The Treasures of First Saturday

By Donal Anthony Foley –

groundsToday is the first Saturday of May, a month particularly dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, and also a month very much associated with Fatima – since the first apparition of Our Lady there took place on 13 May 1917. So it’s a good time to look again at just why the First Saturday devotion is such an important part of the Fatima message.

The devotion was actually mentioned for the first time during the July 1917 apparition, as part of the secret of Fatima, but, of course, Saturday has long been associated with devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

After she had shown the children the terrifying vision of hell, she spoke of the need to establish in the world devotion to her Immaculate Heart, and also of the ways in which God would punish mankind for its sinfulness. To prevent this, she said she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, and the “Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.”

At the time, the children had very little idea what she meant by these words, but the important point is that the consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart and the Five First Saturdays devotion of reparation are mentioned together as the means by which numerous evils will be undone and peace brought to the world.

Pontevedra apparitionIt wasn’t until December 10, 1925, by which time Lucia had become a postulant with the Dorothean Sisters at Pontevedra in Spain, that full details about the First Saturdays were revealed. Our Lady spoke of the devotion as a means of reparation for the sins which afflicted her Immaculate Heart.  For those who on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, would go to confession, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep her company for 15 minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to her, she made a great promise to assist them at the hour of death, with “all the graces necessary for salvation.”

That is in itself a wonderful and very consoling promise, since it is an assurance of ultimately getting to heaven, even if the person has to spend some time in purgatory. But the First Saturdays devotion goes beyond this, because it is also intrinsically linked with the consecration of Russia to the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Heart which was mentioned above.

Our Lady appeared again to Sr. Lucia on June 13, 1929, and told her, “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops in the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”

For various reasons, this consecration wasn’t accomplished until March 25, 1984, when it was carried out by Saint John Paul II at the Vatican. Once it was done, the great changes we have seen in Russia and Eastern Europe unfolded, and particularly the collapse of communism.

These events support the view that the consecration of 1984 was carried out largely in accordance with Our Lady’s wishes. She promised the conversion of Russia if her wishes were complied with, but she did not say that this would happen quickly. Seventy years of Communist misrule cannot be put right overnight.

What would appear to be missing is a more general compliance among Catholics with Our Lady’s request regarding the Five First Saturdays devotion of reparation, which, as we have seen was linked by her, on July 13, 1917, with the collegial consecration. This adoption of the First Saturdays devotion needs to happen on a much bigger scale, involving parishes, dioceses, countries, and indeed the whole world, and then we will be much closer to seeing the fulfillment of Our Lady’s prophecy that in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph and a period of peace will be granted to the world.


Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, including Marian Apparitions, the Bible, and the Modern World, and maintains a related web site at He has also a written a time-travel/adventure book for young people – details can be found at:


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