The Five First Saturdays devotion is one of the principal points of the Fatima message. It centers on the urgent need for mankind to offer reparation and expiate for the many injuries that the Immaculate Heart of Mary suffers from the hands of both impious and indifferent men.
Five First Saturdays Devotion
In December of 1925, Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucia, giving her the following guaranty of salvation for those who complete the First Five Saturdays Devotion:
“I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."
Five consecutive Saturdays in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The practice of the First Saturday devotion was requested by Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, multiple times starting in 1917.
During the third apparition on July 13, 1917, Our Lady revealed that she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and for the Communion of Reparation of the Five First Saturdays. Consequently, she asked for the devotion in 1925 and the consecration in 1929.
While staying at the House of the Dorothean Sister in Pontevedra, Portugal, Sister Lucia received a vision on December 10, 1925 where the Blessed Mother appeared alongside a Boy who stood over a luminous cloud. Our Lady rested one hand on the Boy’s shoulder while she held on the other hand a heart pierced with thorns around it.
Sister Lucia heard the Boy say, "Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother which is covered with thorns with which ingrate men pierce it at every moment with no one to make an act of reparation to pull them out."
She said to Lucia, the oldest of the three children:
“I shall come to ask . . . that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.”
Years later she repeated her request to Sr. Lucia, the only one still living of the three young Fatima seers, while she was a postulant sister living in a convent in Spain: Our Lady expressed her request in the following words,
"See, my daughter, My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ingrates pierce me at every moment with blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, make sure to console me and announce that all those who for five months, on the first Saturdays, go to confession, receive Communion, say five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the purpose of making reparation to Me, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."
A few days afterward, Sister Lucia detailed this vision in a letter addressed to Monsignor Manuel Pereira Lopes, her confessor when she resided in the Asylum of Vilar in the city of Oporto, Portugal.
Why Five Saturdays?
Our Lord appeared to Sr. Lucia on May 29, 1930 and gave her the reason behind the five Saturdays devotion. Sister Lucia’s confessor questioned her about the reason for the five Saturdays asking why not seven or nine. She answered him in a letter dated June 12, 1930. In it she related about a vision she had of Our Lord while staying in the convent chapel part of the night of the twenty-ninth to the thirtieth of the month of May, 1930. The reasons Our Lord gave were as follows: It is because there are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary: The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1) Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
2) Blasphemies against her virginity.
3) Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men.
4) Blasphemies against/Instilling indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children.
5) Direct insults/Offenses of those who outrage Our Lady directly in/and against Her sacred images.
Never think that Jesus is indifferent to whether or not His mother is honored!
Let us keep the above reasons firmly in our minds. Devotions have intentions attached to them and knowing them adds merit and weight to the practice.
CONDITIONS TO FULFILL THE FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTION
How to complete the Five First Saturdays Devotion:
There are five requirements to obtain this promise from the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, one should:
On the First Saturday during 5 Consecutive Months, the Devotion consists that you::
1. Go to confession;
2. Receive Holy Communion;
3. Say five decades of the Holy Rosary;
4. Keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes, meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary;
5. Have the intention of making reparation to Our Lady for the offenses listed above.
All this offered in REPARATION for the sins of blasphemy and ingratitude committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Modifications to the Five First Saturdays Devotion to facilitate its observation
The original request of Our Lady asks one to confess and receive Communion on five consecutive first Saturdays; to say five decades of the Rosary; to meditate during 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary for the purpose of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation for the sins of men.
In subsequent private visions and apparitions however, Sister Lucia presented to Our Lord the difficulties that devotees encountered in fulfilling some conditions. With loving condescension and solicitude, Our Lord deigned to relax the rules to make this devotion easy to observe:
- Confession may be done on other days other than the First Saturdays so long as one receives Our Lord worthily and has the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
- Even if one forgets to make the intention, it may be done on the next confession, taking advantage of the first occasion to go to confession.
- Sister Lucia also clarified that it is not necessary to meditate on ALL mysteries of the Rosary on each First Saturdays. One or several suffice.
With much latitude granted by Our Lord Himself, there is no reason for the faithful to hesitate or delay this pious practice in the spirit of reparation which the Immaculate Heart of Mary urgently asks.