On December 3, 1974, the then Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, Card. James Robert Knox, and Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, Secretary, signed the Decree with which the calendar proper to the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart officially entered into force. (Prot. No. 2207/74). In the decree, the optional memorial is established, for the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, titled “Jesus Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane”.
First of all, this memory aims to deliver us and remind us of the model of prayer of the Dehonians. From Fr. Dehon in his Spiritual Directory:
“… Jesus, especially in the Olive Garden, where he prays in solitude and recollection, Jesus prays with respect: He was heard because of his piety (Hebrews 5: 7), praying ardently: With loud cries (Hebrews 5: 7); praying with emotion, with tears, with compunction: My Father, … not as I want, but as you will! (Mt 26.39) Pray with perseverance. As in Gethsemane, pray the same prayer three times.”(DSP 122).
At the opening of Lent, in which we prepare for the great feast of the Passover of the Lord, we are asked to take on with renewed force the great challenge of prayer, a vehicle of communion and new life in the heart of our God. We hope this memory will help us to progress in the spiritual field.