The importance of the First Saturdays cannot be underestimated

By William Sockey

It is important to understand that the reason Our Lady came to Fatima was to enlist all the faithful in the work of saving souls. During World War I, the Holy Father and the Church were praying for peace. The war was the result of Christian nations losing sight of their obligation to love God above all things and their neighbors as themselves. Our Lady responded by appearing at Fatima and asking everyone to offer daily prayers and sacrifices as reparation for sin and conversion of sinners, promising peace if what she asked was done.

On July 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared for the third time at Fatima. After showing the children a vision of hell, she told them,

“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI….”

Our Lady then said,

“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.”

It is significant and often overlooked that Our Lady said that both the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and the First Saturday devotion were needed to prevent World War II and the spread of communist errors throughout the world.

On December 10, 1925 Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucia at the Dorothean convent in Pontevedra, with the Christ Child at her side. She held in her hand her heart encircled by thorns. The Child said, “Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.” Then the Most Holy Virgin said,

“Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, for five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

On February 15, 1926 Our Lord appeared to Sister Lucia again and said,

“…many souls begin the First Saturdays, but few finish them, and those who do complete them do so in order to receive the graces that are promised thereby. It would please me more if they did five with fervor and with the intention of making reparation to the Heart of your heavenly Mother, than if they did fifteen in a tepid and indifferent manner.”

On June 13, 1929, Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucia at her convent in Tuy, Spain, and said, “There are so many souls whom the justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask for reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.”

Jesus prayed for us sinners and sacrificed Himself to God as reparation for our sins. Through baptism the faithful receive the power, and the duty, to participate in the conversion of the world through their own prayers and sacrifices. The First Saturdays devotion was the primary means Our Lady provided for faithful Catholics to make reparation for sins against her Immaculate Heart. These sins are particularly offensive to God, so this reparation is necessary in order to convert enough sinners to bring peace to individual countries and the world. The holy Rosary is a powerful prayer in this regard, for we pray: “…Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners…” 53 times, and “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins and save us from the fires of hell” six times.

According to St. Louis de Montfort, Our Lady is pleased when we make the effort to pray the Rosary, even if the only way we can do it is to pray quickly or in the midst of doing other things.  We should pray a Rosary on every First Saturday, even if it is rushed. We should go to confession once a month in any case, and timing it for First Saturday should be our goal. Holy Communion can be received Saturday evening at the vigil Mass, or even at Sunday morning Mass, according to what Our Lord told Sister Lucia. Fifteen minutes of meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary requires a short time of quiet, keeping Our Lady company. In some situations, this is not possible on a given First Saturday, but the point is to make reparation to Our Lady for sins against her Immaculate Heart, to draw the thorns from her Heart, as Jesus asked.

Members of Our Lady’s Blue Army should make the First Saturdays devotion a regular part of our spiritual life and mission. Even when we have successfully achieved the five successive First Saturdays, we should continue to make reparation for sins against the Immaculate Heart by doing one or more of Our Lady’s requests every First Saturday, out of love for Our Lady and the desire to save more souls. What’s important is that the reparation be made by as many people as possible, not that it be made in the most perfect way.

We have Our Lady’s promise that enough prayer and reparation by the faithful will save many souls and bring about the blessing of peace. Reparation for sins against her Immaculate Heart, particularly on First Saturday, is especially powerful.

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