Meditations on the Agony in the Garden Recommendation: Please read the contents of one of the 20 mysteries meditations before you start your prayer. Some of these presentations (e.g. The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion) contains over 60 slides. With so much spiritual food that it is best to read and contemplate on a few of the slides each time. We welcome biblical scholars, theologians, lecturers and professors of theological institutions and seminaries and lay people around the world to contribute precious pictures and words to accompany specific scenes in the Rosary in Visual Art. You can contribute through the BLOG on our website.
First Sorrowful Mystery The Agony in the Garden In his anguish, he prayed with all the greater intensity, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. Then he rose from prayer and came to his disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted with grief.Fruit of the mystery: Sorrow for sinThe Sorrowful Mysteries represent “the culminationof the revelation of God’s love.” (Pope John Paul II)
1. Jesus took leave of His MotherWords of the Queen on:The royal road of suffering
1***.Jesus took leave of This desire for sufferinghis mother and the wishes of my divine Son led me on in the way of suffering. For those whom He loves, He chastises and afflicts (Prov. 3, 12). I as his Mother was not to be deprived of this blessed distinction of being entirely like unto Him, which alone makes this life most estimable.” (Mary of Agreda)Lorenzo Lotto, Christ takes leave of his mother, 1521. Gemalde-galerie. Berlin.
1A. Jesus took leave of “My Mother, the hour decreed by My Father for the salvationhis mother of the human race has now arrived, and we must subject our wills to His. As My true Mother, give Me your permission to enter upon My suffering and death. Just as you consented to My Incarnation, so I now desire that you also consent to My death on the Cross. This sacrifice is the return which I ask of you for having made you My Mother.” (Mary of Agreda)Lorenzo Lotto, Christ takes leave of his mother, 1521. Gemalde-galerie, Berlin.
1B. Jesus took “My Lord, I offer myself and resign myself in order that inleave of his mother me, just as in Thee, the will of the Eternal Father may be fulfilled. The greatest sacrifice that I can make is that I cannot die with Thee. O my Son and Lord, give Thy afflicted Mother strength and courage. Admit her as Thy companion so that she may share Thy Passion and Cross and so that the Eternal Father may receive the sacrifice of Thy Mother in union with Thine.” (Mary of Agreda)Lorenzo Lotto, Christ takes leave of his mother, 1521. Gemalde-galerie, Berlin.
1C. Jesus took “Oh, if only I could receive the pains and sorrows thatleave of his mother await Him, and suffer death so as to save His life! Accept, Heavenly Father, the sacrifice of my grief and affection, which I offer in union with Him, in order that Thy holy will may be fulfilled. O Children of Adam, begin at last to take heed of the harm caused by you sins!” (Mary of Agreda) Jesus kneels devotedly before His mother. The Madonna stricken with sorrow is supported by John and Mary Magdalene.Lorenzo Lotto, Christ takes leave of his mother, 1521. Gemalde-galerie, Berlin.
All words and description are far too inadequate to manifest what passed in the heart of the Son and Mother. God permitted these effects to work in Them to their full extent, and as far as was compatible with the holiness of both Mother and Son. Our divine Teacher found no relief in hastening his steps toward the goal of our Redemption, to which He was drawn by the force of his immense charity. O my dearest Love! Why does not our ingratitude and hardness of heart allow us to meet Thee with a responsive love? Why does not the perfect uselessness of man, and still more, his ingratitude, influence Thee to desist? Without us, O my eternal Goodness and Life, Thou wilt be just as happy without us as with us, just as infinite in perfections, holiness and glory; we can add nothing to that which Thou hast in Thyself, since Thou art entirely independent of creatures. Why then, O my Love, dost Thou so anxiously seek us out and care for us? Why dost Thou, at the cost of thy Passion and the Cross, purchase our happiness? Without doubt, because thy incomprehensible love and goodness.
