Catholic Dictionary

Term

AGONY IN THE GARDEN

Definition

The bloody sweat of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, described by the third Evangelist (Luke 22:43). Although Matthew and Mark also narrate the event, only Luke mentions the sweat of blood and the visitation of the angel. Catholic tradition has understood the bloody perspiration literally. Medical testimony indicates that, although rare, the phenomenon is neither impossible nor, by itself, miraculous. Commemoration of the event forms the first of the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. (Etym. Latin agonia; from Greek, contest, anguish, from ag_n, contest, from agein, to drive.)