“You, at least, try to console me.”
To console the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Two great devotional practices are associated with the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. One is the Holy Rosary. The second is what has come to be known as the Five First Saturdays Devotion.
The Rosary is an ancient tradition that Our Lady repeatedly asked to be prayed in all of the six apparitions ay Fatima. But the Five First Saturdays is only mentioned by Our Lady during the July apparition as a new practice she would later “come to ask for.”
The request was finally made to Lucia, the oldest of the three Fatima children, eight years after the famous apparitions. At the time she was living in a convent in Spain where she hoped to be received soon as a nun.
It was 10 December 1925 when the Child Jesus and the Virgin Mary appeared to her in her convent cell. Enraptured by this extraordinary vision, Lucia was shown the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady surrounded by thorns. Our Lady then said to her:
“My daughter, look at my Heart surrounded with the thorns which ungrateful men pierce me constantly through blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me, and tell men that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, pray the Rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of offering me reparation.”
Sister Lucia lost no time reporting this visit, with its magnificent promise, to her spiritual director. Once some initial difficulties were resolved, Church authorities gave it their approval and Lucia did all in her power to spread the request Our Lady had made.
Soon, more and more people enthusiastically and devoutly took up the new devotion, setting aside some time every first Saturday of the month to carry out the prayers and meditations asked for by the Blessed Virgin Mary. Gradually the devotion spread throughout the universal Church and has since become known as the First Saturdays Devotion.
If you are not already practising this devotion we invite you to do so. You will not only have Our Lady’s great promise of all the graces necessary for salvation at the hour of your death, but you will also receive many other graces throughout your life by carrying out this devotion.
What do I have do do?
To make our reparation truly pleasing to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and to benefit from the great promise attached to the First Saturdays Devotion, it is important to carefully carry out all of the following requirements that Our Lady asked for:
1. Go to the Sacrament of Confession (Reconciliation); Ψ
2. Receive Holy Communion (in the state of grace);
3. Recite five decades of the Rosary;
4. Keep Our Lady company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary; *
5. Do all of these with the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary;
6. Do all of the above every first Saturday for five consecutive months.
Ψ If you cannot go to Confession on the first Saturday itself, you may go anytime up to eight days before of after the first Saturday. Sister Lucia obtained this concession from Our Lord on the 15 February 1926 after presenting the problems that this requirement posed for some people.
* Read the suggested meditation on the Joyful Mysteries using texts taken from the Holy Bible.
Why five Saturdays?
Our Lord answered this question when He appeared to Sister Lucia in May 1930. He explained that there are five principle blasphemies and offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary which require reparation. These are:
1. Blasphemies against her Immaculate Conception;
2. Blasphemies against her Perpetual Virginity;
3. Blasphemies against her Divine Maternity;
4. Blasphemies by those who openly encourage indifference or even contempt in the hearts of children towards His Immaculate Mother, and
5. The dishonouring of her images.
“Have pity on the Heart of your Blessed Mother, which is pierced and covered with thorns by ungrateful men at every moment.”
– The Child Jesus, December 1925