The Mystical Vine
A treatise on the Passion of Our Lord

Saint Bonaventure

Translated from the Latin by a Friar of S.S.F.
Edited by Matthew Dallman




We find our dearest Jesus’ second bloodshedding, that dyed the rose of the passion, in the bloody sweat, which came from him while in the agony of his prayer; for “being in any agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat became as it were great drops falling down upon the ground.”

Were we to ignore all the other bloodsheddings, would not this one alone suffice to deepen the red hue of our rose? In truth it would. Let my miserable heart tremble; let it be rent and become bedewed with bloody tears, for lo! it was for me that my Creator was drenched with a bloody sweat, and that not a little, for it ran right down to the ground. Alas that my wretched heart is not moistened with a sweat like his, and to the same extent!

See the anguish which tortured that most gentle heart, for it caused a bloody sweat to break out form every part of his body. So great an amount of sweat like this would not have poured out of his visible body, unless the heart within had been breaking under the strain of his overwhelming sorrow. “My heart within me is broken,”[1] said the prophet. His heart within was broken, as also was the external veil of the true Solomon, our most loving Jesus. His most bloody sweat is poured out upon the earth. Thus does the rose of charity and of the passion become reddened by the redness of Jesus. See how wholly red he has become.

This general blood effusion of our most good Jesus has a mystical meaning also. He who came to bear the infirmities belonging to our flesh and blood, sweated throughout his whole body. This bloody sweat, which covered every part of the body of our head, Jesus, was to serve to strengthen and heal his mystical body the Church. Therefore, we are “delivered from bloodguiltiness, by the God of my salvation.” We are delivered by our most kind Jesus, who poured out his blood for us. Surely this bloody sweat may also signify the poured-out blood of the martyrs, which was to redden the whole body—his mystical body—the Church.

1. Jer 23:9.


© Akenside Press and Matthew C. Dallman, 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, Akenside Press.