The Little Devotion of Reparation:
The First Saturday of the Month Devotion
The Little Devotion of Reparation (pdf)
THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
In 1917, Our Lady appeared in Fatima (Portugal) to three children, Lucy (10 years old) and her two little cousins, Francisco (9 years old) and Jacinta (7 years old).
Our Lady would return six times to the Cova da Iria: on May 13; on June 13 when She would show Her Immaculate Heart surrounded by thorns; on July 13, when she would reveal to the children the great Secret: the vision of Hell where poor sinners go, the announcement of war, the request for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation of the first Saturdays of the month, the announcement of persecutions against the Church; on August 19; on September 13; on October 13 when she would reveal Her name: Our Lady of the Rosary. That day the great miracle of the sun took place before 70,000 people.
“God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To those who embrace this devotion I promise salvation; these souls will be favoured by God, like flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne.”
Our Lady, June 13, 1917.
What amazing words! An incredible facility is offered to us to be saved: we only have to adopt the predilection of the Heart of Jesus for the Immaculate Virgin, and to prove it to Her by fulfilling Her small requests.
Fatima is not a message of anger, even if we are threatened with terrible chastisements. No, what God is revealing to us is His Heart. That is to say, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and what is most precious this Heart: to make the Immaculate Heart of His Mother loved.
GOD WANTS this Immaculate Heart to reign so that He Himself in His Holy Trinity may be gratified in His greatest Love. He loves Mary above all, eternally, with an unrivalled preferential love, and He WANTS Her to be glorified, honoured, loved, served by all His other creatures. His absolute will to make Her the universal Mediatrix and the instrument of the salvation of our souls flows from this first, boundless love for the Immaculate Virgin.
The entire spirituality of Fatima consists in praying, asking for forgiveness, offering sacrifices to God in the name of sinners and in their stead, in reparation for their faults and in order to console the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. This was Lucy, Jacinta and Francisco’s programme for attaining holiness. How simple it is! From the outset it goes to the crux of the matter: Heaven and Hell, the thought of sin, Redemption and the communion of Saints.
“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.”
Our Lady, July 13, 1917.
In one word, Our Lady resumed the whole tragedy of our lives, the danger that threatens us, and the most urgent call to generous love for poor sinners.
“Pray, and pray much; make sacrifices for sinners,” She said on August 19, 1917, “for many souls go to Hell because there is no one to sacrifice or pray for them.”
Lucy relates in her Memoirs: “Jacinta used to tell me from time to time: ‘Our Lady said that Her Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. Don’t you love It so much? I love Her Heart so much; It is so good!’ ”
“Among the ejaculatory prayers that Father Cruz had taught us, Jacinta had chosen this one: ‘Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!
“And also: ‘Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation! Immaculate Heart of Mary, convert sinners, save souls from Hell!’ ”
“Shortly before leaving for the hospital, Jacinta told me: ‘It will not be long now before I go to Heaven. You will remain here to make it known that God wishes to establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When the time comes to say this, do not go and hide. Tell everyone that God grants us His graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that it is from Her that people are to ask for them; that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated together with His; that people are to ask the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God has entrusted it to Her.
‘Ah! If only I could put in everyone’s heart the fire that I have here, in my breast, that burns me and makes me love the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary so much!’ ”
“In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted and a certain period of peace will be given to the world.”
Our Lady, July 13, 1917.
It is the prophecy of a marvellous future for the Church and Christendom that Our Lady announces to us with absolute certainty, as necessarily going to occur in the end, after the chastisement, despite whatever may happen in the meantime. What mercy! Herein lies the source of our immense, invincible hope. “In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph”: this sentence alone is our star in the darkening night. “Ave! maris Stella!”
Thus the secret of the Secret revealed on July 13, 1917, is also the revelation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the sovereign remedy to all our ills, the ultimate and unique salvation of our souls, of our nations and of the whole of Christianity, and finally of the Roman Church herself.
