Matthew 26:38

Then said he unto them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death: tarry you here, and watch with me.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Lib. 83 Quaest. Q80: We have the narratives of the Evangelists, by which we know that Christ was both born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was seized by the Jews, scourged, crucified, put to death, and buried in a tomb, all which cannot be supposed to have taken place without a body, and not even the maddest will say that these things are to be understood figuratively, when they are told by men who wrote what they remembered to have happened. These then are witnesses that He had abody, as those affections which cannot be without mind prove Him to have had amind, and which we read in the accounts of the same Evangelists, that Jesus wondered, was angry, was sorrowful. City of God, book xiv, ch. 9: Since then these things are related in the Evangelists, they are not surely false, but as when He willed He became Man, so likewise when He willed He took into His human soul these passions for the sake of adding assurance to the dispensation. We indeed have these passions by reason of the weakness...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me. I am as sorrowful from the lively apprehension of My sufferings and death, as if I were now dying; I seem to be lifeless with sorrow and dread. My pain well-nigh takes away My life and breath. It is not My flesh, but My soul, which is so very sad, for sorrow penetrates the inmost parts of My soul, and cuts it in sunder as a <span class="large emphasis bold" name="46-75 ...
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
My soul is sorrowful. The cause of our Lord's grief was not the fear of suffering; since he took upon himself human nature, to suffer and to die for us; but the cause of his grief was the unhappy state of Judas, the scandal his disciples would take at his passion, the reprobation of the Jewish nation, and the destruction of the miserable Jerusalem. Our Lord also suffered himself to be thus dejected, to convince the world of the truth and reality of his human nature. (St. Jerome) ...
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Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
These words, He began to be sorrowful and very heavy, are interpreted by heretics that fear of death assailed the Son of God, being (as they allege)neither begotten from eternity, nor existing in the Father’s infinite substance, but produced out of nothing by Him who created all things; and that hence He was liable to anguish of grief, and fear of death. And He who can fear death can also die; and He who can die, though He shall exist after death, yetis not eternal through Him who begot Him in past time. de Trin., x, 10: I suppose that there are some who offer here no other cause of His fear than His passion and death. I ask those who think thus, whether it stands with reason that He should have feared to die, who banished from the Apostles all fear of death, and exhorted them to the glory of martyrdom? How can we suppose Him to have felt pain and grief in the sacrament of death, who rewards with life those who die for Him? And what pangs of death could He fear, who came to death of th...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Then he said, “My soul is sad, even to death.” Did he say, My soul is sad because of death? Certainly not. For if death were the reason for his fear, he certainly ought to have said so. But the reason for his fear lies elsewhere. Actually we have no indication, since the reason for what begins in another person may differ from what it is at the end. He had just said before, “You will all fall away this night because of me.” He knew that they would be frightened, that they would run away and deny knowing him. And since blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is forgiven neither here nor in eternity, he feared they might deny that he is God, once they looked upon him beaten and spat upon and crucified. This was the reason that prompted Peter, who, in betraying Christ, denied him in this way: “I do not know the man,” for anything said against the Son of man will be forgiven. Christ is therefore sad even to death. So it is not death itself but the process of death that is feared, for after his d...


AD 420
Gethsemane is interpreted, ‘The rich valley;’ and there He bade His disciples sit a little while, and wait His return whilst He prayed alone for all. Hieron. non. occ: But we say that passible man was so taken by God the Son, that His Deity remained impassible. Indeed the Son of God suffered, not by imputation but actually, all that Scripture testifies, in respect of that part of Him which could suffer, viz. in respect of the substance that He had taken on Him. The Lord therefore sorrowed not from fear of suffering, for for this cause Hehad come that He should suffer, and had rebuked Peter for his fearfulness; but for the wretched Judas, for the offence of therest of the Apostles, for the rejection and reprobation of the Jewish nation, and the overthrow of unhappy Jerusalem. Our Lord therefore sorrowed to prove the reality of the Man which He had taken upon Him; but that passion might bear no sway in His mind, “He began to be sorrowful” by pro-passion ; for it is one thing to be sorrow...


AD 420
What we said before about Christ’s suffering and what took place before it is also brought out in this chapter. It shows that the Lord, to test the fidelity of the human nature he had taken on, truly felt sorrowful. However, lest the suffering in his soul be overwhelming, he began to feel sorrowful over the events taking place just before his suffering. For it is one thing to feel sorrowful and another thing to begin to feel sorrowful. But he felt sorrowful, not because he feared the suffering that lay ahead and because he had scolded Peter for his timidity but because of the most unfortunate Judas and the falling away of all the apostles and the rejection by the Jewish people and the overturning of woeful Jerusalem. Jonah too became sad when the plant or ivy had withered, unwilling to have his booth disappear. . ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And He takes with Him the three, and says unto them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Wherefore does He not take all with Him? That they might not be cast down; but these He takes that had been spectators of His glory.
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Hom. lxxxiii: He says, “Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder,” because the disciples adhered inseparably to Christ; but it was His practice to pray apart from them, therein teaching us to study quiet and retirement for our prayers.
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Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
Luke says, “To the mount of Olives,” . When the Lord prayed in the mountain, He taught us to make supplication for heavenly things; when He prays in the garden, He teaches us to study humility in our prayer. And beautifully, as He draws near His Passion, does He pray in the ‘valley of fatness’ shewing that through the valley of humility, and the richness of charity, He took upon Him death for our sakes. The practical instruction which we may also learn from this is, that we should not suffer our heart to dry up from the richness of charity. ...

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
The Evangelist had said a little above, that “when they had sung an hymn they went out to the mount of Olives;” to point out the part of the mount to which they took their way, he now adds, “Then came Jesus with them to a garden called Gethsemane.”. He had accepted the disciples’ faith and the devotedness of their will, but He foresaw that they would be troubled and scattered abroad, and therefore bade them sit still in their places; for to sit belongs to one at ease, but they would be grievously troubled that they should have denied Him. In what fashion He went forward it describes, “And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and very heavy;” the same to whom He had shown His glory in the mount. By this place are overthrown the Manichaeans, who said that He took an unreal body; and those also who said that He had not a real soul, but His Divinity in place of a soul. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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