The 4th of July and the First Saturday devotion

Photo by Trent Yarnell,

by Barb Ernster –

With the 4th of July upon us, many people are making plans for an extended weekend to celebrate the birth of our nation. It is hard to think of the first Saturday devotion, which generally falls on this weekend, amid the picnics, parades and fireworks.

But Our Lady and Our Lord are generous in allowing us to practice this devotion even when American holidays get in the way.

If you recall, Our Lord allows us to go to confession within eight days of the first Saturday, and told Sister Lucia “it can be longer provided that when they receive Me on the first Saturday, they are in the state of grace and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

If you forget to offer the intention, Jesus said you can do so at your next confession, “taking advantage of the first opportunity to go to confession.”

If you cannot get to a Mass or communion service on Saturday, you can offer your Holy Communion on Sunday; just remember to offer it in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

One of the most important and most misunderstood elements of the devotion is that Our Lady asks us to “keep her company for 15 minutes while meditating on the other mysteries of the Rosary.” This is in addition to the praying of a five-decade Rosary.   

Sister Lucia wrote to her own mother: “It is the fifteen minutes, to my mind, that gives the most confusion. But it is very simple. Who is not able to think on the mysteries of the Rosary? On the annunciation of the angel and on the humility of our dear Mother, who, on seeing herself so praised, called herself a slave? On the passion of Jesus, who suffered so much for love of us? And our Most Holy Mother near Jesus on Calvary? Who is not able then, with these holy thoughts, to spend fifteen minutes near this most tender of mothers?”

It is during this fifteen minutes when you and Our Lady sit one-on-one together, pondering the mysteries of her Heart. Let Our Lady lead you where she wills. You will be surprised at how powerful this part of the First Saturday devotion is. It is where you develop a personal relationship with Mary, who will lead you to a deeper, more personal relationship with Jesus. This is when you should ask her for a particular grace for yourself or someone you are praying for. Her Immaculate Heart will not fail to respond.

So, enjoy your holiday weekend, but find some time on Saturday to honor Our Lady with your presence and do not forget your Holy Communion and confession, taking advantage of the generosity of Our Lord.

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