THE GREAT PROMISE AND ITS CONDITIONS
SPIRIT OF THE DEVOTION OF REPARATION AND THE FIVE BLASPHEMIES
SR. LUCY EXPLAINS THE DEVOTION OF THE FIRST SATURDAYS
Related Page from the Immaculate Heart Directory:
FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS DEVOTION
to save us from persecution, war, annihilation, enslavement and Hell.
Fatima is a visit by Our Heavenly Mother Mary in our time for our time. It is a Message of concern, a practical plan for world peace, a promise of Heaven.
It is Heaven's intervention to save us from persecution, martyrdom, war, enslavement or annihilation. Above all it's a way to save our souls from Hell. It is meant for you and for me.
Today Our Lady, by Divine Providence, invites you to learn The Whole Truth About Fatima by giving you this opportunity to know Her beautiful Message of Fatima.
Our Lady's Message
Our Lady of Fatima came with a message from God to every man, woman and child of our century, promising that the whole world would be in peace, and that many souls would go to Heaven if Her requests were listened to and obeyed.
She told us that war is a punishment for sin; that God would punish the world for its sins in our time by means of war, hunger, persecution of the Church and persecution of the Holy Father, the Pope, unless we listened to and obeyed the commands of God.
As also prophesied, Francisco and Jacinta died in the odor of sanctity in 1919 and 1920. Lucy became a Carmelite Sister and died February 13, 2005.
Our Lady of Fatima continues to work miracles today through Fatima water which is sent from Fatima around the world. This Fatima water sprang up in Fatima at the spot the Bishop told people to dig, very near where Our Lady appeared at the Cova da Iria [the Cove of Peace] in Fatima. Still other people are cured when they go on pilgrimage to Fatima, which is about 90 miles north of Lisbon, Portugal.
She promised us, "If My requests are granted Russia will be converted and there will be peace."
But She also warned us, "If My requests are not granted, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world raising up wars and persecutions against the Church, the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated."
She has told us that the whole world [the part surviving] will be enslaved by atheistic materialism, the mentality and ideology of the Russian communists, which is not only not dead, it is part of American culture and government today, although we no longer are vigilant enough to recognize it. We would rather lose our God-given rights than not have government take care of us from the cradle to the grave.
In the end
Despite all these miracles and signs and official Catholic Church approval and recognition given to Our Lady of Fatima by hundreds of millions of pilgrims who go to Fatima, there is still much opposition to Our Lady of Fatima and Her message.
This prophetic message goes against certain people's views and short-term vested interests. This opposition comes not only in the form of open hostility such as was manifested in the early days when the 3 children were kidnapped and threatened with death in 1917 for repeating Our Lady's message; and bombing, in 1922, the first Chapel built there. But the opposition to Our Lady of Fatima today is also manifested in more subtle forms.
The devil knows that when Our Lady's full Fatima message is widely proclaimed, properly understood, loved and obeyed then his evil empire on earth will be destroyed. So the devil and his human agents, and well meaning but terribly misguided people that serve them have launched a counter-offensive against the Fatima message to obscure it and cause enough confusion so that the Faithful do not obey Our Lady and react in time.
She is relying on all of us to do our part. At least all of us can pray the Rosary. All of us can tell a friend or pass on a copy of this booklet to a neighbor. All of us have some special need or intention to ask Our Lady's powerful intercession. Pray to Our Lady of Fatima and She will help you. She will also richly reward you for all you do to make known and understood Her maternal message of love and warning given at Fatima.
The most astonishing thing about Pontevedra [where Our Lady appeared to Sr. Lucy on Dec. 10, 1925 with the Child Jesus] of course, is the incomparable promise made by Our Lady: "to all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months . . ." fulfill all the conditions requested, "I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their soul." With boundless generosity, the Blessed Virgin promises here the grace of graces, the most sublime of all graces, that of final perseverance. This grace cannot be merited even by an entire life of sanctity spent in prayer and sacrifice, for it is always a purely gratuitous gift of the Divine Mercy. And the promise is without any exclusion, limitation, or restriction: "To all those who . . . I promise."
The disproportion between "the little devotion" requested, and the immense grace attached to it, reveals to us first of all and especially the quasi-infinite power of intercession granted to the Blessed Virgin Mary for the salvation of all souls. "The great promise, [Father Alonso writes] is nothing less than a new manifestation of this love of complacency which the Holy Trinity has for the Blessed Virgin. For those who understand such a thing, it is easy to admit that such wonderful promises can be attached to such humble practices. Such souls accept the promise with filial love, and a simple heart full of confidence in the Blessed Virgin Mary."
In short, we can therefore say in all truth that the first fruit of the Communion of Reparation is the salvation of the one practicing it. Let us place no limits on the Divine Mercy, but keep to the letter of the Blessed Virgin Mary's promise: whoever fulfills all the conditions set down can be sure of obtaining at the moment of death at least------and this even after miserable lapses back into a state of grave sin------the graces necessary to obtain the pardon of God, and to be preserved from eternal chastisement.
