What is First Saturday?

Introduction (For the First Saturdays Devotional in PDF, click here)   

Origins

The First Saturday Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was first mentioned by Our Lady of Fatima on July 13, 1917. After showing the three children a vision of Hell she said, “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... I shall come to ask for... the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays...”

Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Mary and the Child Jesus appeared to Lucia, the sole surviving Fatima visionary, at a convent in Pontevedra, Spain. Our Lady rested her hand on Lucia’s shoulder, revealing a heart encircled by thorns.

The Child Jesus 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...”

Conditions

Our Lady spoke next, saying: “Look, my daughter, at my heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it 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, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

The Five Reasons:

Lucia once asked the question of Our Lord and received as an answer: “My daughter, the motive is simple, there are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies uttered against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

  1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
  2. Blasphemies against Her virginity.
  3. Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity
  4. Blasphemies of those who openly seek to foster in the hearts of children indifference or even hatred for the Immaculate Mother
  5. The offences of those who directly outrage Her in Her Holy Images.”

What Do I Have to Do?

(1) Confession, (2) Communion, (3) Five decades of the Rosary, (4) meditation on one of more of the Rosary Mysteries for fifteen minutes, (5) to do all these things in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and (6) to observe all these practices on the first Saturday of five consecutive months.

(1) Confession

A reparative confession means that the confession should not only be good (valid and licit), but also be offered in the spirit of reparation, in this case, to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

The confession may be made on the First Saturday itself or some days before or after the First Saturday.

Thus, when Lucia explained the difficulties some experience in confessing on Saturdays and asked whether a confession made within the preceding octave would suffice, the Child Jesus replied: “Yes, the confession could precede, even for a longer period, provided when they receive Me, they be in the state of grace, and the confession is made with the intention of making reparation to My Mother’s Immaculate Heart.”

“But what if the person forgets to make the reparation intention at the confession?”, asked Lucia. The Child Jesus replied: “Let him make the intention in the next confession, taking the earliest possible opportunity to confess.”

(2) Communion

The Communion of Reparation must be sacramental (under one species, or two as in the case of the Oriental Rites), duly received with the intention of making reparation. This offering, like the confession, is an interior act and so no external action to express the intention is needed. The Communion must be made within the 24 hours of the First Saturday. For justifying reasons, approved by a priest, a person may receive the Communion the next day, the Sunday following the First Saturday (a concession granted by the Child Jesus Himself).

(3) The Rosary

The Rosary mentioned here was indicated by the Portuguese word “terco” which is commonly employed to denote a Rosary of five decades, since it forms a third of the full Rosary of 15 decades. This too must be recited in the spirit of reparation.

(4) Meditation for Fifteen Minutes

Here the meditation on one mystery or more is to be made without simultaneous recitation of the Rosary decade. As indicated, the meditation may be either on one mystery alone for 15 minutes, or on all 15 mysteries, spending about one minute on each mystery, or again, on two or more mysteries during the period. This can also be made before each decade spending three minutes or more in considering the mystery of the particular decade. This meditation has likewise to be made in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart.

Many find it difficult to meditate because they have not made any attempt before. But a start could be made by using pictures depicting different mysteries or by reading slowly and devoutly appropriate meditations prepared for our use, or even by reading the Gospel narratives containing the mysteries with or without commentaries. Those who are unable to read could be recommended to spend 15 minutes in recalling to mind all the facts they know about the Birth, Infancy, and Youth of Jesus (Joyful Mysteries); about the sufferings of Jesus represented in Lent, Holy Week and the Stations of the Cross (Sorrowful Mysteries); and about Easter, the Ascension, the Coming of the Holy Ghost and its effects on the Apostles and the world (Glorious Mysteries). Consider, besides, the life of Our Lady from Pentecost until Her death and Her Assumption into Heaven where She exercises Her privilege as the Mother of God in order to obtain from Her Divine Son graces for Her children on earth, even coming down bodily to earth at times in order to warn us of the great dangers ahead and to give us timely aid to combat them.

January Meditations

February Meditations

March Meditations

April Meditations

May Meditations

June Meditations

July Meditations

August Meditations

September Meditations

October Meditations

November Meditations

December Meditations

(5) The Spirit of Reparation

All these acts, as said above, have to be done with the intention of offering reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the offences committed against Her. Everyone who offends Her commits, so to speak, a twofold offence, for these sins also offend Her Divine Son, Christ, and so endanger our salvation. They give bad example to others and weaken the strength of society to withstand immoral onslaughts. Such devotions therefore make us consider not only the enormity of the offence against God, but also the effect of sins on human society as well as the need for undoing these social effects even when the offender repents and is converted. Further, this reparation emphasizes our responsibility toward sinners who, themselves, will not pray or make reparation for their sins.

