(LifeSiteNews) – A new initiative by Regina Angelorum Press is looking to spread the First Saturday devotion over a series of months.
The series is provided by Fr. Anthony Pillari, who leads Regina Angelorum Press’ (RAP) daily rosary, which is itself found on the channel’s YouTube page, and also on LifeSiteNews. The First Saturday series will also be published on RAP’s YouTube account and accessible via the website.
The new, 15-month series, will help people to partake in the devotion of the nine first Saturdays, as asked for by Our Lady in her apparitions at Fatima in 1917. During the July 13 apparition to the three young visionaries, Our Lady stated that “I shall come to ask for…the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.”
As promised, Our Lady came to request the Reparation of First Saturdays eight years later, in 1925, when Lucia was 18 years old and then a postulant in a convent at Pontevedra, Spain.
She told Sr. Lucia:
Look, My daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you, at least, try to console Me and announce in My name that I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all 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.”
The devotion thus asked for by Our Lady of Fatima, includes:
- Confessing one’s sins to a priest (within 8 days before or after)
- Receiving Holy Communion, in a state of grace (within 8 days before or after)
- Reciting five decades of the Rosary
- Meditating for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary
These are to be done with the intention of making reparation to Mary for the sins committed which offend her Immaculate Heart.
Speaking to LifeSiteNews, Fr. Pillari said “many Catholics do not know how to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary, or find it difficult to do consistently; for many Catholics have never been taught how to enter into what was classically called ‘mental prayer.’”
Consequently, the goal of the project is two-fold, he added: “1) to help people embrace Heaven’s call at Fatima for the First Saturday devotion, and 2) to help people learn how to enter into mental prayer, which can be useful on many other occasions, such as during Eucharistic Adoration.”
Explaining the requirement of meditation, RAP’s website notes that far from being “confusing or difficult” as it is often perceived, meditating on the Rosary is “actually something quite doable.”
It means spending 15 minutes with Our Lady thinking about, in a prayerful way that opens your soul to God’s graces, some of the mysteries of the rosary. This doesn’t require meditating on all 15 mysteries in one go during the 15 minutes meditation; it can be 1 mystery or more.
The devotion’s focus on five Saturdays as opposed to the more normal number of nine (as used in many novenas), was explained in another vision.
In a later apparition to Sr. Lucia in 1930, Our Lady said “My daughter, the reason is simple.”
“There are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” she told the young nun:
- Blasphemies against Her Immaculate Conception.
- Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity.
- Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of men.
- The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother.
- The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images.
The devotion to the first Saturdays has also been heavily promoted by Catholic prelates in light of the recent prayer of consecration of Russia by Pope Francis in March of this year.
Speaking some weeks ago, the former prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura Cardinal Raymond Burke urged Catholics to take up the practice of the Five First Saturdays:
The consecration that the Holy Father made, according to what Our Lady has taught us at Fatima, demands of us praying the rosary daily, making acts of reparation, [and] keeping the first Saturday’s.
And so I just urge everyone to begin to pray the rosary, make acts of reparation, observe the first Saturday’s, in order to bring about peace in the world, and because she’s [Our Lady] told us that that is the way. And we can trust that she’s told us the truth.
Burke then went on to say that he thought the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, promised at Fatima, would come about when enough souls kept the first Saturday’s by going to Confession and Communion in reparation for sin.
“The first Saturday’s devotion is, in our opinion, the unfulfilled part of the Fatima message… I think that’s why we’re promoting it so strongly today,” he stated. “I do believe that when enough people do embrace the first Saturday’s we will see this triumph come.”