On July 13, 1917, Our Blessed Mother appeared to Lucia (Sr. Mary Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, C.D.) once more at Fatima and told the latter: “I will come to ask for… the Communion of Reparation on the first five Saturdays of the month.” It was on December 10, 1925 when Our Blessed Mother came back to ask for this practice. She appeared in Sr. Lucia’s cell [who was still a Dorothean nun at that time] and putting Her hand on Sr. Lucia’s shoulder, Our Blessed Mother “showed Her heart encircled by thorns.” The Child Jesus Who was by the side of Our Blessed Mother told Sr. Lucia:
“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 Our Blessed Mother said:
“Look, My daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console Me and announce in My Name 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.”
Our Blessed Mother was “requesting a refinement of a devotion originally established by Pope St. Pius X, who gave official approval to First Saturday devotions, granting plenary indulgence to all who, ‘on the first Saturday or first Sunday of twelve consecutive months, devote some time to vocal or mental prayer in honor of the Immaculate Virgin in Her conception…’” On June 13, 1912, Pope St. Pius X had encouraged confession and communion on first Saturdays, and ‘pious practices in the spirit of reparation in honor of the Immaculate Virgin.’ Where the Pope offered plenary indulgences for observance of first Saturdays, Our Blessed Mother’s reward for observance of Five First Saturdays was to “assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation…”
When Sr. Lucia’s confessor asked her: why five first Saturdays? Sr. Lucia pondered this question in front of the Blessed Sacrament and told her confessor that “this is what was revealed to me”:
“My daughter (said Our Lord), 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 Perpetual 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…”
Note the number of enemies of Heaven, as they are revealed by Our Lord in their blasphemies against the Immaculate. “In addition to the millions of atheists, agnostics, unchurched, and assorted infidels and pagans, Our Lord includes the Orthodox schismatics and the various Protestant [“Bible-only”] sectarians who deny the Immaculate Conception.” Also a large number of modern Catholics* who adhere to a non-dogmatic Council where Our Blessed Mother was explicitly denied Her proper title, “Mediatrix of All Graces” [a schema that, like the other traditional schemas originally drafted by the preparatory Commission of Vatican II, was thrown into the bin] so as not to offend the blasphemers observing at and monitoring the Council.**
* The generation of Catholics who have imbibed the ‘spirit’, that is, the mind or mentality, of those periti (theological experts) condemned, censured, or suspected of heresy (Hans Kung – considered to be the “leading light” of the post-Vatican II period, Hans von Balthasar, Karl Rahner SJ,Yves Congar OP, Edward Schillebeeckx OP, Joseph Ratzinger, and others of notoriety) who directed the course of Vatican II.
** Thomas Bokenkotter, in his “A Concise History of the Catholic Church” (Image Books: 1990, Revised and Expanded Ed.), notes with some surprise that even though the Council’s “new approach” to Mary did “much to meet traditional Protestant objections to the Catholic position on Mary,” Protestants have yet to engage Catholics in a ‘dialogue’ about Mary (cf., pp. 383-386). See our blogpost “The Great Tribulation” on the Vatican’s effort to strike a middle position of agreement between two contradictories: the traditional Catholic orientation and the “New ‘Catholic’ Orientation” [or the “New ‘Catholic’ Theology” of Blondel, de Lubac SJ, and Chenu OP ] – the “diabolical disorientation” referred to by Sr. Lucia, C.D.: “It is indeed sad that so may persons let themselves be dominated [on the ground of ‘false obedience’] by the diabolical wave sweeping over the world… and so many persons who occupy places of responsibility [in the Church], and that they are blinded to the point of being incapable of seeing error! The devil has succeeded in infiltrating evil under cover of good, and the blind are beginning to guide others, as the Lord tells us in His Gospel, and souls are letting themselves be deceived… He [the devil] has succeeded in leading… priests and consecrated souls into error and deceiving souls having a heavy responsibility through the place which they occupy [in the Church hierarchy]… They are blind men guiding other blind men…” (Letters to a nephew-priest and to a Dorothean nun in 1970, “A Little Treatise On the Nature and Recitation of the Rosary” (excerpts from the letters Sr. Lucia had written from 1969-1971).
Meaning of the “First Five Saturdays” Devotion: Life of Penance and Reparation
Penance is, after prayer, the most effective means for cleansing the soul of past faults and even for guarding it against future ones.
When Our Lord is about to begin His public ministry, He has His Precursor proclaim the necessity of penance: Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 3.2). He Himself declares He has come to call sinners to penance: I came not to call the just, but sinners to penance (Lk. 5.32). This virtue is necessary, that unless we do penance we shall perish: But except you do penance, you shall all likewise perish (Lk. 13.5). So well was this doctrine understood by the Apostles, that from the very first they insisted on the necessity of penance as a condition preparatory to Baptism: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you (Acts 2.38).
Penance includes four chief acts:
1. In the light of reason and faith, we see that sin is an evil, the greatest evil, in truth the only evil, and this because it offends God and deprives us of the most precious gifts. This evil we hate with our whole soul: I have hated iniquity.
2. Moreover, conscious that this evil is ours since we have sinned, and that, even once forgiven, its traces remain in our soul, we conceive a lively sorrow, a sorrow that weighs upon and crushes the soul, a sincere contrition, a deep sense of humiliation.
3. To avoid in the future this heinous evil we form the firm resolve or firm purpose of avoiding it, by carefully shunning dangerous occasions and by fortifying our will against the allurements of sinful pleasures.
4. Lastly, realizing that sin constitutes an act of injustice, we determine to atone for it, to expiate it by sentiments and works of penance.
