaimed: Who will feed us with his flesh to satisfy our hunger? as if to say: I have loved them and they have loved me so much that I desire to be within them, and they wish to receive me so that they may become my members. There is no more intimate or more natural means for them to be united to me, and I to them. Nor could he have commanded anything which is more like eternal life. Eternal life flows from this sacrament because God with all sweetness pours himself out upon the blessed. - from a commentary by Saint Albert the Great on the Gospel of Luke