It is the unfathomable design of infinite mercy of the Holy Trinity to want to grant us everything through the maternal mediation of this very good, very holy and immaculate Heart.
It is a sovereign and irrevocable decision of divine Providence, revealed to the Church by the Virgin of Fatima:
“God wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.”
THE GREAT PROMISE OF THE IMMACULATE HEART
“To those who embrace this devotion I promise salvation.”
How admirable, how stupefying is this promise made on June 13, 1917! It, however, still leaves us in a state of uncertainty. By a special grace, Jacinta felt her Heart consumed by an ardent love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What about us? We are cold, or our fervour is so short-lived! How could we ever know if we have sufficient devotion so that Our Lady would be obliged to keep Her promise to us?
Here, Heaven carries condescension to extremes, and the most sublime oracles are exchanged, translated into very small, clear, precise and easy requests that leave no room for uncertainty. A “little devotion” practiced with a good heart is enough to procure infallibly for us the grace – “ex opere operato, so to speak,” – as for the sacraments; and what a grace! the grace of eternal salvation!
“If what I am going to say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace… I shall come to ask for… the Communion of Reparation of the first Saturdays of the month.”
July 13, 1917
This is indeed the first “Secret of Mary” that we must discover and understand: it is a sure and easy way of snatching souls from the danger of Hell: first our own, then those of our neighbours, and even the souls of the greatest sinners, for the mercy and the power of the Immaculate Heart of Mary know no bounds.
THE APPARITIONS OF PONTEVEDRA AND TUY
Francisco died on April 4, 1919, and Jacinta on February 20, 1920. As for Lucy, Bishop da Silva arranged for her to enter the College of Vilar, run by the Dorothean Sisters, to be educated. She remained there from June 17, 1921 to October 24, 1925, in absolute anonymity.
She left the college only to become a postulant in the novitiate of the Dorothean Sisters, in Pontevedra, on October 25, 1925.
On the evening of Thursday, December 10, 1925, after supper, the young postulant – who was only 18 years old – returned to her cell. There she was visited by Our Lady and the Child Jesus. Let us listen to her account written in the third person in a letter to her spiritual director, Father Aparicio:
On December 10, 1925, the Most Blessed Virgin appeared to her and, beside Her, borne by a luminous cloud, the Child Jesus. The Most Blessed Virgin placed Her hand on her shoulder, and as She did so, She showed her a Heart encircled by thorns which She was holding in Her other hand.
At the same time, the Child Jesus said to her:
“Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment, without anyone making an act of reparation to remove them.”
Then the Most Blessed Virgin said to her:
“Behold, My daughter, My Heart surrounded by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and their ingratitude. You at least try to console Me and say that all those who on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for fifteen minutes whilst meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, in a spirit of reparation, I promise to assist at the hour of their death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls.”
On February 15, 1926, Our Lord appeared again to Sister Lucy:
“Have you revealed to the world what the heavenly Mother requested of you?” After saying that, He turned into a resplendent Child and gave Sister Lucy practical details about this devotion.
The most astonishing thing about Pontevedra, of course, is the incomparable promise made by Our Lady: “To all those who, on the first Saturday of five months...” fulfil 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 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.
“The great promise,” Father Alonso writes, “is nothing less than a new manifestation of this love for the Blessed Virgin that inclines the Holy Trinity to do all to please Her. For those who understand such love, 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.”
The first fruit of the Communion of Reparation is the very salvation of the one practicing it.
Whoever fulfils all the conditions set down can be sure of obtaining the graces necessary to obtain God’s pardon, and to be preserved from eternal chastisement at the moment of death at least – and this even after miserable lapses back into a state of grave sin.
There, however, is still much more in this promise, for the missionary spirit is present everywhere 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 peace for the world from the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
To practice this “little devotion” oneself and have others practice it, it is necessary to understand it well, and first to know the reasons for it.
1 – THE FIRST SATURDAY OF FIVE CONSECUTIVE MONTHS
This first requirement of Heaven fits into the immemorial tradition of Catholic piety which, after having devoted Fridays to the remembrance of the Passion of Jesus Christ and to honouring His Sacred Heart, finds it very natural to devote Saturdays to His Most Holy Mother.
