Every month in the Catholic calendar has a certain devotion or saint to whom it is dedicated. December is the Month of the Immaculate Conception.
Join us for First Saturday Devotion, December 3rd, at 8:30 a.m. at St. John Cantius Church.
“One of the most important aspects of the Fatima message was Our Lady’s request for the First Saturday devotion. In the July 13, 1917, apparition at Fatima, Our Lady said to the children, ‘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 . . I shall come to ask for the Communion of Reparation on the first Saturdays.’ She came expressly with the request for this devotion when she appeared to Sister Lucia on Dec. 10, 1925, in Pontevedra, Spain, where she was preparing for religious life.”
“Our Lord told Sister Lucia that there are five ways that people offend and blaspheme against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These blasphemies offend God, because they offend against the work of the Holy Spirit in the creation and re of Mary in salvation history.”
These five ways are:
1. Offences against Her Immaculate Conception by denying or ridiculing it,
2. Offences against Her Perpetual Virginity,
3. Offences against Her Divine Maternity by refusing to accept Her as the Mother of all mankind,
4. Implanting indifference, contempt and even hatred against this Immaculate Mother in children’s hearts,
5. Insults directed against Her sacred images by ridiculing and inflicting damage to them.
To practice the First Saturday Devotion one must do the following with the intention to make reparation for the offenses against the Immaculate Heart:
1. Go to Confession,
2. Receive Holy Communion at any Mass on the day of the First Saturday Devotion (either a morning Mass or an evening anticipated Mass),
3. Pray five decades of the Rosary,
4. Keep Our Lady company for fifteen minutes while meditating on one or more of the mysteries of the Rosary.
Our Lord told Lucia that if people cannot go to confession on the first Saturday, it can be within 8 days, and that it “can be longer provided that when they receive Me on the first Saturday, they are in a state of grace and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
One can practice the First Saturdays individually or together with others. The Rosary and the fifteen-minute meditation can be done anytime during the day. If a Mass is not available on the First Saturday, one can offer a Spiritual Communion in reparation to the Immaculate Heart on the First Saturday by praying in the following or similar manner:
“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.”
Our Lady promised to assist all those who will practice the First Saturday Devotion on five consecutive months with the graces necessary for salvation at the hour of their death. This, however, does not automatically guarantee one’s entrance into heaven because one must also cooperate with the graces given and live a life in conformity with the gospel.
At Fatima Our Lady said that “many people go to hell because there is no one to offer sacrifices for them.” The First Saturday Devotion atones for their sins, consoles the Immaculate Heart of Mary and is a spiritual act of mercy. Its regular practice is a sign of one’s devotion to the Immaculate Heart and a desire to make reparation for the blasphemies against Her. It also helps us develop the habit of regular confession which is necessary for growth in the spiritual life.
Of this devotion Sister Lucia wrote: “Our Lady presented another rung on the ladder to salvation to her children, increasingly oppressed by sin, to help them live in the grace of God. It was a new invitation to conversion by a Mother who, grieved and concerned about the dangers and fears that her children face, patiently guides them along a more secure path.”
(Information taken from: https://www.bluearmy.com/first-saturday-devotion/)