The First Saturday Devotion

to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

          The observance of the first Saturday of five consecutive months in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is intended to make reparation for the offenses, knowingly or unknowingly, directed to Her Most Immaculate Heart.

The request for this devotion was revealed by Our Lady of the Rosary to Bl. Francisco, Bl. Jacinta and Lucia to whom she appeared at Fátima, Portugal, in 1917. On June 13,1917, Our Lady clearly said to Lucia: Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. [1]

Our Lady repeated this in the July 13th apparition when, after the vision of Hell that was granted to the three little shepherds, She said: You have seen Hell, where the 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.

She wishes that, as we endure the inconveniences, suffering and heart aches of our daily life, we offer them up accompanying them by the following praying: O my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The First Saturday Devotions

Regarding the First Saturday devotions which are efficacious in honoring and making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary - She instructed us thus: I promise to help at the hour of death, with the graces needed for salvation, whoever on the First Saturday of five consecutive months shall:

1. Confess and Receive Holy Communion.
2. Recite five decades of the Holy Rosary.
3. Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.

She clarified to Sr. Lucia at a later time that the Sacrament of Reconciliation could take place up to eight days before the Saturday in question as long as the soul remained in the Sate of Grace for the Communion with God.

What exactly IS the Immaculate Heart of Mary? What does this mean to us? Pope Benedict XVI, when he was the leader of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, revealed to us the meaning of this name of Mary in his letter concerning the third secret of Fatima:

"For one terrible moment, the children were given a vision of hell. They saw the fall of "the souls of poor sinners". And now they are told why they have been exposed to this moment: "in order to save souls"—to show the way to salvation. The words of the First Letter of Peter come to mind: "As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls" (1:9). To reach this goal, the way indicated —surprisingly for people from the Anglo-Saxon and German cultural world— is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. A brief comment may suffice to explain this. In biblical language, the "heart" indicates the center of human life, the point where reason, will, temperament and sensitivity converge, where the person finds his unity and his interior orientation. According to Matthew 5:8, the "immaculate heart" is a heart which, with God's grace, has come to perfect interior unity and therefore "sees God". To be "devoted" to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means therefore to embrace this attitude of heart, which makes the fiat—"your will be done"—the defining center of one's whole life. It might be objected that we should not place a human being between ourselves and Christ. But then we remember that Paul did not hesitate to say to his communities: "imitate me" (1 Cor 4:16; Phil 3:17; 1 Th 1:6; 2 Th 3:7, 9). In the Apostle they could see concretely what it meant to follow Christ. But from whom might we better learn in every age than from the Mother of the Lord?"