by Barb Ernster –
This question posed to Sister Lucia by the Child Jesus in the courtyard of her convent on Feb. 26, 1926, was because the First Saturday Devotion was not being spread as Our Lady had requested on Dec. 10, 1925. It is a question that Jesus could ask each of us today, as we ponder the news from Russia/Ukraine and the many other threatening situations happening in the world.
The question always arises about the validity of the March 25, 1984, consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart. But we must ask if we have done our part in the requests that Our Lady made at Fatima. Lucia once said the consecration was intended to help Russia convert, meaning to “turn away” from its atheistic direction, but the First Saturday Devotion would help make that conversion more perfect.
On Oct. 11, 1993, several years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Sister Lucia delineated three phases of Fatima: the first was the apparitions; the second was to obtain the change in Russia; the third phase is to obtain the era of peace, while at the same time avoiding further use of atomic weapons. (Too Late? p15, J. Haffert)
She said the first phase, the fulfillment of the basic requests would have prevented all the wars which took place in that time. In the second phase, adding the First Saturday devotion to the basic requests can prevent the annihilation of several entire nations. Then there is the unbelievable promise, “Finally my immaculate Heart will triumph. Russia will be converted and an era of peace will be granted to mankind.”
The late Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR (d. Dec. 13, 2017), wrote in 2005: “Today it is essential for the peace of the world that we respond to Our Lady’s requests as fully as we can…Sister Lucia Dos Santos declared that Heaven accepted (the 1984) consecration. What remains for us now more than ever, is to carry out Our Lady’s request for the special First Saturday Devotion…Our Lady herself assures us that this devotion plays a significant part in her promise of the ultimate triumph of her Immaculate Heart.” (Treasures of First Saturday Devotion, pp iii-iv)
We live in a time of decreased devotion to the Eucharist and few people go to confession. Is this not a time when our Communions of Reparation are needed?
It’s how we can answer the call of Jesus to spread the devotion to the Immaculate Heart, and perhaps save a few nations as well.
75 Years of Spreading Fatima
The World Apostolate of Fatima, founded as Our Lady’s Blue Army in 1947, has been responding to the call to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for 75 years. It is a difficult challenge for the Church and all of her apostolates and spiritual movements to get the attention of a shrinking Catholic population today. Which means that God and Our Lady are counting on YOU more than ever.
In 1917, the three shepherd children stood alone against government authorities and Church leaders, friends, neighbors and even family members who opposed them vehemently to the point of threatening their lives. Yet, they continued to follow what Our Lady wanted of them – their daily sufferings, their earnest prayers, their full rosaries, their love and adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist. Driven by their experience of souls lost in hell and the sorrowful Mother, they changed their lives forever and set their sights on heaven.
It’s easy to say that these saintly children were given extraordinary graces, but Lucia’s long years on earth should be our model for what growth in holiness looks like in the mundane circumstances of life. She, like us, had to fight for her faith by keeping up her daily prayer life, seeking God’s will and living a Sacramental life. She wondered often when her mission would be done, but God perhaps permitted her to live so long for the sake of souls, yes, but also for us. She is one to pray to for patience and perseverance now, when the world seems to be heading rapidly in the wrong direction. She shows us that our continued faithfulness is pleasing to God.
This is a time to renew our commitment to our Catholic faith, to God’s will and Our Lady. Fatima is always examined again whenever Russia is in the news, but the message was about the spread of atheism and the loss of souls to hell due to the world’s indifference toward God. It saddens me that Our Lady’s profound message of love and conversion is boiled down to whether the word “Russia” was said during the 1984 consecration, as if that’s all that is needed to magically clean up the world.
No, we are needed! And Our Lady calls us personally to respond, just as our Lord invited all to reform their lives and seek first the Kingdom of Heaven. His gospel message was not just for the religious leaders of the time. And He never sought to change the world through Caesar. He sought to change it through His followers, through you and me.
Therefore, this Saturday, embrace the devotion that the Child Jesus wanted spread throughout the world. Go to confession, receive Holy Communion, pray the Rosary and spend 15 minutes in meditation with Our Lady to repair for the sins committed against her Immaculate Heart.
And renew your “yes” to Our Lady by living what she requested of you. Become a holy person in line with God’s laws and His will. The Rosary and devotions that Mary asked for are the aids to help us get there. If you have not yet joined the World Apostolate of Fatima, please consider becoming part of this spiritual movement to spread the devotion to the Immaculate Heart.
Mary promises to never forsake us and to be the way that will lead us to heaven. We also look forward to the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. If we are united with her, our hope will not fail us.
Barb Ernster is the Communications Manager/Editor of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA.
Question: If you can’t make it to First Saturday Mass, can you live stream and make a spiritual communion. Would this meet Our Lady’s request.
Yes, you can watch our livestream or an EWTN Mass or any Mass and offer a spiritual communion.
Also if you go to the Saturday evening Mass or Sunday Mass the next day, you can also offer that Holy Communion for the First Saturday obligation.
What is your source that offering a spiritual communion complies with Our Lady’s request for receiving Holy Communion for the First Saturday Devotion?
months before I wrote to you about the reparation intentions for the decades of the Holy Rosary, I wrote a letter to Bishop Andrew Cozzens (as I mentioned to you.) He said he was going to share them with his team at the Nat. Eucharistic Revival effort.