Three principal reasons oblige us to do penance:
1. A duty of justice toward God
Have we not good reason to fear that God’s goodness so foully outraged be turned into implacable wrath? If His just punishment of the Gentiles was so severe, will not His anger be more dreadful towards us? Does not a father feel more keenly the ingratitude and faithlessness of his children than the wickedness of his servants? We must then take sides with God against ourselves: thus if we side with divine justice as against ourselves, we oblige divine mercy to take sides with us against divine justice. The more we regret the plight wherein we have fallen, the sooner we shall regain the good we have lost. God’s loving kindness will accept the sacrifice of the broken heart we offer Him as satisfaction for our crimes; and looking not to the inadequate reparation we offer, this good Father will but regard the good will of the offerers. Besides, we can make our penance more effective by uniting it to the atonement of Christ.
However, “the whole concept of man making reparation to God and Our Blessed Mother for blasphemies and other sins has been denied, though not explicitly negating it as to betray the gross perversity of ‘spirit’ of those [Mgr. Bugnini, a Freemason in ecclesiastical trappings, and his Protestant collaborators] who “fabricated” (Pope Benedict XVI as Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) the ‘Mass’ of the “New ‘Catholic’ Order” (the Novus Ordo) – inaugurated at the Second Vatican Council – by omitting or not referring to it anymore in the “New ‘Fabricated’ Liturgy”. One does no longer read in the “New” Missals the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice but rather the ‘Mass’ as a “sacrifice of praise” (Lutheran in concept).
The First Saturday devotion is “one of Heaven’s chosen means to restore in our time a sense of the need for reparation for sin by the members of the Church. Who can doubt that now, more than ever before, the Church must renew Her effort to offer expiation to God and to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, thus staying the execution of God’s wrath? Yet the wrath of God’s infuriated justice which hurls a sinner into Hell is another thing which we hear nothing from almost all of those who are said to be ‘officially’ considered to be in possession of “legitimate” priestly ministry – for the “New ‘Catholic’ Theology” has inculcated in them that God is only and always good “all the time”: that there is in Him no such cruelty as to allow His creatures to suffer the “tortures” of the everlasting fires of Hell (therefore Hell does not really exist and…finally, what of the bloody sacrifice on the Cross and the unbloody sacrifice on the Altar?) in just punishment for their sins; here, carefully take note that a false god is the foundation of the “New ‘Catholic’ Theology” and therefore the very heart of the “fabricated” New Rite of the Mass (the Novus Ordo Missae) – whereas He Who Is being worshiped according to the Traditional Rite of the Mass is the true God of BOTH justice AND mercy.
2. A Duty Consequent Upon Our Incorporation Into Christ Curicifed
Through Baptism we have been incorporated into Christ, and since we share His life we are to share His sentiments. Although impeccable, Jesus has taken upon Himself the burden of our sins and, so to speak, assumed responsibility for them, lest we perish forever: And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Is. 53.6). Behold the reason for His life of suffering from the moment of His conception to His death on Calvary. Knowing that the holocausts of Old could not propitiate the Father, He gives Himself as the holocaust in the place of all victims. All His acts constitute an immolation through obedience, and after a lifelong martyrdom, He dies on the Cross, the victim of obedience and of love: He was made obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. And He wills that His members (the Church is His body, He the head), in order to be cleansed from their sins, be with Him victims of expiation: He willed to become a victim that He might become the Savior of mankind. But since His Mystical Body [the Church] is one, if the Head be immolated, the members likewise become living victims. It is evident that if Our Lord, being innocent, atoned for our sins through His Passion and Death, we the guilty must share in His sacrifice, in proportion to our guilt.
3. A Duty of Charity
He who truly loves has a spontaneous desire to share in the sufferings of the loved one; it is the same with the real lovers of the Crucified: trained in the school of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mother the dictates of which Heart is nothing but to take the place of Her Beloved suffering Child (cf., the consideration for the Ninth and Last Day of Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel).
Those, then, who propose to share in the life and spirit of Teresian Carmel through enrollment in the Scapular Confraternity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel must especially “express in yourself the life of the Crucified” (St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart). And to express the life of the Crucified means to live His Passion, to associate ourselves with His sufferings out of love for Him who has loved us so much – returning love for love – to unite ourselves to His intentions: the glory of God [His goodness acknowledged with praise, adoration, worship, and thanksgiving by his creatures] and the salvation of souls.
I fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ in my flesh, for His Body, which is the Church (Col. 1.24). This is another motive which has urged the saints to generous corporal mortification. Nothing is lacking in the Passion of Our Lord; He Himself said on the Cross, all is consummated (Jn. 19.30). All was accomplished in Him, our Head, but it must now be accomplished in us, His members. Our Lord wills to continue His Passion in us so that we may be associated with Him in the work of Redemption; He wills to make us collaborators in the most sublime of His works, the salvation of souls. Our Lord, Who could have accomplished His work alone, willed to need us in order to apply the infinite merits of His Passion to many souls.
In virtue of our incorporation into the Crucified we are all brethren, all members of the same body of Christ. Since our works of satisfaction can contribute to the welfare of others, will not our charity prompt us to do penance not only for ourselves, but, likewise, in behalf of our brethren? Is not this the best means of obtaining their conversion or, if they have turned to God, their perseverance? Is not this the best service we could possibly render them, a benefit worth infinitely more than all the temporal goods we could confer upon them? Thus, to atone for our neighbor’s faults is but to carry out the will of God, Who having adopted us as His children, commands us to love our neighbor as He has loved us (Jn. 13.34).