THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS DEVOTION
“I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, in order to make reparation to me, on the First Saturday of five successive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour, meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.”
The elements of this devotion, therefore, consist in the following four points, all of which must be offered in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. One should make this intention before carrying out Our Lady’s requests. A renewal of the actual intention at the time is best; however, if such an intention is made now, it will fulfill the requirements if, for instance, the actual intention is forgotten at the time of confession.
Confession: This confession can be made before the First Saturday or afterward, provided that Holy Communion be received in the state of grace. In 1926, Christ in a vision explained to Lucia that this confession could be made a week before or even more, and that it should be offered in reparation.
Holy Communion: Before receiving Holy Communion, it is likewise necessary to offer it in reparation to Our Lady. Our Lord told Lucia in 1930, “This Communion will be accepted on the following Sunday for just reasons, if my priests allow it so.” So if work or school, sickness, or another just reason prevents the Communion on a First Saturday, with this permission it may be received the following Sunday. If Communion is transferred, any or all of the other acts of the devotion may also be performed on Sunday if the person so desires.
Rosary: The Rosary is a vocal prayer said while meditating upon the mysteries of Our Lord’s life and Passion and Our Lady’s life. To comply with the request of our Blessed Mother, it must be offered in reparation and said properly while meditating.
15-minute meditation: Also offered in reparation, the meditation may embrace one or more mysteries; it may include all, taken together or separately. This meditation should be the richest of any meditation, because Our Lady promised to be present when she said “…those who keep me company….”
To those who faithfully follow Our Lady’s requests for the Five First Saturdays, she has made a wonderful promise which she, as Mediatrix of All Graces, will certainly fulfill: “I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation.” This means that our Blessed Mother will be present at the hour of death with the actual grace of final perseverance, (which after the gift/grace of Faith), is the most important grace.
After completing the Five First Saturdays, one may continue the devotion simply to console the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady. A tender love of our Blessed Mother will lead one to do all he can to make reparation for the sins which pierce her Immaculate Heart. Let us remember, too, that although Our Lady made this promise to those who would observe five such First Saturdays in succession, in her July apparition she asked simply that Communions of reparation be made on every First Saturday to atone for the sins of the world.
Why Five Saturdays?
The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are:
a. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
b. Blasphemies against her virginity
c. Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men
d. Instilling , indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children
e. Direct insults against Her sacred images
Modifications to the Five First Saturdays Devotion to facilitate its observation
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.