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Five First Saturdays: Mark Your Calendars. We Cannot Continue to Ignore This

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By Chris Sparks (Sep 20, 2018)
One of the clearest examples of spiritual attack that I've ever seen is the misdirection and silence around the First Saturdays devotion.
Now, even as I write that, I bet you're being tempted to distraction.

Or you're thinking, "Oh, yes, I've been meaning to make the First Saturdays." But somehow, by the time the first Saturday of the month rolls around, you'll forget, or you'll be busy, or you just won't be able to find the energy, or ... or ... or.

I'm speaking from experience. It's a fight to remember the First Saturdays, let alone find the time to perform the devotion. Further, I often hear from good Catholics that they've never heard of the First Saturdays, or else they've heard of them, but don't know what's required.

I'm going to venture out on a limb here and say that the First Saturdays are the most obvious remedy for the state of the world today, and at the same time, the most neglected.

But why? To understand, let's briefly review the First Saturdays.

What are the First Saturdays?

The First Saturdays devotion comes to us as a result of Our Lady's apparitions to Servant of God Lucia dos Santos and her cousins at Fatima in 1917. In the secret of Fatima, given July 13, 1917, we read:

You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. ... I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace ... .

True to her word, Our Lady came to then-Sr. Lucia on Dec. 10, 1925, and said:

See, my daughter, my Heart encircled by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you, at least, strive to console me. Tell them that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, in order to make reparation to me, on the First Saturday of five successive months, go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour, meditating on the ... mysteries of the Rosary.

Why five First Saturdays in particular? Jesus explained this to Sr. Lucia on May 29-30, 1930, saying:

There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies spoken against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

First: blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception

Second: against her Virginity

Third: against the Divine Maternity, refusing, at the same time, to receive her as the Mother of mankind

Fourth: those who seek publicly to implant, in the hearts of children, indifference, disrespect, and even hate for this Immaculate Mother

Fifth: those who revile her directly in her sacred images

Here, dear daughter, is the motive that led the Immaculate Heart of Mary to petition Me to ask for this small act of reparation. And, out of regard for her, to move My mercy to pardon those souls who have had the misfortune to offend her. As for you, seek endlessly, with your prayers and sacrifices, to move Me to mercy in regard to these poor souls.

If we've made the Five First Saturdays once, are we done for life? "No!" writes noted Mariologist Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC. "You can and should make the Five First Saturdays more than once. In fact, I highly recommend it as a great spiritual practice!"

At war

Here we have a blindingly obvious and fairly simple request from Our Lady. Everything we need to perform this devotion is available to us in the average parish. Most parishes wouldn't have to add anything to their Saturday schedules! Just stick a reminder in the bulletin the week before a First Saturday.

The devotion is easy. All its elements are basic Catholicism. And Fatima is about as fully approved by the Church as any Marian apparition can ever be.

The Blessed Mother didn't ask us for much, did she? In exchange for the consecration of Russia and for the practice of the Five First Saturdays devotion, she promised us that her Immaculate Heart would triumph and an era of peace would be given to the world.

Further, the devotion can and should bring Catholics from across the political spectrum together in unity. After all, the First Saturdays joins together private devotion, answering the menace of the errors of Communist Russia, and pursuit of world peace.

But how many of you have made the First Saturdays since we last discussed them in these pages ("Fatima: What are we missing?" Winter, 2017)? And how many parishes have a First Saturday devotion as part of the life of their community?

We're approaching the 100th anniversary of Our Lady's request for the First Saturdays, in 2025. So let's set a goal! Working together with our priests, deacons, and bishops, let's make sure the First Saturdays devotion is being practiced in every parish by 2025.

We've tried everything else to bring peace these last 100 years. Now let's try Our Lady's way!

What to do

On the first Saturday of five successive months, do the following, all with the intention of reparations to her Immaculate Heart:
• Go to Confession;
• receive Holy Communion;
• say five decades of the Rosary; and
• keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.

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Sonia - Sep 20, 2018

Found it! And it's by Fr. Calloway! Also, it is a very reasonable price.

Sonia - Sep 20, 2018

Amen. Very well said. I, for one, only learned of this devotion within the last few years (49 years old and a cradle Catholic; not quite sure how I missed this). I am delighted to report that our former priest (a wonderful priest and great devotee of our Blessed Mother) brought the First Saturday Devotion into our parish (St. Matthew, Edmonton, AB, Canada) this past year and used his first five homilies to instruct us in each of these areas of much needed reparation to our poor Mother. He did this in honour of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. He said that he should have done it before. Our new priest, who is a Salesian and also greatly devoted to Our Lady, continues this devotion. That's one more parish! We are getting a pretty good regular turnout, but perhaps it might be time to hand out a pamphlet about this to all parishioners. I will look on your website, as I'm pretty sure the Marians offer a pamphlet such as this. Thanks for this reminder, Chris.