He said: "My Mother, my existence as man I derive entirely from thy substance and blood, of which I have taken the form of a servant in thy virginal womb (Phil. 2, 7). Thou also hast nursed Me at thy breast and taken care of Me by thy labors and sweat. For this reason I account Me more thine own and as thy Son, than any other ever acknowledged, or more than any ever will acknowledge himself as the son of his mother. Give Me thy permission and consent toward accomplishing the will of my eternal Father. Already the time has arrived, in which I must leave thy sweet interaction and company and begin the work of the Redemption of man. The time of rest has come to an end and the hour of suffering for the rescue of the sons of Adam has arrived. But I wish to perform this work of my Father with thy assistance, and Thou art to be my companion and helper in preparing for my Passion and Death of the Cross. Although I must now leave Thee alone, my blessing shall remain with Thee, and my loving and powerful protection.” Mystical City of God. Mary of Agreda
WORDS OF THE QUEEN on The Royal Road of Suffering (The Virgin Mary speaks to Sister Mary of Agreda, Spain.) “I was made to comprehend the high value which the Lord sets upon the labors, the Passion and Death of my Son, and upon all those who were to imitate and follow Jesus in the way of the Cross. Knowing this, I not only offered to deliver my Son over to Passion and Death, but I asked Him to make me his companion and partaker of all his sorrows, sufferings and torments, which request the eternal Father granted. I besought my Son and Lord to deprive me of interior delights; and this petition was inspired in me by the Lord himself. This desire for suffering and the wishes of my divine Son led me on in the way of suffering. For those whom He loves, He chastises and afflicts (Prov. 3, 12). I as his Mother was not to be deprived of this blessed distinction of being entirely like unto Him, which alone makes this life most estimable. I began to feel the want of his delightful caresses and He began to treat me with greater reserve. That was one of the reasons, why He did not call me Mother, but Woman, at the marriage-feast at Cana and at the foot of the Cross (John 2, 4, 19, 26); and also on other occasions, when He abstained from words of tenderness. So far was this from being a sign of a diminution of his love, that it was rather an exquisite refinement of his affection to assimilate me to Him in the sufferings which He chose Himself as his precious treasure and inheritance .”
“Hence thou wilt understand the ignorance and error of mortals, and how far they drift from the way of light, when, as a rule, nearly all of them strive to avoid labor and suffering and are frightened by the royal and secure road of mortification and the Cross. Full of this deceitful ignorance, they do not only abhor resemblance to Christs suffering and my own, and deprive themselves of the true and highest blessing of this life but they make their recovery impossible, since all of them are weak and afflicted by many sins, for which the only remedy is suffering. Sin is committed by base indulgence and is repugnant to suffering sorrow, while tribulation earns pardon of the just judge. By the bitterness of sorrow and affliction the vapors of sin are allayed; the excesses of the concupiscible and irascible passions are crushed; pride and haughtiness are humiliated; the flesh is subdued the inclination to evil, to the sensible and earthly creatures is repressed; the judgment is cleared; the will is brought within bounds and its desultory movements at the call of the passions, are corrected; and, above all, divine love and pity are drawn down upon the afflicted, who embrace suffering with patience, or who seek it to imitate my most holy Son. In this science of suffering are renewed all the blessed
2. Jesus prayed to the FatherWords of the Queen on: The Cross, the science of saints
2.** Jesus prayed to the Father Sin is the cause of Our Lord’s mortal agony. Let us ask for contrition over our sins. Let us pray for the conversion of sinners and especially our own conversion. Before every important event in Jesus’ life He took time off by himself to pray.Heinrich Hofmann, Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
2A. Jesus prayed to the Father “Father, all things are possible to Thee; take away this chalice from before me; only as thy will is, not as mine is.” Christ, You know what it is to suffer mentally and physically. Give us the courage to deal with the tasks we are given, no matter how terrible they seem.Heinrich Hofmann, Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Be faithful to the ministry of prayer. Jesus is constantly offering Himself and interceding before the Father by means of you. In these times, how greatly prayer is being neglected by so many. People no longer pray. They are absorbed in action. You forget that you can do nothing of yourselves, and that it is Jesus Christ alone who, by means of you, works and saves. You forget that you are useless servants, that you are poor, that you are sinners. Return to prayer. Make the Eucharistic Jesus the center of your prayer, the secret of you life, the soul of your apostolic action. (Gobbi)
3. **He had sight of an angel from Heaven, encouraging Him.Jesus shows us that the greater our distress, themore earnest should be our prayer. “The sufferings of your day will dispose you to be prompt to enter into continuous prayer.” (Gobbi)Sebastiano Ricci, The Agony in the Garden, 1730, Vienna museum
3A. He had sight of an angel from Heaven, encouraging Him. “I, the Mother, am the angel of consolation. At every moment, your heavenly Mother is close to each one of you. She is at your side to help you suffer and to comfort you in your great abandonment.”Sebastiano Ricci, The Agony in the Garden, (Gobbi)1730, Vienna museum
WORDS OF THE QUEEN on The Cross, the Science of Saints (The Virgin Mary speaks to Sister Mary of Agreda, Spain.) “My daughter, in all that thou art made to understand and write concerning these mysteries, thou drawest upon thyself (and upon mortals) a severe judgment, if thou dost not overcome thy pusillanimity, ingratitude and baseness by meditating day and night on the Passion and Death of Jesus crucified. This is the great science of the saints, so little heeded by the worldly; it is the bread of life and the spiritual food of the little ones, which gives wisdom to them and the want of which starves the lovers of this proud world (Wis. 15, 3). In this science I wish thee to be studious and wise, for with it thou can buy thyself all good things (Wis. 7, 11). My Son and Lord taught us this science when He said: "I am the way, the truth and the life: no one cometh to my Father except through Me" (John 14, 6). Tell me then, my daughter: if my Lord and Master has made Himself the life and the way for men through his Passion and Death, is it not evident that in order to go that way and live up to this truth, they must follow Christ crucified, afflicted, scourged and affronted?”
