Jacinta would have embraced the First Saturday devotion

Jacinta, whose birthday is celebrated March 11, was privy to the dire three-part secret of Fatima at the impressionable age of seven. The second part of the secret involved the answer to preventing what Mary revealed in the first part – a second, worse war, famine, persecutions and sufferings of the Church and Holy Father. The solution was, in part, that Mary would come to ask for the Communions of Reparation on the first Saturdays.

Jacinta would not live long enough to hear the details of what Mary wanted in this devotion, but she lived out daily a life of devotion to her Immaculate Heart, especially for those souls who were in danger of going to hell. Lucia related in her memoirs how Jacinta embraced this mission:

“Frequently Jacinta sat on the ground or on a rock, and thoughtfully would say, ‘To think of hell! How sorry I am for the souls who go to hell! Those people, burning there alive, like wood in a fire.’

“And trembling, she would kneel on the ground, clasping her hands, and say the prayer Our Lady taught us: ‘Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Take all souls to heaven, especially those in greatest need.’

“She would remain like this for a long time, repeating the same prayer. Now and again, as though awakening from a dream, she would call me or Francisco: ‘Francisco, Francisco, are you two praying with me? It is necessary to pray much to save souls from hell. So many go there!’

“At other times, she would ask, ‘Why does not Our Lady show hell to sinners? If they saw it, they would not sin, to avoid going there. Tell the Lady to show hell to all those people, and you will see how they will be converted!’

“When to mortify herself, she would refuse to eat, I would say, ‘Come, Jacinta, eat something now.’

“’No,’ she would reply, ‘I want to offer this sacrifice for sinners who eat too much.’

During Jacinta’s illness, when Lucia went to Mass on weekends, she would say to her, “Jacinta, don’t come. You can’t—today is not Sunday.”

Jacinta would immediately answer, “It doesn’t matter. I want to go for sinners who do not go even on Sunday.”

The vision of hell had horrified her to such an extent that all penances and mortifications seemed as nothing if they could save some souls from it.  She pleaded with Lucia, “Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that people are to ask her for them, and that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated at His side.

In honor of her Immaculate Heart, on First Saturdays, Our Lady asks us to go to confession, receive Holy Communion, recite a 5-decade Rosary and keep her company for 15 minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the rosary, to make reparation for souls that might go to hell. Jacinta did everything she could every day in response to Our Lady’s requests. Had she lived to know the details of the First Saturday request, she would have passionately embraced it until the end of her days.

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