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.
Thank you for clearing this up for me. I am now living in a nursing home and can pray as much as I want. Believe me this has been a dream of mine for a long time. God has fulfilled my wish.
What a wonderful attitude. God’s blessings to you on this new phase of your life, and thank you for your prayers — the world needs them!
Barb Ernster, Editor
I have heard the First Saturdays Devotion also referred to as the First Five Saturdays Devotion. Can anyone explain this?
Yes, it is commonly referred to as the five First Saturdays devotion because Our Lady asked us to complete five consecutive First Saturdays in reparation for the five blasphemies against her Immaculate Heart. But we encourage people not to stop at five, but to do them on a regular monthly basis.
Thank you for this article! I would love to share it with friends of mine who do not have computers. It would be helpful if you had a way to print it. Thanks for listening.
Nancy, I will email you the article.
I am sorry but I do not understand something and have been wanting to do the First Saturday Devotion for years.
My parish, nor any near me, offer a Saturday morning Mass anymore, just a Saturday evening Mass tied to the following Sunday morning gospel.
Does it count for the devotion for Saturday if I attend the Saturday evening mass even though that mass is celebrated for Sunday?
We used to have a Saturday morNing Mass with Saturdays gospel AND the Saturday evening mass with Sundays gospel til our priest stopped Saturday morning Mass when I was only on my second month of the devotion. evening mass
Thank you in advance. This has stumped me for years.
It is perfectly acceptable to offer your Holy Communion in reparation for the sins against the Immaculate Heart at the Saturday anticipatory Mass. Our Lord even allowed for you to offer your Holy Communion the next morning at the Sunday Mass if it was not possible to go on Saturday. The point is, that we are making this effort to do the 4 things Our Lady asked on First Saturday to make up for the sins against her that offend God. Jesus was very lenient with the Confession (8 days before or after) and the Holy Communion. You do not even need to go to Mass; but receive Holy Communion. I hope this helps. Our Lady desires us to console her heart and that is the point.
According to Saint Lucia whom ofcourse is one of the Fatima Seers, not only is it acceptable but even five days before or after Saturday is acceptable. I hope this helps Miss Melland.
I am a senior citizen and live alone and as I am now in a new place surrounded by strangers, I found myself getting depressed. Then I came across the comment by Lucille McCann. Such a blessing she was to me! I got sidetracked from my prayers, but have now been encouraged and will remember Lucille’s remarks for a long time! Thank you for sharing her comment!
If I am for the 5 first Saturdays and goto Saturday evening mass, do I need to goto Sunday mass also for the keep holy the sabbath or since Sat evening mass has Sunday readings ot can count for both?
No, you do not need to go to Sunday Mass again. Just offer your Saturday evening Mass communion in reparation for the blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart.