We are the sons of St. Francis, and we are THE custodians, according to the will of God, of one of the places that Jesus loved the most: the garden called GETHSEMANE. This is a unique place in the world. It is the place where the Lord manifested his Yes forever by being ready to enter where nobody else had ever entered, where he plunged into darkness, in the final battle against death, in which humanity has always ended up being a loser...We ask that you too come HERE spiritually, to this place that Jesus loved and where He often would come with his disciples.Our invitation is not meant to be a sterile, remembrance but intends to let him reach out to us, reach out to us in such a way that “the many Gethsemanes” we see all around our world can be enlightened by the same Lord who is capable of reaching all situations.It is precisely HERE, in this garden called Gethsemane, that we celebrate the HOLY HOUR.But from where does our celebration draw its origins?It was born precisely in those moments, the last moments of Jesus’ life on earth, in which his disciples also participated.First and foremost we have to listen once more to the Gospels. HERE, on this night, that Hour takes place once more...Under the same moon, in this garden called Gethsemane. The Gospels condense and narrate in full detail what the olive trees have seen: the Son of God, the Master, all alone, stretched out on the ground, sweating blood and praying to the Father. Never before has Jesus appeared so human. Therefore: “night”, “battle”, “solitude”, “prayer”, “desire” and “offering” are experiences that Jesus lived HERE. All these are characteristics that indicate the coming of his Hour, the moment in which He expressed with intensity his most profound desire to love and share: “Stay here and pray with me.”When we return to this place to listen to this invitation of the Lord, we can understand what the Master has requested of his disciples at that particular moment... He asks the same thing of us today... Therefore, like THEN... NOW.

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The point of departure of the Holy Hour goes back directly to the revelations of Paray-le-Monial (France) and draws its origins from the same Heart of Our Lord. In 1674 Jesus appeared to a “little sister”, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) while she was in adoration. He spoke about Gethsemane and told her: “Here I suffered inwardly more than in the rest of my passion because I was totally alone, abandoned by heaven and earth, burdened with the sins of mankind... In order for you to be united with me, in the humble prayer that I presented to my Father in the midst of all that anguish, you will arise between eleven o’clock and midnight, AND prostrate yourself in adoration for one hour, with me...”In that Hour she participated in the sorrow of Jesus in Gethsemane. This is how the devotion of the Holy Hour was born. It is based on three principal characteristics, INCLUDED in the memories of Saint Margaret Mary: prayer of reparation, union with the suffering Jesus in Gethsemane, actions of humiliation.In the light of this message many men and women began to join in the practice of prayer and in 1829 the Confraternity of the Holy Hour was instituted at Paray Le Monial, to be followed by others all over the world. Among these the Confraternity of the Holy Hour at Gethsemane was born on 6 April 1933, with the initiative AT the Custos of the Holy Land, exactly in this same place where Jesus had lived that “terrible and marvellous” Hour.


This is an hour of meditation on the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Olives. One can do the Holy Hour by praying vocally or mentally, without any need to choose any particular type of prayer. The spirit that guides prayer is that of sharing with Jesus that moment: to suffer with Him, to live once again his anguish, his struggle, his battle, his resistence to that chalice of bitterness.But it also means living with Him true joy, that sentiment of peace that is born out of abandoning oneself to the will of the Father,
being certain of His Love for us.


Jesus asked Saint Margaret Mary to pray the Holy Hour on Thursday evenings, from eleven to midnight.In order to allow so many people the possibility to practice this beautiful devotion the Church also provides the possibility of doing it in the afternoon.Here, in the Basilica of Gethsemane, we live this experience
every first Thursday of the month at 8.30 pm (local time).


One can pray during the Holy Hour in church, in the presence of the Holy Sacrament. This helps and favours meditation and prayer. If this is not possible, any place can be suitable for prayer. If our desire is strong, it is enough to remember the words of Jesus: “When you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place” (Mt 6:6). No circumstance or place can hinder our effort to enter into our hearts and remain with Him.


Certainly that who enroll is moved by a desire to spend “that Hour” with Jesus and will look for this moment with all the power of one’s own will and joy of one’s heart. The Holy Hour is and will always be, even for those who have registered, a prayer that is free and without any obligation to participate every Thursday. To be with Jesus during that hour is the greatest Gift. The Church grants Plenary Indulgence each time one prays during the Holy Hour to anyone who wishes to participate in this gathering, on condition that confession is heard and the Eucharist received on Thursday or on Friday morning, that five Father’s Prayers, Hail Marys and Glory Be to the Father be said in a church or public chapel, according FOR the intentions of the Holy Father. In addition, on the first Thursday of each month, according to the concession of Father Custos of the Holy Land, a Mass is TO BE celebrated in the Basilica of Gethsemane for all those who are enrolled, and who will benefit, in communion with this Holy Place,
of the prayers of the Franciscans FROM the Holy Land.

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Let’s read from the memories of the direct witnesses what really happened HERE in the Garden in that tragic night…before the betrayal and arrest of Jesus

Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Luke
Gospel of John


In this section you’ll find a few key words that will sum up Jesus’ way in Gethsemane

The Night
He threw himself on the ground


We attach some insights that can help prayer on a personal or group level

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Holy Hour on Thursday of Easter Week
Prayer to the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ


“Remain here, and stay awake with me…and pray” (Mt 26,38.41)

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