I don’t know if or what they are going to do with the intentions. I hope for the best. (Maybe in June.)
In the meantime, the Dominican Nuns of Marbury, AL wrote to me recently saying that they still pray for the spreading of the intentions.
I emailed Sister Faustina of THE ACADEMY OF THE IMMACULATE to thank her for some books I had purchased there. She emailed back saying that she would work the intentions into her prayer like and try to have a Mass said for each intention.
On 2-18-22, I was in contact with Lisa at: EUCHARISTIC ADORATION CANADA. She requested permission to put the intentions on their beautiful website. She said that some people in Canada still can’t receive the Holy Eucharist. I told her that I had always considered these to be a gift to be shared, and to take them to the next level. The intentions were placed on the website that day. They can be found by going to “Resources”, then to “Reparations” and scrolling down. They are listed as: “5 Suggestions for intentions of the Rosary.” They can be read in over 100 languages. Lisa was kind enough to go one step further and add: “…and the sins of the whole world…” to the last intention.
I sent an email to let the Dominican Nuns (haven’t heard back yet) and Sister Faustina know about EUCHARISTIC ADORATION CANADA. Sister Faustina was very happy.
May God bless you and Our Lady of the Rosary protect you!
p.s. Our Lady of Victories came about when a Pope requested people to pray the Rosary for victory of a naval sea battle against overwhelming odds (Lepanto).
I like to think of the dream of St. John Bosco of the 2 towers—the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Pope is trying to maneuver his flagship between the 2 towers. There is a terrible naval battle and rough seas. Enemy ships are everywhere. The Pope of the future finally secures his flagship to the 2 towers and the enemy ships are destroyed.
I like to think that the Pope of the future will secure his flagship to the 2 towers with THE GREAT CHAIN OF THE ROSARY—the weapon and the shield.
That is good news Steve. I recall your email and I forwarded your reparation intentions to our shrine chaplain. I will check again on these. We are in the midst of constructing a new website, and currently are determining what will go on there. Keep up the great work!
very powerful and inspiring
This is an excellent article, and I hope people listen and start practicing the first Saturday devotions. It has been going through my mind to try to get a million rosaries promised and said for Russia to get defeated, Putin to get ousted, and Russia to become a Democracy and for there to be peace in the world, especially here in the United States. Actually, the idea for a million rosaries emerged before Russia invaded Ukraine, but I did not get it accomplished. I don’t know how to get these rosaries promised and said as I am not on Facebook or other Social Media. I have called several groups and requested that they try to get schools to have the school children say them, etc., but so far, I have not had any success. Many of the places I called I just got ahold of a machine and left a message. I tried to call you, but I didn’t leave a message because I was going to try again hoping to get an answer, but meanwhile my cellphone quit working because of 5G , and I don’t have long distance on my land line, so I couldn’t call you so I decided to leave a message on here, and hopefully somehow a million rosaries will get promised and said. Prayer is the only solution to this situation, and Mary did say that eventually Russia will change its ways. Hopefully, this is the time as many Russians seem to be going against Putin. I think if this happens and people realize that prayer solved the problem, they maybe will turn back to God and start being more religious and maybe they’ll even realize that the Catholic church is the one true church founded by Christ. Christ said to Saint Peter, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” and Peter became the first Pope of the Catholic church. Thank you for all of the good you do in an attempt to save souls. I really enjoy reading your articles. Thank you.
I think it would be a good idea for all of us in the apostolate and the WAF as an organization to contact our U.S. Bishops to establish and/or renew First Saturday Devotions in our dioceses. Also, we should request that Pope Francis mandate to all the world’s Bishops that all dioceses of the world practice the First Saturday Devotion. The time is now. We were born at this time in history for this. Our Lady of Fatima has obviously chosen each of one of us to have the honor of serving Her and Jesus at this time. Let us live up to our call, and act before it gets worse. If First Saturday devotion is world wide, then the world will know that the Immaculate Heart of Mary brought us peace, not any politician, army, or weapon.
I agree one hundred percent with Paul. No time to waste. The First Saturday devotions need to be implemented world wide immediately. Total peace can only come to us from God. Prayers to Jesus and Our Lady of Fatima with a plea for peace will be answered. We need to unite together. I’m in tears right now watching this young child being taken from his father to go to safety with his mother. Ukrain is being torn apart but I know Giod is with them. Please Pope Francis renew our devotions to our Lady of Fatima in all dioceses all over the world. She first appeared in 1917 to three children in Portugal with this plea fior peace and conversion of Russia. The time is now.
How do you consecrate yourself to the Blessed mother .
I have been saying First Saturday devotions at my parish in Rhode Island for the past 10 years. I have encouraged the people to continue with their First Saturday Devotions after they complete the first 5 Saturdays. I have asked them to offer the next five first Saturdays for a relative, friend or neighbor. I know that was never part of the request, but I feel that God is open to any good thing we do for others and He will not let those prayers go to waste. God bless the work you are doing here. Deacon C McCarthy
EWTN has been airing a First Saturday devotion for the past 10 years. They will continue to promote it on TV and Social Media on the First Saturdays.