Five First Saturdays
In Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
By Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC
Spiritual Director of the Thirteenth of the Month Club
Are you sick of turning on the news and seeing nothing but violence and mayhem? Well, there’s something we can do to bring about peace.
‘War is your fault’
My fellow Marian Fr. Seraphim Michalenko sometimes tells a story that a priest ministering in Japan shared with him in Rome. This priest was at an international gathering of Christians from across the world, attended by foreign dignitaries. The ambassador from Japan approached the priest, verified that the priest served in Japan and was a Catholic priest, and then said, “War is your fault.”
The priest was surprised and asked what the ambassador meant. The ambassador said, “You Catholics, all of you — we do not have peace in the world. It is your fault.”
The priest said, “Ambassador, why do you blame us?”
The ambassador said, “I’ve read about this. The Lady came to you at Fatima, right? That’s what you believe? She told you what to do to secure peace in the world. Well, there’s no peace in the world, so obviously you Catholics haven’t done it.”
The priest had to acknowledge that the ambassador was correct, but still tried to protest, saying, “Isn’t peace everyone’s responsibility?”
The ambassador was vehement. “No, she came to you Catholics. Not to Buddhists. Not to Hindus. She came to you, and it is your responsibility.”
That ambassador had more faith than a lot of Catholics! But he’s right – Our Lady came and asked for specific things at Fatima. If we listened to her and did what she asked, there would be peace in the world. Among her requests:
•pray the Rosary every day for peace in the world;
•the consecration of Russia and each of us individually to Mary’s Immaculate Heart;
•do our daily duties out of love, dedicating everything to God; and
•make reparation for sins against the Immaculate Heart of Mary by observing the “Five First Saturdays of Reparation.”
What are the Five First Saturdays?
Our Lady explained those Five First Saturdays to Sr. Lucia dos Santos, one of the Fatima visionaries, on Dec. 10, 1925, in the following way:
See, my daughter, my Heart encircled by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you, at least, strive to console me. Tell them that 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 … mysteries of the Rosary.
Why five First Saturdays in particular? Jesus explained this to Sr. Lucia on May 29-30, 1930, saying:
Daughter, the motive is simple: There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies spoken against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
First: blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
Second: against her Virginity
Third: against the Divine Maternity, refusing, at the same time, to receive her as the Mother of mankind
Fourth: those who seek publicly to implant, in the hearts of children, indifference, disrespect, and even hate for this Immaculate Mother
Fifth: those who revile her directly in her sacred images
Here, dear daughter, is the motive that led the Immaculate Heart of Mary to petition Me to ask for this small act of reparation. And, out of regard for her, to move My mercy to pardon those souls who have had the misfortune to offend her. As for you, seek endlessly, with your prayers and sacrifices, to move Me to mercy in regard to these poor souls.
Do they still matter?
Now, a lot of people have forgotten about the Five First Saturdays devotion, but it’s still relevant today – wars are still going on! We still haven’t seen the fulfillment of Our Lady’s promise that “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” According to Sr. Lucia, St. John Paul II consecrated Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart on March 25, 1984. The USSR fell shortly afterwards. And yet there’s still not peace in the world. Why? Ask yourself: Have most of us been faithful to her requests, especially the First Saturdays of Reparation?
So I call on everyone who loves Mary to start making the Five First Saturdays a regular part of their prayer life. For anyone who visits the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, on the First Saturday of each month, it’s easy! Pilgrims can go to Confession, pray the Rosary for Life, and attend Mass with the intention of making reparation to Our Lady – as she requested. To fulfill the requirement to meditate for 15 minutes on the Mysteries of the Rosary, you can prayerfully walk the Stations of the Cross on Eden Hill for at least 15 minutes, remaining aware of keeping Our Lady company in spirit throughout her Son’s Passion and Death.
One and done?
If we’ve made the Five First Saturdays once, are we done for life? No! You can and should make the Five First Saturdays more than once. In fact, I highly recommend it as a great spiritual practice! Get a monthly tune-up with Confession, Mass, Communion, and immersing yourself in the Mysteries of the Rosary, all offered in reparation for the many serious offenses committed against Our Lady. Make the First Saturdays throughout your life for love of Our Lady and reap huge spiritual rewards.
Let’s make reparation together to the Immaculate Heart by being faithful to the Five First Saturdays, and help Our Lady spread grace, peace, and healing throughout all the world.
Father Donald Calloway, MIC, is the spiritual director of the Marian Fathers’ Thirteenth of the Month Club, a group of Marian Helpers committed to answering the call of Our Lady of Fatima. For membership information on the Thirteenth of the Month Club, email [email protected], visit the club webpage; or call 1-800-462-7426.
For more about Our Lady’’s apparitions at Fatima, Fr. Donald recommends Fatima for Today (Product Code: FATIM2) by Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, as well as Fr. Donald’s books Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon and Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest, all available through ShopMercy.org or by calling 1-800-462-7426.
in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary include the following elements, performed with the intention of reparation for blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart, for at least five consecutive months:
•Confession (shortly before or after the First Saturday — so long as the person receives Holy Communion in a state of grace);
•Holy Communion received on the First Saturday of each month;
•the Holy Rosary, five decades recited sometime during the day; and
•meditating for 15 minutes on the Mysteries of the Rosary (one or more).
With Ecclesiastical Approval
© 2016 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.