In 1674 Jesus appeared to a “little woman”, Saint Marguerite Marie Alacoque (1647-1690), while she was praying. On this occasion Jesus asked her to make a “Holy Hour” of reparation each Thursday evening from eleven to midnight. In this hour she came to share with him the sadness that he experienced in Gethsemane.

In May 1930 the first centennial of the institution of Holy Hour was celebrated at Paray-Le-Monial in France. At the invitation of the Archconfraternity of the Holy Hour, the entire Catholic world came together to celebrate Holy Hour. In Jerusalem, Father Custos Aurelio Marotta arranged that in Gethsemane, the place where Jesus suffered the Holy Hour, the pious practice would be celebrated during the night.

Today the practice of Holy Hour before the Stone of Agony takes place the first Thursday of each month as a direct continuation of the Mass at 16.00. In addition, all pilgrims who request it are given the possibility to celebrate Holy Hour at Gethsemane during their pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
The celebration recalls the three principal moments of the Passion:
Jesus’ foretelling of Peter’s denial (Matt 26:30-35; Mark 14:26-31; Luke 22:31-37);
The agony of Christ and his prayer in the Garden of Olives (Luke 22:39-46; Matt 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42)
The arrest by the guards (Matt 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-54)