Every first Saturday is an opportunity to fulfil Our Lady’s requests
30 June 2021
This week is the first Saturday of the month and therefore it is fitting to remind ourselves of the central importance of this devotion to the life of the Church today.
On 13 July 1917, during the third apparition at Fatima, Our Lady warned that if mankind did not repent God was “going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, hunger, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father”.
“To forestall this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.
“If they heed My requests, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, she shall spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecutions of the Church; the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated; in the end, My Immaculate Heart shall triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted, and some time of peace will be given to the world.”
In 1925 the promise that Our Lady would come to request the Communion of Reparation on First Saturdays was fulfilled. Sr Lucy, the only one surviving of the three children to whom Our Lady had appeared in Fatima, gave the following account, speaking of herself in the third person:
“On December 10, 1925, the Most Holy Virgin appeared to her, 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 a 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 no one 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 hour of death, with all graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturdays of five consecutive months, confess, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep Me company for fifteen minutes meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to Me.’”
On 29 May 1930 Our Lord provided Sr Lucy with the reason why the devotion was to be carried out on five consecutive Saturdays:
“My daughter, the reason is simple. There are five types of offences 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 recognise her as the Mother of men
4. Blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference or scorn or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother
5. Offences 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 and by means of it, moves My mercy to forgive those souls who had the misfortune of offending her. As for you, try without ceasing, with all your prayers and sacrifices, to move Me to mercy toward those poor souls.”
In 1939 Sr Lucy further explained the importance of this devotion:
“Whether the world has war or peace depends on the practice of this devotion, along with the consecration 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.”
Tragically, as Cardinal Burke reminded us at the Rome Life Forum in 2017:
“In fact, the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary did not take place, as she requested, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays did not become the practice of the universal Church.”
Amongst the many terrible consequences of the failure of Catholics to adopt the practice of the First Saturdays, and of the popes to consecrate Russia as Our Lady requested, is the spiritual crisis that is shaking the Church to her foundations and the onslaught against the family, especially the mass killing of unborn children and the systematic corruption of children.
Cardinal Burke further explained:
“As horrible as are the physical chastisements associated with man’s disobedient rebellion before God, infinitely more horrible are the spiritual chastisements for they have to do with the fruit of grievous sin: eternal death. As is clear, only the Faith, which places man in the relationship of unity of heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the mediation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, can save man from the spiritual chastisements which rebellion against God necessarily brings upon its perpetrators and upon the whole of both society and the Church.
“The teaching of the Faith in its integrity and with courage is the heart of the office of the Church’s pastors: the Roman Pontiff, the Bishops in communion with the See of Peter, and their principal co-workers, the priests. For that reason, the Third Secret is directed, with particular force, to those who exercise the pastoral office in the Church. Their failure to teach the faith, in fidelity to the Church’s constant teaching and practice, whether through a superficial, confused or even worldly approach, and their silence endangers mortally, in the deepest spiritual sense, the very souls for whom they have been consecrated to care spiritually. The poisonous fruits of the failure of the Church’s pastors is seen in a manner of worship, of teaching and of moral discipline which is not in accord with Divine Law.”
In order to bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart which, as Cardinal Burke stated, “will first be the victory of the Faith, which will put an end to the time of apostasy, and the great shortcomings of the Church’s pastors” we must fulfil Our Lady’s requests as best we can in our own lives. This means observing the five First Saturdays by:
- Going to confession
- Receiving Holy Communion
- Praying the rosary
- Meditating for fifteen minutes on one or more mysteries of the rosary (in addition to praying the rosary).
All of the above must be done with the intention of making reparation for offences against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
To encourage us to persevere in fulfilling her requests made at Fatima, we have Our Blessed Mother’s sure promise: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart shall triumph.”