Moreover, Pontevedra’s great promise appears as the appropriate culmination of a whole movement of devotion, first spontaneous, then encouraged and codified by the Supreme Pontiffs.
On June 13, 1912, Pius X granted indulgences to “a First Saturday of the month devotion of reparation.” Five years to the day later, the great manifestation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary “surrounded by thorns that seemed to be piercing it.” took place at Fatima.
“We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of mankind and seeking reparation.”
Why five Saturdays?
Sister Lucy was in Tuy, when Our Lord inspired the answer to her, on the night from May 29 to 30, 1930, during a Holy Hour in the chapel:
I suddenly felt myself more intimately possessed by the Divine Presence and, if I am not mistaken, this is what was revealed to me:
“My daughter, the reason is simple. There are five types of offences and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
– Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
– Blasphemies against Her Virginity.
– Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognise 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 offences of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images.
“That, My daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation.”
What is foremost in the message of Fatima is faith – precise, dogmatic faith. True devotion to the Blessed Virgin always and necessarily presupposes faith in Her privileges and prerogatives infallibly defined by the Church in her infallible Magisterium, or taught by the Ordinary Magisterium and unanimously believed for centuries by the faithful. This is not of secondary importance!
Therefore, those who openly, obstinately and knowingly deny the prerogatives of the divine Mary, commit odious blasphemy against Her. These grave sins are sins against faith.
This Five Saturday devotion was approved by the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima on September 13, 1939.
2 – CONFESSION.
Confession can therefore be made on the first Saturday itself, or during the preceding week, or at a monthly confession close to the first Saturday.
The thought of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary must equally be present: there is no need to formulate this intention to the confessor, but only to offer to God this confession in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“The soul adds to the principal motive of sorrow for our sins – which will always be that sin is an offence against God, Who has redeemed us in Christ – another motive for sorrow, which will undoubtedly exercise a beneficial influence: sorrow for the offence given to the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of the Virgin Mary,” Father Alonso wrote.
“My Jesus! Many souls find it difficult to confess on Saturday. Will You allow a confession within the week to count?”
– Yes. It can even be made later on, provided that souls are in a state of grace when they receive Me on the first Saturday, and that they have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
– My Jesus! And what of those who forget to formulate this intention?
– They can formulate it at their next confession, taking advantage of their first opportunity to go to confession.”
(Our Lord to Sister Lucy. Pontevedra, February 15, 1926)
3 – THE COMMUNION OF REPARATION ON THE FIRST SATURDAYS.
It is obviously the most important act of the devotion of reparation. All the other acts centre on it. To understand its meaning and significance, it must be considered in relation with the Communion of reparation on the nine First Fridays of the month, requested by the Sacred Heart at Paray-le-Monial and with the miraculous Communion of autumn 1916; already this Communion was completely oriented by the words of the Angel to the idea of reparation:
“The Angel was holding in his left hand a chalice.” Sister Lucy wrote. “A Host was suspended above it from which a few drops of Blood were falling into the chalice. Leaving the Chalice and the Host suspended in the air, he prostrated himself on the ground and three times repeated this prayer:
‘Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I ask of You the conversion of poor sinners.’
“Then, rising, he took the Chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Sacred Host to me, and shared the Blood from the Chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so: ‘Eat and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.’
“He repeated three times: ‘Most Holy Trinity…’ ”
“If one cannot fulfil all the conditions on a Saturday,” Father Gonçalves wrote to Sister Lucy on May 29, 1930, “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 from May 29 to 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 should also be noted that the Saturday evening Mass, even if it is a “Sunday Vigil Mass,” can be counted as the Mass of the first Saturday of the month.
4 – THE RECITATION OF THE ROSARY.
Our Lady insistently requested at each of her six apparitions in 1917 that five decades of the Rosary be recited every day. Since it is a question of repairing the offenses made to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, what other vocal prayer could be more pleasing to Her!