Consider the ignorance of men who wish to come to the Father without following Christ, since they expect to reign with God without suffering or imitating his Passion. They want it to procure for them the pleasures of this life as well as of eternal life, while Christ their Creator has suffered the most bitter pains and torments in order to enter Heaven and to show them by His example how they are to find the way of light. Eternal rest is incompatible with the shame of not having duly labored for its attainment. He is not a true son of his father, who does not imitate him, nor he a good disciple, who does not follow his Master, nor he a good servant, who does not accompany his lord; nor do I count him a devoted child, who does not suffer with me and my divine Son. But our love for the eternal salvation of men obliges us, who see them forgetful of this truth and so adverse to suffering, to send them labors and punishments, so that if they do not freely welcome them, they may at least be forced to undergo them and so be enabled to enter upon the way of salvation.”
“Hence it comes, that men do not find joy in their tribulations, nor rest in their labors, nor consolation in their sorrows, nor any peace in adversities. For, altogether different from the saints who glory in tribulation as the fulfillment of their most earnest desires, they desire none of it and abhor all that is painful. In many of the faithful ignorance goes still farther; for some of them expect to be distinguished by Gods most intimate love, others, to be pardoned without penance, others, to be highly favored. Nothing of all this will they attain, because they do not ask in the name of Christ the Lord and because they do not wish to imitate Him and follow Him in his Passion. Therefore, my daughter, embrace the Cross and do not admit any consolation outside of it in this mortal life. By contemplating and feeling within thyself the sacred Passion thou wilt attain the summit of perfection and attain the love of a spouse. Nothing was so highly estimated and earnestly desired by Him, as to offer Himself for suffering and death and to deliver Himself up entirely to his enemies. I wish also that thou lament with great sorrow the fact that Judas, in his malice and treachery, has many more followers than Christ. Many are the infidels, many the bad Catholics, many the hypocrites, who under the name of a Christian, sell and deliver Him and wish to crucify Him anew.”
3 The abandonment andbetrayal by the disciplesWords of the Queen on: Abandonment and betrayal Console my Son.
4.Jesus went back to his disciples to find them asleep. Then He went back again and prayed.“My children, never seek your comfort in anyone but God. In yourtimes of loneliness, doubt, and depression, have recourse to prayer.” Duccio di Buoninsegna, The Maesta, the phases preceding the passion
5.** The Abandonment by the disciples“Today, how many abandon Him, being seduced by theattractions of the world. How many sleep the slumber ofdoubt, lack of faith, indifference and mediocrity.” (Gobbi) “Make reparations by your presence, for the countless and repeated acts of abandonment.” (Gobbi)A. Mantegna, The Garden of Gethsemane 1470
A. Abandonment by the disciples “Imitate and follow me into the solitude. Weigh in thy heart, how much it cost my Lord to reconcile mankind to the eternal Father. (Colos. 1, 22) Weep and afflict thyself that so many should live in such forgetfulness.”Mantegna, The Garden of Gethsemane 1470 (Mary of Agreda)
WORDS OF THE QUEEN on Console my Son . (The Virgin Mary speaks to Sister Mary of Agreda, Spain.) “Thou art now roused to great wonder, sorrow and compassion at the want of attention displayed by mortals toward these great sacraments and at the losses sustained by them through their lukewarmness and negligence. I am much incensed to find so few who console with me and try to console my Son in his sorrows , as David says (Ps. 68, 21). This hardness of heart will cause great confusion to them on the day of judgment; since they will then see with irreparable sorrow, not only that they were ungrateful, but inhuman and cruel toward my divine Son, toward me and toward themselves. Consider then thy duty, my dearest, and raise thyself above all earthly things and above thyself; for I am calling thee and choose thee to imitate and follow me into the solitude, in which I am left by creatures, whom my Son and I have pursued with so many blessings and favors. Weigh in thy heart, how much it cost my Lord to reconcile mankind to the eternal Father (Colos. 1, 22) and regain for them his friendship. Weep and afflict thyself that so many should live in such forgetfulness.”
6A. The Betrayal by Judas “I wish also that thou lament with great sorrow the fact that Judas, in his malice and treachery, has many more followers than Christ. Many are the infidels, many the bad Catholics, many the hypocrites, who under the name of a Christian, sell and deliver Him and wish to crucify Him anew.” (Mary of Agreda)Caravaggio, The Betrayal of Christ, 1602, National Gallery of Ireland. Dublin.
