The History of the Five First Saturday’s of the Month
On the 13th May 1917, Our Lady first mentioned devotion to her Immaculate Heart to the children of Fatima saying “You have seen hell, where 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.”
On the 10th December 1925, Our Lady appeared to Lucia detailing how devotion to her Immaculate Heart was to be practiced. These words are from Sr Lucia’s own account:
“… by her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was a child. The most holy Virgin rested her hand on her shoulder, and as she did so, she showed her a heart encircled by thorns, which she was holding in her other hand. At the same time, the Child 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 to remove them.”
Then the most holy Virgin said:
“Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me 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 the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
How to Practice the Five First Saturday’s Devotion
1) Confession: Make a good confession during the 8 days prior to the first Saturday with the intention of offering reparation for the offences against Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
2) Communion. You should attend Holy Mass and receive Holy Communion with the intention of offering reparation for the offences against Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
3) The Communion should be received on the first Saturday of the month.
4) The confession must be repeated for 5 consecutive months, without interruption, otherwise you must recommence from the beginning.
5) Recite 5 decades of the Holy Rosary with the intention of making reparation to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart
6) 15 minutes meditation on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Accompany Our Lady by meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary. This can be done by reading the biblical texts of the mysteries of the Holy Rosary slowly thinking of their content. You could meditate on one mystery for 15 minutes at the end of the prayer as Sr Lucia did. This meditation is in addition to the recitation of the Rosary.
7) Say the prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to conclude the devotion.
Our Lord told Sr Lucia that the 5 Saturdays represent the offences against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“My daughter, the reason is simple. There are five types 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, in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of men;
4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference, or scorn or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;
5. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images. Here, my daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation. . (May 29,1930)
Sister Lucia clarified what should be done if confession cannot be made on the first Saturday of the month:
“My Jesus! Many souls find it difficult to confess on Saturday. Will Thou allow a confession within eight days to be valid He replied:
Yes. It can even be made later on, provided that the souls are in the state of grace when they receive Me on the First Saturday and that they had the intention of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Mary. – My Jesus!
And those who forget to form this intention?
They can form it at the next confession, taking advantage of their first opportunity to go to confession. (February 15, 1926)”
During a revelation by Our Lord on the 29th May 1930, Sr Lucia clarified what one should do if all the conditions for the devotion, like the receipt of Holy Communion, could not be fulfilled on the first Saturday.
Our Lord said: “The practice of this devotion will be equally accepted on the Sunday following the first Saturday, when, for just reasons, My priests will allow it.”
Spiritual Attitude towards the devotion
Our Lady promised that She would “assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation” the souls who make the first five Saturdays. However, it is important that the desire to console Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart by making reparation and growing in holiness is the main motivation for the practice. To underline this fact, Our Lord told Sr Lucia:
“It is true, my daughter, that many souls begin the First Saturdays, but few finish them, and those who do complete them do so in order to receive the graces that are promised thereby. It would please me more if they did Five with fervour and with the intention of making reparation to the Heart of your heavenly Mother, than if they did Fifteen, in a tepid and indifferent manner…” (15th February 1926)