As we shall see, however, there is much more in this promise, for the missionary spirit is everywhere present in the spirituality of Fatima. The devotion of Reparation is also recommended to us as a means of converting sinners in the greatest danger of being lost, and as a most efficacious means of intercession for obtaining the peace of the world from the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
If Our Lady wished to attach such abundant fruits to the practice of this "little devotion," is it not to gain our attention more surely and move our heart so that we can practice it, and get others around us to practice it wherever we can? For this purpose it is important to be familiar with the conditions laid down, and have a precise knowledge of them.
Since 1925, Sister Lucy has never ceased repeating them, and always in the same terms. There are five conditions, to which is added a sixth, which concerns the general intention in which the other acts requested must be done.
1. The First Saturday of five consecutive months
"All those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months . . ." This first requirement of Heaven contains nothing arbitrary nor even anything absolutely new. It fits into the immemorial tradition of Catholic piety, which having devoted Fridays to the remembrance of the Passion of Jesus Christ and honoring of His Sacred Heart, finds it very natural to devote Saturdays to His Most Holy Mother. Such is the venerable tradition which motivated the choice of Saturday.
But this is not saying enough: if we look closely, the great request of Pontevedra appears as the happy culmination of a whole movement of devotion. It began spontaneously, then it was encouraged and codified by Rome, and it seems to be nothing less than the providential preparation for what was to come later.
in honor of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
Saturdays of the month
on the First Saturdays of the month
Five years later, to the day, after this thirteenth of June, 1912, there took place at Fatima the great manifestation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, "surrounded with thorns which seemed to pierce It." Sister Lucy was to say later on: "We understood that it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, which demanded Reparation."
On November 13, 1920, Pope Benedict XV granted new indulgences to this same practice when accomplished on the first Saturday of eight consecutive months.
A traditional Devotion . . . How wonderful it is to see Heaven content itself with crowning a great movement of Catholic piety, doing nothing more than giving precision to the decisions of a Pope, and what a Pope, Saint Pius X! In the same way, the Blessed Virgin had come to Lourdes to confirm the infallible declarations of Pope Pius IX.
Let us also say this right now: in requesting the Pope to solemnly approve the devotion of Reparation revealed at Pontevedra, Our Lady was not really asking for anything impossible. Providence had prepared everything so well that in 1925-1926, this devotion was right in line with a series of papal decisions giving the forerunners and "pre-figures" of the first Saturday devotion.
Yet a very new Devotion . . . However, what new elements there are, in this message of Pontevedra! And first of all, in the concession of excessive faculties which only Heaven can take the liberty of granting: on December 10, the Virgin Mary no longer requires fifteen, twelve, or even eight Saturdays to be devoted to Her. She knows our inconstancy, and asks for only five Saturdays------as many as the decades on our Rosary.
Then, above all, the promise joined with it has increased so dramatically: no longer is it a question of indulgences [that is, the remission of punishment for sins already pardoned], but a much more signal grace, the assurance of receiving at the moment of death "all the graces necessary for salvation." A more wonderful promise could hardly be conceived, for it concerns success or failure in "the most important business, our only business: the great affair of our eternal salvation."
We have seen that it is not required that the Confession be made on the first Saturday itself. If, due to any necessity, it can be fulfilled even beyond eight days, but there must at least be a monthly Confession. However, it is certain that, as far as possible, it is preferable that the confession be made on a day close to the first Saturday.
The thought of making Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary must equally be present. In this way, notes Father Alonso, "the soul adds to the principal motive of sorrow for our sins------which will always be that sin is an offense against God, Who has redeemed us in Christ------another motive for sorrow, which will undoubtedly exercise a beneficial influence: sorrow for the offense given to the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of the Virgin Mary."
3. The Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays
The Communion of Reparation, of course, is the most important act of the devotion of Reparation. All the other acts center around it. To understand its meaning and significance, it must be considered in relation with the miraculous Communion of autumn 1916; already this Communion was completely oriented to the idea of Reparation, thanks to the words of the Angel. The Communion of Reparation must also be considered in relation to the Communion on the nine First Fridays of the month, requested by the Sacred Heart at Paray-le-Monial.
Someone might object: to receive Communion on the first Saturday of five consecutive months is almost impossible for many of the Faithful, who have no Mass in their parish on that day . . . Such is the question Father Gonçalves, Lucy's confessor, put to her in a letter of May 29, 1930:
"If one cannot fulfill all the conditions on a Saturday, can it be done on Sunday? People in the country, for example, will not be able very often, because they live quite far away . . ."
Our Lord gave the answer to Sister Lucy during the night of May 29-30, 1930: "The practice of this devotion will be equally acceptable on the Sunday following the first Saturday when My priests, for a just cause, allow it to souls." Thus not only the Communion, but also the recitation of the Rosary and meditation on the mysteries can be transferred to Sunday, for just motives of which priests are left the judges. It is easy to ask for this permission in Confession. Note once again the Catholic, ecclesial character of the Message of Fatima. It is to His priests, and not to the individual conscience, that Jesus gives the responsibility of granting this additional concession.
