The Agony and Bloody Sweat of Jesus in the Garden of Olives

Source: THE SCHOOL OF JESUS CRUCIFIED, Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus,
TAN BOOKS, with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1895


1. SCARCELY has the Angel who appeared from Heaven to comfort Jesus presented Him with the bitter chalice of His Passion, when, by His own Will, death displays itself to His mind under the most frightful form, to overwhelm Him with terror. He beholds how in a brief space of time He will be bound like a criminal, scourged as a malefactor, and crucified as a notorious thief. He is fully aware of the inestimable value of His Life, and yet He sees that He must abandon that life to the mercy of His enemies, and lose it by the ignominious death of the Cross. He sees that He is going to die for sins not His Own, and the knowledge of His unspotted innocence renders His horror of death more painful still, so that truly no sorrow is like unto His sorrow. But the most painful wound of His tender Heart is inflicted by the thought that there is no one to pity Him. Jesus is about to suffer and die because it is His Own Will, and on that very account He suffers more in His agony, because it is at His own command that such painful apprehensions assail Him. Oh, if you could but enter into the Heart of Jesus, how you would now behold Him overwhelmed beneath so indescribable a load of sorrow, as to be in fact reduced to the painful position of the agonizing. Learn now, O my soul, how dear thou art to Jesus. Thy salvation is dearer to Him than His own life. He consents to lose His most precious life to save thine. What then ought to be thy love and gratitude to Jesus?

2. Jesus having excited in Himself the liveliest apprehensions of His approaching death, allows His heart to be oppressed with fear, terror, and horror. Nature would willingly avoid so much suffering, but reason would rather obey God, and accept the chalice of suffering and death, and it is during the course of this painful struggle that Jesus, making a violent effort to vanquish the repugnance of nature, grows pale, faints, and sweats large drops of blood from every part of His sacred Body.

   Behold, O my soul, behold thy Redeemer sinking to the earth, overpowered with inward anguish, and bathed in His own Blood! At such a sight, what are thy sentiments? This Blood is not forced from His veins by the fury of His enemies, but wrung from His Heart at His own express desire, that so we may understand the excess of His love for us. Have thy struggles with thy natural inclinations, restraint of thy passions, and submission to the holy Will of God, ever cost thee a drop of blood? But the acceptance of death for thy salvation costs Jesus a bloody sweat!

3. Jesus sweats blood to prove how excessive is His hatred for sin. He beholds Himself laden with the sins of the whole world, and His heart is thereby filled with unspeakable horror, so that blood issues from every pore, as though He would wish to shed even tears of blood over our sins! Oh, how great an evil must sin be, since the Son of God enters into an agony, and sweats blood on account of it. How wretched am I if these streams of blood, drawn forth by such excessive love, do not soften my heart! Jesus sweats blood to prove how great is His sorrow for the loss of so many souls infinitely dear to Him, for which He is about to die, and which nevertheless He foresees will be lost through their sins. Ah, who can understand the anguish of His tender Heart at this thought! Finally, Jesus sweats blood to prove how tenderly He compassionates the elect, and particularly His most holy Mother, in their afflictions and sufferings. Oh, how tender is the love of Jesus, for it seems as though the sufferings of His beloved ones, are more painful to Him than His own! Then, if you have anything to suffer for the love of Jesus, remember that in Him you have a Father Who knows how to compassionate, and a God Who knows how to reward you.

The Fruit

   Examine and see what will be your sentiments in your last agony, and live so that the remembrance of your past life may then be a source of consolation to you. In imitation of Jesus, refuse nature everything that is contrary to the Will of God. Do violence to yourself if you wish to be saved. Such efforts for the salvation of your soul will not cost you blood, and even if they do, remember that it has cost Jesus yet more. Frequently make an offering to the Eternal Father of the Blood of His Beloved Son in satisfaction for your sins.


   It is impossible to love Jesus suffering, and not desire to suffer for His sake. St. Philip Neri being moved by meditation on the sufferings of Jesus, and inflamed with love for Him, earnestly desired to go to the Indies and shed his blood for love of Christ, and being unable to follow up his wish, he besought Our Lord to grant that whenever blood should flow from his nose or mouth, it might flow in such abundance as in a degree to correspond with the blood shed by Jesus for the love of him. It was the Will of God in some measure to grant his request, for one day he lost so much blood that his eyesight failed, and he fell fainting on the ground. If you cannot make an offering to Jesus of your blood, you can at least sacrifice to Him one of your passions.