7. Non-Violence “ Put your sword back into its place; All those who take up the sword will perish by the sword.” Altdorfer Albrecht 1509-16 The Arrest of Christ. St. Florian bei Linz
4. The DenialWords of the Queen on: The denial of Christ’s divinity The denial of Peter.
8. Christ before Caiaphas Caiaphas questioned him, “ Are you the Christ, the Son of God?” Jesus replied, “ I am.”Gerrit van Honthorst, Christ before Caiaphas, 1618. National Gallery. London
8A. Christ before Caiaphas “The attempt to recognize Him only as man continues: to deny his divinity, to reduce his divine words to a purely human interpretation. Together with me, suffer the judgment of the world, the rejection, the persecution and the condemnation on the part of a society which continues to deny its God.” (Gobbi)Gerrit van Honthorst, Christ before Caiaphas, 1618. National Gallery. London
“Few know the poverty of Christ, and fewer embrace it. Holy faith is hindered and is not spread among the nations on account of the boundless ambition of the mighty of this earth; in many Catholics it is inactive and dead; and whatever should be living, is near to death and to eternal perdition. The counsels of the Gospel are forgotten, its precepts trodden under foot, charity almost extinct. My son and true God offers his cheeks in patience and meekness to be buffeted and wounded (Thren. 3, 30). Who pardons an insult for the sake of imitating Him? Just the contrary is set up as law in this world, not only by the infidels, but by the very children of the faith and of light.” (Mary of Agreda. Mystical city of God.
In all these things canst thou suffer and must thou bear in faith, hope and magnanimous sentiment. I remind thee that there is no exercise more profitable and useful for the soul than to suffer: for suffering gives light, undeceives, detaches the heart from visible things and raises it up to the Lord. He will come to meet those in suffering, because He is with the afflicted and sends to them his protection and help (Ps. 40,15).”
9.** Peter’s denial “How many are those who deny Him today, out of fear of not being well thought of, out of fear of being considered backward and old-fashioned, out of fear of being criticized and rejected, and by the way they live.” (Gobbi) Gerard Seghers, 1591-1651 Peter’s denial. Hermitage. St. Petersburg.
9A. Peter’s remorse Peter went out, and wept bitterly. ..and “How many repeat the gesture of Peter, who denied the Master out of cowardice and fear; fear of not appearing up-to-date and in line with the cultural norms of today.” (Gobbi) Gerard Seghers, 1591-1651 Peter’s denial. Hermitage. St. Petersburg.
9C. The Denial by Peter“In this century, Jesus is again denied by many of his disciples who donot have the courage to witness to Him. They deny Him out of fear ofnot being thought well of; of being considered backward and oldfashioned, of being criticized and rejected.” (Gobbi) Gerard Seghers, 1620. Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of art
“In recognizing these sins I desire that thou imitate me in what I did during the Passion and during my whole life, namely practice the virtues opposed to these vices. This is what I desire thee to do while living in this world. Fly also from dangerous interactions with creatures, taught by the example of Peter, for thou art not stronger than he, the Apostle of Christ; and if thou fall in thy weakness, weep over thy fault and immediately seek my intercession. Make up for thy ordinary faults and weaknesses by thy patience in adversities, accept them with a joyous mien and without disturbance, no matter what they may be, whether they be sickness or the molestations coming from creatures, or whether they arise from the opposition of the flesh to the spirit, or from the conflicts with visible or invisible enemies. (Mary of Agreda)
“Do not look at your miseries; do not be discouraged by you weaknesses; do not count your sins; do not go back over your infidelities, but let yourselves be possessed by his Love, because the divine Charity of the Heart of Jesus surpasses infinitely every human ingratitude. Even if there is being repeated the action of Peter who denies, or that of Judas who betrays, of that of the apostles who flee and abandon Jesus, open your hearts today to hope, because Jesus loves you. His love overcomes your every human weakness .” (Gobbi)
10.The Beatings: They beat him, mocked him,him on the face. blindfolded him and struck spit upon him, Ludovico Carracci, Flagellation of Christ. 1585.
10A.The Beatings “I remind thee that there is no exercise more profitable and useful for the soul than to suffer. He will come to meet those in suffering, as He is with the afflicted and sends to them his protection andLudovico Carracci, Flagellation of Christ. 1585. help” (Mary of Agreda)
The ( National ) Rosary For the Evangelization of (Nations)1. Fatima Prayer: To Eucharistic Jesus, source of all evangelization. “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of thy mercy.”2. Invocation of the Holy Spirit: Principal agent of evangelization. “Come, Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of the (National) people and enkindle in them the fire of your love! Come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse.”3. Prayer to Our Lady of ( Nation ): Star of the new evangelization. “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of (Nation), come and present the (National) people to Jesus, the fruit of thy womb. Look upon them continually with mercy and through your