Three Hours' Agony

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Front page of the Devotion a la tres horas by P. Alonso Messia SJ.

The Three Hours' Agony, "Tre Ore". The Great Three Hours, or Three Hours' Devotion is a service held in some Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches on Good Friday from noon till 3 o'clock to commemorate the Passion of Christ.

It may include meditation on the seven sayings of Jesus on the cross,[1] and often occurs between the Stations of the Cross at noon and the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion at 3PM, or between 6PM and 9PM.[2]

The Jesuit priest Alphonsus Messia (died 1732) is said to have devised this devotion in Lima, Peru. It was introduced to Rome around 1788 and spread around the world. In 1815, Pope Pius VII decreed a plenary indulgence to those who practise this devotion on Good Friday.[3]


This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne. 

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