On July 13, 1917, after having shown to the children, “Hell where the souls of poor sinners go,” Our Lady recommended to them:
“When you say the Rosary, say after each decade: ‘My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Your mercy.’ ”
In the Appeals of the Message of Fatima, Sister Lucy recalls the words that Blessed Pope Pius IX said, on his deathbed, to those around him: “The Rosary is a compendium of the Gospel, and gives to those who pray it those rivers of peace of which the Scriptures speak; it is the most beautiful devotion, the most abundant in graces, and the most pleasing to the Heart of Mary.”
5- THE FIFTEEN MINUTE MEDITATION.
This does not mean 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.
Sister Lucy wrote to Father Gonçalves: “To keep Our Lady company for fifteen minutes, while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.”
Elsewhere, in a letter to her mother, Sister Lucy wrote on July 24, 1927,
“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; about the Passion of Jesus, Who suffered so much for our love; and about our Most Holy Mother near to Jesus on Calvary? Who could not spend fifteen minutes in these holy thoughts, before the tenderest of mothers?
“Adieu, dear mother. Console in this way our Mother in Heaven, and try to get many others to console Her in the same manner.”
In a letter to her confirmation godmother, from the same year 1927, Sister Lucy explains her own way of meditating for a quarter of an hour, on a mystery of her choice.
Following the method of Saint Ignatius, she begins with the preamble: put oneself in the presence of God, prayer to the Holy Spirit.
Then she ponders the mystery chosen: she remembers how Our Lady experienced it; she admires it in Her, etc...
Finally she wonders how to imitate Our Lady, and she asks Her to obtain this or that virtue for her.
Every Saturday, Sister Lucy meditates on a mystery. When she has finished the five Saturdays devoted to the Joyful Mysteries, she begins five Saturdays on the Sorrowful, then five on the Glorious Mysteries.
“When you say the Rosary, say after each decade: ‘O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Your mercy.”’
THE REPARATORY INTENTION
“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 nothing, and are worth nothing. The practice of the Communion of Reparation must be attentive and fervent:
“The souls who perform the five First Saturdays with fervour and with the aim of making reparation to the Heart of your Heavenly Mother, please Me more than those who do fifteen, but are lukewarm and indifferent.”
(Apparition of February 15, 1925 )
Our Lord asks so little, but precisely so that we might apply ourselves to it whole-heartedly. This does not mean that it will always be with much sensible fervour, for it is the will that matters, according to the great maxim of spirituality: “To will to love is to love.’’
“Behold, My daughter, My Heart surrounded by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and their ingratitude, without anyone making an act of reparation to remove them. You at least try to console Me.”
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.
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 offences that the Immaculate Heart of Mary is receiving presently from ungrateful men and blasphemers who reject Her maternal mediation and scorn Her divine prerogatives. All these are so many cruel thorns that must be removed 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.
Hence the importance of the revelation that Sister Lucy benefited from on May 29, 1930. After having enumerated the five blasphemies which gravely offend His Most Holy Mother, Our Lord gave Sister Lucy the decisive explanation that allows us to penetrate into the secret of Her Immaculate Heart, which overflows with mercy for all sinners, even those who scorn the Blessed Virgin and outrage Her:
“Here, My daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation and, taking it into consideration, move My mercy to forgive those souls who had the misfortune of offending Her. As for you, try incessantly with all your prayers and sacrifices to move Me to mercy toward those poor souls.”
Here we have one of the main themes of the message of Fatima: since, as an ultimate act of mercy, God wants to grant all graces to men through the mediation of the Immaculate Virgin, it seems that their refusal to submit with docility to that volition is the fault which most gravely wounds His Heart, and for which He no longer finds in Himself any inclination to pardon because for Our Saviour there is no crime more unpardonable than to despise His Most Holy Mother and to outrage Her Immaculate Heart, which is the Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit. It is tantamount to committing “the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will not be forgiven in this world or in the next.” (Mt 12:31-32) Sister Lucy herself suggests this connection in her interview with Father Fuentès.
