First Saturday is an individual invitation to know Mary

Photo by twinsfisch on Unsplash

By Deacon Bob Ellis –

The most common disappointment I hear about the First Saturday Devotion is that someone is unable to practice it because it is not done communally in their parish or anywhere nearby. The familiar phrase, “Our parish doesn’t offer First Saturdays,” reveals a misconception about the devotion itself in need of dispelling.  Let’s begin with a look at the elements of the devotion and the communal practice in parishes to see just how communal it is.

Since there is no such thing as a communal confession, it is always individual.

The reception of Holy Communion and offering of the intention is always individual as well. Reception during the same Mass in which others receive does not render it communal. You may recall the term “corporate” Holy Communion from the days of Holy Name Societies or Altar Rosary Societies participating in corporate Communions on given Sundays of each month. Members always sat together in the front pews of the church. Even in these instances the receptions and intentions were individual, not communal.

The Rosary can be prayed communally, but it can be prayed individually as well, and need not be done in a church.

Keeping Our Lady company for 15 minutes while meditating on one or more of its mysteries is uniquely individual in that the key focus of this fourth and final element is “keeping Our Lady Company.” Her obvious desire is the cultivation of a one-on-one relationship with each individual practicing the devotion.  In fact, this element of the devotion is often disregarded, as people think their meditation while praying the Rosary is the 15 minutes. But it is meant to be in addition to the Rosary.

Three of the four elements of the practice of the devotion are always, in fact, individual. They do not become communal simply because others are in the same church at the same time. And the remaining element – the Rosary – can be communal but is not required to be so.

It is not my intention to either discourage or disparage communal practice of the devotion where and when it is available. But the reality is that it is far from widespread, and the notion that one cannot practice the devotion unless it is available communally must be dispelled.

When we consider the four requirements of the practice of the First Saturday Devotion, I think it important to consider Jesus’ disposition of liberality toward those who have difficulty with one or more of them.

For example, when the Child Jesus appeared to Sister Lucia at the Dorothean convent on Feb. 15, 1926, she expressed her concern about people being able to confess on the first Saturday itself and asked if it might be valid to go to confession within eight days. He answered: “Yes, and it could be longer still provided that when they receive Me they are in the state of grace….” She then asked: “My Jesus, what about those who forget to make this intention?”  Jesus replied: “They can do so at their next confession, taking advantage of the first opportunity to go to confession.”

Another example was made evident during the May 29-30, 1930 apparition. Sister Lucia asked Our Lord: “And if one could not accomplish all those obligations on a Saturday, would Sunday not do?”  Jesus replied: “The practice of this devotion will be equally accepted on the Sunday following the first Saturday when, for just motives, my priests will allow it.”

The First Saturday Devotion is the directive given to all of us in regards to the conversion of Russia and peace in the world.  Our Lady is asking us to do our part in this fight against the anti-God, anti-family, anti-life errors that have spread from atheistic Communism. We are in this battle more than ever. Please commit to doing the First Saturday Devotion every month, if possible, in reparation for the blasphemies against Our Mother’s Immaculate Heart. She promises to be with you at the time of your death, that many souls will be saved by this reparation, and that you will be “placed like flowers” around the throne of God.

If you would like to get all your questions answered about the First Saturday Devotion, I highly recommend spending $1 to obtain a copy of “The First Saturday Devotion” .

We also carry a wonderful new book to help you track your First Saturdays and meditations: “Give Me Consolation” by Michael Wick.

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