After so many concessions, who could still claim that he was unable to fulfill the requests of the Virgin Mary?
4. Recitation of the Rosary
In each of the six apparitions of 1917, Our Lady requested people to recite the Rosary every day. Since it is a question of repairing for offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, what other vocal prayer could be more pleasing to Her?
5. The fifteen minute Meditation on the Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary
In addition to the recitation of the Rosary, Our Lady requests fifteen minutes of meditation on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. This does not mean, of course, that a quarter of an hour is required for each mystery! Just one quarter of an hour is required for all! Neither is it indispensable to meditate each month on the fifteen mysteries. Lucy writes to Father Gonçalves: "To keep Our Lady company for fifteen minutes, while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary." To her mother, Maria Rosa, Lucy wrote essentially the same thing on July 24, 1927, suggesting only a meditation on some of the mysteries, left to free choice:
"Mother, I would also like you to give me the consolation of adopting a devotion which I know to be very agreeable to God, and which our dear Mother in Heaven has requested. As soon as I learned of it, I desired to adopt it, and see the whole world practice it.
"I hope therefore, Mother, that you will answer me by saying that you will practice it, and also try to get everyone else over there to practice it. You could not give me a greater consolation.
"It consists simply in doing what is written on this little image. The Confession can be done another day, other than Saturday. The fifteen minutes of meditation might, I think, give you some trouble, but it is quite easy. Who would have difficulty thinking about the mysteries of the Rosary? To think about the Annunciation of the Angel to Mary and the humility of our dear Mother, who seeing Herself so exalted, calls Herself the Handmaid of the Lord; at the Passion of Jesus, Who suffered so much for our love; and of our Most Holy Mother near to Jesus on Calvary? Who could not spend fifteen minutes in these holy thoughts, before the most tender of mothers?
Console in this way our Mother in Heaven, and try to get many others to
console Her in the same manner. In this way you will give myself also
unimaginable joy . . .
In this beautiful letter, Sister Lucy insists on the sixth condition, which is the principal one: each of these devotions must be accomplished "in the spirit of Reparation," towards the Immaculate Heart of Mary: "console in this way our Mother in Heaven . . ." she wrote.
6. The intention of making Reparation: "You, at least, try to console Me."
Without this general intention, without this will of love which desires to make Reparation to Our Lady to console Her, all these external practices are by themselves not enough to obtain the magnificent promise. This is clear.
The practice of the Communion of Reparation must be attentive and fervent. Our Lord explained this to Sister Lucy in His apparition of February 15, 1926: "It is true, My daughter, that many souls begin [the practice of the fifteen Saturdays], but few persevere to the end, and those who persevere do it to receive the graces promised for it. Souls that make the Five First Saturdays with fervor and to make Reparation to the Heart of your Mother in Heaven please Me more than the tepid and indifferent who make the fifteen . . ." Our Lady asks so little, but precisely so that we might apply ourselves to it from the heart. This does not mean that it will always be with much sensible fervor, but according to the great maxim of spirituality: "To will to love is to love."
The brief words of the Child Jesus and Our Lady on December 10, 1925, say it all. They suffice to make us understand the true spirit of this devotion of Reparation: "Look, My daughter, at My Heart surrounded by thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude . . . without there being anyone to make an act of Reparation to remove them . . . You, at least, try to console Me."
This image, which is so expressive, says it all: the blasphemies and ingratitude of sinners are like so many cruel thorns, which only we can remove by our acts of love and Reparation. For love, or "compassion," is the soul of all these practices. It is a question of consoling the Immaculate Heart of "the tenderest of mothers," which is so outraged.
Lucy had understood this perfectly at that very moment. The end of her letter to Monsignor Pereira Lopes, where she describes the apparition of the Child Jesus on February 15, 1926, is eloquent witness to this fact:
"Immediately after, He disappeared without my learning anything more of the desires of Heaven until now.
"And as for my own desires, [she continues] may a flame of Divine love be lighted in souls so that, being sustained in this love, they might really console the Sacred Heart of Mary. I have at least the desire to console a great deal my dear Mother in Heaven, in suffering much for Her love."
The originality of this message must be stressed. For here there is no question. at least essentially, of consoling the Blessed Virgin by having compassion of Her Heart pierced by the sufferings of Her Son. To be sure, the Message of Fatima presupposes this aspect of Catholic piety, which is already traditional. On October 13, 1917, "Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows" appeared in the sky to the three shepherds. However, the most precise meaning of the reparatory devotion requested at Pontevedra consists not so much in meditation on the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary as in considering the offenses which the Immaculate Heart of Mary now receives from ungrateful men and blasphemers who reject Her maternal mediation and scorn Her Divine prerogatives as the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven. All these are so many thorns which must be taken from Her Heart by loving practices of Reparation to console Her, and also to obtain pardon for the souls who have had the audacity to offend Her so gravely.
help us understand the true spirit of the Reparation requested by Our
of Fatima than the account of an important revelation Sister Lucy was
with on May 29, 1930.