Soon, on June 13, 1929, in the apparition of Tuy, which is the final fulfilment of Fatima, Our Lady would conclude the great Trinitarian theophany with these striking words:
“So numerous are the souls that the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me, that I have come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray. ”
Yes, Our Lady sadly affirms it, many souls are lost because of their scorn, their blasphemies against Her. Then, giving an example of love of enemies, She Herself intervenes, because She alone can still save these monsters of pride and ingratitude who have rebelled against Her. As ‘Mother of Mercy and Mother of Pardon,’ as we sing in the Salve Mater, She intercedes for us before Her Son: may the filial devotion of faithful souls, and the Communions of reparation offered on the five First Saturdays to console Her outraged Heart, be accepted by Him in reparation for the crimes of sinners. In view of this “little devotion,” and taking account of this “little act of reparation” to Her Immaculate Heart, may Jesus deign to grant pardon, in spite of everything, to the ingrates and blasphemers, to all the wretches who have had the audacity to offend Her – SHE, His Most Holy Mother!
As always, Our Lord grants the desire of His Mother. In this way He makes the devotion of reparation a sure and efficacious means of converting souls, many souls, among those who are in the greatest danger of being eternally lost. We must quote here a significant text in which ‘the great promise’ itself seems to be a secondary consideration, effacing itself before the primary intention of the Heart of Mary, which is the salvation of all sinners:
“It seems to me,” Sister Lucy wrote to Father Gonçalves in May 1930, “that the good God, in the depths of my heart, is insisting that I ask the Holy Father to approve the reparatory devotion, which God Himself and the Most Holy Virgin requested in 1925. In consideration of this little devotion, They wish to grant the grace of pardon to souls who have had the misfortune of offending the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Most Holy Virgin promises to assist the souls who seek to make reparation to Her in this manner, at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for their salvation.”
To save souls, all souls, “especially those who are most in need,” to snatch them all from the fire of Hell that is threatening them, is thus, in the final analysis, the principal intention of the practice of the first Saturdays of the month. This was already the intention that Our Lady indicated on August 19, 1917, urgently inviting the three shepherds to pray and make sacrifices:
“Pray, and pray much; make sacrifices for sinners for many souls go to Hell because there is no one to sacrifice or pray for them.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary has been established by Her Son as universal Mediatrix and Mother of Divine Grace. By a design of Providence, She wants to need us, our consoling love and our ‘little devotions’ of reparation, to save souls from Hell.
What an exciting and tremendous mystery the Communion of Saints is! It makes the salvation of many souls really depend on our own generosity. What an incentive also! For how can we refuse this missionary action that Our Lady expects of us? She has made it so easy to accomplish, and yet so efficacious, so fruitful, since through this devotion many souls in imminent danger of being eternally lost can obtain, in extremis and as it were in spite of themselves, the grace of their conversion.
To console the Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced with thorns, and to make reparation by prayer and sacrifice for the outrages inflicted on It by sinners, is the most precise requirement of this first part of the Secret of July 13, 1917, which Our Lady came to recall and clarify in Pontevedra in 1925 and in Tuy in 1929 and 1930:
“You, at least, seek to console Me.”
Now the most perfect sacrifice, the most efficacious prayer is, of course, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and Holy Communion offered to God in a spirit of reparation.
Finally, let us not forget that in addition to the conversion of sinners and our own eternal salvation, Our Lady wished to link to the Communion of reparation another magnificent promise: the gift of PEACE:
“To prevent war, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation of the first Saturdays of the month.
“If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace.
“If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and many nations will be annihilated?
(Apparition of Our Lady, July 13, 1917)
On March 19, 1939, Sister Lucy could write to Father Aparicio:
“War or peace in the world depends on practicing this devotion combined with the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is why I so desired its propagation, also, and above all, because this is the Will of our Good God and of our dear heavenly Mother.”