There are many who seem to be worried because, though they try to observe the Five First Saturdays in accordance with the request of Our Lady of Fatima, they fail to remember to make the intention of reparation in due time for confession, Communion, meditation, or the Rosary recitation. But this difficulty may be overcome by making a resolution at the very start when one decides to observe the First Saturdays for the next five consecutive months, and resolve that all the acts or devotions connected with them will be offered in reparation to the Immaculate Heart.

(6) Five Consecutive First Saturdays

The idea of Five First Saturdays is obviously to make us persevere in the devotional acts for these Saturdays and to overcome initial difficulties. Once this is done, Our Lady knows that the person would become devoted to Her Immaculate Heart and persist in practicing such devotion on all First Saturdays, working thereby for personal self-reform and for the salvation of others. Our Lady has assured us that She will obtain the salvation of all those who observe the First Saturdays for five consecutive months in accordance with Her conditions. Our Lady will be by the departing person’s side at the supreme moment. If the soul is in the state of grace, She will console and help it to resist whatever temptations the devil might put before it in His last attempt to take the person with him to Hell. If the soul is not in the state of grace, Our Lady will help it to repent in a manner agreeable to God and so to be benefitted by the fruits of Redemption and so be saved.

Devotions and Procession

  • Before Mass, the Most Holy Rosary (with intention of reparation).
  • After Mass, 15 minutes of meditation, in a spirit of reparation, on the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary as outlined below for each month.
  • Procession with the Fatima Statue. Begin procession with the hymn “The Fatima Ave.”
  • Rosary during the procession.
  • After Procession returns to Church the priest leads the following prayer:

Prayer to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

Remember, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, what ineffable power thy divine Son hath given thee over His own adorable Heart. Filled with confidence in thy merits, we come before thee and implore thy protection. O Heavenly Treasurer of the Heart of Jesus, that Heart which is the inexhaustible source of all graces, which thou mayest open to us at thy good pleasure, in order that from it may flow forth upon mankind the riches of love and mercy, light and salvation, that are contained therein; grant unto us, we beseech thee, the favors which we seek (here silently make your petition). We can never, never be refused by thee, and since thou art our Mother, O our Lady of the Sacred Heart, graciously receive our prayers and grant our request. Amen. (The Raccolta, 1957 by Benziger Brothers)

Prayer to Our Lady of Reparation

Immaculate Virgin, refuge of sinners, thou who, in order to atone for the injuries done to Almighty God and the evils inflicted on men by sin, didst accept with resignation the death of thy divine Son, be ever propitious toward us, and in Heaven, where thou dost reign gloriously, continue in our behalf thy word of zeal and love. We would be thy children: do thou still show thyself a Mother. Obtain from Jesus, our divine Redeemer, that He may be pleased to apply to our souls the fruits of His passion and death, and deliver us from the bonds of our iniquities. May He be our light in the midst of darkness, our strength in weakness, our refuge in the midst of peril; may He strengthen us by His grace and love in this world, and grant us to love Him, see Him and possess Him in the world to come. Amen. (The Raccolta, 1957 by Benziger Brothers)

Angel of Fatima Prayer

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee. I beg pardon of Thee for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee. (3 times)

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners. (3 times)

Hail! Holy Queen, Enthroned Above

Hail, Holy Queen enthron’d above, O Maria.
Hail, Mother of Mercy and of love! O Maria.
            Refrain:            Triumph, all ye Cherubim,
                                    Sing with us, ye Seraphim,
                                    Heav’n and earth resound the hymn:
                                    Salve, salve, salve, Regina!
Our life, our sweetness here below, O Maria.
Our hope in sorrow and in woe, O Maria. (Refrain)

To thee we cry, poor sons of Eve, O Maria.
To thee we sign, we mourn, we grieve, O Maria. (Refrain)

Turn then, most gracious Advocate, O Maria.
Tow’rds us thine eyes compassionate, O Maria. (Refrain)

This earth is but a vale of tears, O Maria.
A place of banishment, of fears, O Maria. (Refrain)

When this our exile is complete, O Maria.
Show us thy Son, our Jesus sweet, O Maria. (Refrain)

O clement, gracious, Mother sweet, O Maria.
O Virgin Mary, we entreat, O Maria. (Refrain)