Background on First Saturday Devotions|
I. History and Text of the Promise
On December 10,1925, the Most Holy Virgin appeared to Sister Lucia Santos (then a postulant of the Institute of the Dorothean Sisters at Pontevedra, Spain) and by Her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was the Child Jesus. The Most Holy Virgin rested Her hand on her shoulder and as She did so, She showed Her Heart encircled by thorns, which She was holding in her other hand.
At the same time, the Child said: Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment and there is none to make an act of reparation to remove them. Then the Most Holy Virgin said: Look, my daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console Me and announce in My name that I promise to assist, at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who:
(1) on the first Saturday of five consecutive months,
II. Some Precisions on the Conditions and Expectations of the Promise
(2) shall confess,
(3) receive Holy Communion,
(4) recite five decades of the Rosary and
(5) keep Me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary,
(6) with the intention of making reparation to Me.
1. Why Five First Saturdays
Our Lord Himself gave the answer to Sister Lucy:
My daughter, the reason is simple. There are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary :
1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;
2. Blasphemies against Her Virginity;
3. Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of men;
4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference or scorn or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;
5. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images. Here, my daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation . . (May 29,1930)
Sister Lucy asked Our Blessed Lord: My Jesus! Many souls find it difficult to confess on Saturday. Will Thou allow a confession within eight days to be valid He replied:
Yes. It can even be made later on, provided that the souls are in the state of grace when they receive Me on the First Saturday and that they had the intention of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Mary. - My Jesus!
And those who forget to form this intention?
They can form it at the next confession, taking advantage of their first opportunity to go to confession. (February 15, 1927)
In brief, therefore (a) the confession should be made as close as possible to the First Saturday; (b) we must be sorry for our sins, not only because we have offended God but also with the intention of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Mary.
3. Holy Communion
Father Goncalves, Lucy's confessor, asked her in a letter of May 29,1930 if one cannot fulfill all the conditions on a Saturday, can it be done on Sunday? People in the country, for example, will not be able very often because they live quite far away. Our Lord gave the answer to Sister Lucy during the night of May 29 - 30:
The practice of this devotion will be equally acceptable on the Sunday following the First Saturday when My Priests, for a just cause, allow it to souls.
Let us note that it is to His Priests and not to the individual conscience, that Jesus gives the responsibility of granting this additional concession.
3. The Holy Rosary
Since it is a question of repairing for offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, what other vocal prayer could be more pleasing to Her than that which She requested the people to recite every day? See Holy Rosary.
4. 15 Minutes of Meditation
This is in addition to the recitation of the Rosary. It requires, in Lucy s own words, to keep Our Lady company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary. It is not required to meditate on all fifteen mysteries. To meditate on one or two is sufficient.
6. The Intention of Making Reparation
You, at least, try to console Me. Without this general intention, without this will of love which desires to make reparation to Our Lady, to console Her, all these external practices are worth nothing for the Promise. This is clear.
III. The Promises attached to this Devotion.
1. Salvation of our own soul
To all those who, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months ... fulfill all the conditions requested, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their soul. This little devotion practised with a good heart, is then enough to procure infallibly for us - ex opere operato so to speak - as with the sacraments - the grace of final perseverance, of eternal salvation! And this promise is without any exclusion, limitation, restriction. To all who ..... I promise. Heaven for eternity for five Holy Communions!
2. Salvation of sinners
So numerous are the souls which the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me that I come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray. (Our Lady to Sister Lucy at Tuy, June 13,1929.) In consideration of this little devotion, They (Jesus and Mary) wish to give the grace of pardon to souls who have had the misfortune of offending the Immaculate Heart of Mary, wrote Sister Lucy in a letter of May, 1930.
3. Peace in the world
Whether the world has war or peace depends on the practice of this devotion, along with the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is why I desire its propagation so ardently, especially because this is also the will of our dear Mother in Heaven. Sister Lucy, March 19,1939.
All these information about the First Saturdays
is taken from the book
The Whole Truth about Fatima
Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite
Vol. 11, pp. 245 - 277.
Devotions to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Queen of Heaven and Earth,
and tender Mother of men,
in accordance with thy ardent wish made known at Fatima,
I consecrate to thy Immaculate Heart myself,
my brethren, my country and the whole human race.
Reign over us, Most Holy Mother of God, and teach us how to make the Heart of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ reign and triumph in us even as It has reigned and triumphed in thee.
Reign over us, dearest Mother, that we may be thine in prosperity and in adversity; in joy and in sorrow; in health and in sickness; in life and in death. O most compassionate Heart of Mary, Queen of Virgins, watch over our minds and our hearts and preserve them from the deluge of impurity which thou didst lament so sorrowfully at Fatima. We want to be pure like thee. We want to atone for the many sins committed against Jesus and thee. We want to call down upon our country and the whole world the peace of God in justice and charity.
Therefore, we now promise to imitate thy virtues by the practice of a Christian life without regard to human respect. We resolve to receive Holy Communion on the First Saturday of every month and to offer thee five decades of the rosary each day together with our sacrifices in a spirit of reparation and penance. Amen.
Act of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Most Holy Virgin and our beloved Mother, we listen with grief to the complaints of the Immaculate Heart, surrounded with the thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Moved by the ardent desire of loving thee as our Mother and of promoting a true devotion to thy Immaculate Heart, we prostrate ourselves at thy feet to prove the sorrow we feel for the grief that men cause thee and to atone by means of our prayers and sacrifices for the offenses with which men return thy tender love.
Obtain for them and for us the pardon of so many sins. A word from thee will obtain grace and forgiveness for all.
Hasten, O Lady, the conversion of sinners that they may love Jesus and cease to offend God, already so much offended, and thus avoid eternal punishment.
Turn thine eyes of mercy towards us so that henceforth we may love God with all our heart
while on earth and enjoy Him forever in Heaven.
Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for our dear country.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sanctify our clergy.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Make our Catholics more fervent.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Guide and inspire those who govern us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cure the sick who confide in thee.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Console the sorrowful who trust in thee.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Help those who invoke thine aid.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Deliver us from all dangers.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Help us to resist temptation.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Obtain for us all we lovingly ask of thee.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Make our family life holy.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Help those who are dear to us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Bring back to the right road our erring brothers.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Give us back our ancient fervor.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Obtain for us pardon of our manifold sins and offenses.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Bring all men to the feet of thy Divine Child.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Obtain peace for the world.
Let us pray
O God of infinite goodness and mercy, fill our hearts with a great confidence in Thy most holy Mother, whom we invoke under the title of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and grant us by her most powerful intercession all the graces, spiritual and temporal, which we need. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.