by Catherine Moran, PhD
Sister Lucia before she died said, “The triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will occur when a sufficient number of people have fulfilled the message.” This triumph has been promised, but we must fulfill the requests asked by Our Lady to usher it in sooner, rather than later. Sister Lucia said the one request that has not been fulfilled is the practice of the First Saturdays. She further stated that not enough people are doing the First Saturdays.
Cardinal Larrona, the papal legate for Pope St. John XXIII said at Fatima in 1962: “It is urgent for us to establish devotion in the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. God wishes it! Our Lady told us! Our efforts must therefore multiply; we must be assiduous in practicing the five first Saturdays of reparation, not once, but continually, for those who do not or will not heed Our Lady’s plea.”
Our Lady asked us on the first Saturday of five consecutive months we, pray a five-decade Rosary, receive Holy Communion (either Saturday or Sunday), go to confession (8 days before or after) and spend 15 minutes consoling the heart of Our Lady by meditating on one or all of the mysteries of the Rosary.
St. Joseph can aid our meditation
St. Joseph plays prominently in the lives of Jesus and Mary, and has a big role in the Fatima message as it unfolds for the Church and the world. His appearance during the October 13 apparition, with the Child Jesus blessing the world, shows us that he will be part of God’s plan for our future. The following meditations on the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary uses St. Joseph as our guide.
The Annunciation heralded the greatest news for our sinful humanity – the Incarnation. God became man in the living tabernacle of Mary’s womb. During this great event, St. Joseph was not kneeling at the side of his beloved spouse. St. Joseph instead endured a storm of perplexities and great anguish. He only knew of Mary’s sanctity and great love for God. He endured quietly and patiently this great trial until an angel announced to him, “Do not be afraid Joseph…that what is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.” In this mystery, St. Joseph has shown us how we are to bear our trials and tribulations – in silent, trust-filled patience. His silence says to everyone, “Do likewise.”
In the Visitation, Mary hastened to help her cousin Elizabeth. St. Joseph took her on the long and treacherous journey, but he did not remain; instead he went back to Nazareth, alone with his thoughts. But he was not alone, for Mary was with him in her thoughts and prayers. His love for her was holy and pure. It is his silence that again teaches us the value of prayer and contemplation. Mary was his joyful mystery. We must imitate his prayerful silence and love. When we pray to her, she becomes our bridge from heaven to earth.
The Nativity: St. Joseph was the descendant of King David and his son Solomon. We know of their role as kings, but also of their sins. Yet, St. Joseph, a lowly carpenter, was truly the world’s holiest of men. His holiness was not announced to world. He was unknown and can be called the patron of unnoticed saints. We are all called to be holy, let us use St. Joseph, the silent, unnoticed saint as our role model.
The Presentation: “They had done all things prescribed in the law of the Lord.” St. Joseph fulfilled his duty as a good Jew. The door to sanctity has a double lock. Doing our daily duty is the outside key. The inside key is doing one’s duty for God. St. Joseph had both keys. He prayed, worked, slept and ate all to please God, who sees all things secretly. Our Lady asked us at Fatima to offer up our daily duty. Like St. Joseph when we begin our day, we should say, “For you Lord.” This act is the inside key that leads one to sanctity.
The Finding in the Temple: “In sorrow your father and I have sought you.” St. Joseph did not live to see Jesus die on the cross. Yet, like all saints he was not spared the lot of suffering with Christ. His sufferings included the agonizing dilemma at the Incarnation, allowing the birth of Jesus in a cave for animals, Herod’s wrath which drove him to Egypt and Simeon’s prophecy concerning the future sufferings of Mary and Jesus. Now, he lost the boy Jesus, entrusted into his care. He suffered for God. He is the silent, suffering saint–our model of sanctity.
Through all of St. Joseph’s sufferings, beside him was Mary, his faithful and loving spouse. Mary is also with each and every one of us in our pains and sorrows. During this 15 minutes of consoling the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we are with our Heavenly Mother, sitting with her silently and prayerfully as did St. Joseph. We are consoling her in reparation for the many offenses committed against her Immaculate Heart.
Catherine Moran is the president of the Byzantine Blue Army Division and serves on the national board of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA.