Why Reparation? It is a Spiritual Work of Mercy

By Barb Ernster

maryMany people ask why we need to make reparation for the sins against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In the first apparition to Sister Lucia at Pontevedra, Spain, December 10, 1925, the Christ Child told her, “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.”

Sister Lucia described in her memoirs a vision given to the three children during the June apparition of the Immaculate Heart in front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand encircled by thorns which pierced it. “We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.”

The Blessed Mother suffered great sorrows, particularly through the bitter Passion and death of her Son. Our Lord wanted his mother honored for all she suffered for him and with him, and desired devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. He revealed to Sister Lucia in the request for the First Saturday devotion the means by which the Immaculate Heart is offended, and communicated that it was his own mother who asked for these acts of reparation in order to move him “to forgive those souls who have the misfortune of offending her” because they are in jeopardy of losing their souls for these sins seriously offend God himself.

Reparation is an act of mercy

The Blessed Mother, like her Divine Son, does not want anyone to lose his or her soul. It is an act of mercy and love toward God to desire that others be saved. The story of the Prodigal Son reminds us of the Father’s mercy on those who return to him and trust that He will welcome them back. Jesus tells us that heaven “rejoices more over the return of one lost sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.” [Mt: 18:13].

God’s greatest command to us is to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second greatest command is to love your neighbor as yourself.

When we love our neighbor as ourselves, we want them saved and in Heaven; therefore, our acts of reparation are acts of mercy toward those who are in danger of losing so great a reward. Our Lady told us “many people go to hell because they have no one to offer sacrifices for them.”

Your First Saturday prayers and reparation atone for the sins of your neighbors and are an act of love toward God and neighbor. It is a spiritual work of mercy to pray for their salvation. During this Year of Mercy, “make everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.”

This is so important that everyone should try to do something on First Saturday, even if we have already made the Five First Saturdays or if we are unable to fulfill all four requests on five first Saturdays in a row. Remember, world peace depends on converting sinners!

The conditions of making the First Saturday Devotion:

  1. Go to Confession
  2. Receive Communion
  3. Pray 5 decades of the Rosary
  4. Spend 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary

Offer these acts in reparation for the offenses against the Immaculate Heart of Mary


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