On June 20, 1939, she wrote once again to Father Aparicio:
“Our Lady promised to postpone the scourge of war if this devotion was propagated and practised. We see Her avert the chastisement to the extent that efforts are made to propagate it. I am afraid, however, that we cannot do more than we are doing and that God, displeased, will withdraw the arm of His mercy and let the world be ravaged by this chastisement. It will be a chastisement such as there has never been before, horrible, horrible.”
Thus God’s will is to have the Immaculate Heart of His Most Holy Mother honoured, because He desires Her to receive a solemn, official and public cult everywhere. Furthermore He wants Her to truly reign over the Church and over all peoples. God has entrusted Her with incomparable treasures of grace to be poured out on all Christendom. A single word suffices to evoke all these temporal benefits: peace. Well, in His love for Her and His desire to make Her the Mediatrix of all graces and the dispenser of all good, the Holy Trinity wants Her to be the source and the unique, the necessary depository of the divine gift of peace in our century. Our Lady, with motherly kindness, has come to tell us how we should ask her for this precious gift: through this “little devotion of reparation."
Sister Lucy’s letter of November 1, 1927
“It seems to me, my dear godmother, that we are fortunate to be able to give our dear Heavenly Mother this proof of love, for we know that She desires it to be offered to Her. As for myself, I admit that I am never so happy as when the first Saturday arrives. Isn’t it true that our greatest happiness is to be entirely devoted to Jesus and Mary, to love Them, Them alone, without reserve? We see this so clearly in the lives of the saints. They were happy because they loved, and we, my dear godmother, we must seek to love as they did, not only to delight in Jesus, which is of the least importance – because if we do not delight in Him here below, we will delight in Him on high – but to give Jesus and Mary the consolation of being loved... and in exchange for this love They will be able to save many souls.”
Sister Lucy’s letter of March 31, 1929.
“Your Reverence cannot imagine how great my joy is in thinking of the consolation that the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary will receive from this lovable devotion, and the great number of souls who will be saved by this lovable devotion. I say, ‘who will be saved,’ because not long ago, Our Good God in His infinite mercy asked me to seek to make reparation through my prayers and sacrifices, and preferably reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and to beg for pardon and mercy in favour of souls who blaspheme against Her, because the Divine Mercy does not pardon these souls without reparation.”
THE COMMUNION OF REPARATION
The Communion of Reparation? Straight away, it should be noted that the Communion that was requested respectively by Our Lord of Saint Margaret Mary in 1673 for the nine First Fridays of the month, and by the Blessed Virgin Herself of Lucy of Fatima for the first Five Saturdays, are both Communions of Reparation. When you come to our Houses to do your First Saturdays, it is not only to receive God’s blessing, but to make reparation for the sins of the world.
When we were children, we were told about the nine First Fridays of the month: “If you have gone to Confession and received Communion, you are sure to have the graces necessary on the day of your death to go to Heaven.”
It looked like a simple transaction: you do your nine First Fridays of the month as best you can, to gain Heaven. This way, you can be sure that, despite having committed many foolish acts, you will still make it to Heaven!
This, however, is not why Jesus asked for this practice. He asked for it out of love for Him, not only to obtain graces, but above all to console His Heart outraged by sinners and thus obtain that He forgive their horrible sins.
The same applies to the five First Saturdays: you must not think of yourself first. “When I have done five, I am sure that the Blessed Virgin will appear at the moment of my death to take me to Heaven, even if I have been very foolish or if I have behaved very badly!” No, you must make reparation.
What does “make reparation” mean? On the part of whom? For whom? For what reason? To whom? To what end? Five questions, five answers.
1) On the part of whom? On my own part; although a lukewarm Christian, I must make my First Friday forming as my own intention an act of reparation. I am the one who is going to make reparation, who is going to receive Communion and in my Communion I will have thoughts of reparation.
2) For whom? For those who need reparation, that is, for sinners, for myself, but there are many others. In our prayer of thanksgiving, we think that there are so many sinners who go straight to Hell because they have continually insulted Our Lord and the Virgin Mary.
3) For what reason? Because they wound the Heart of Jesus and Mary, the Holy Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The offence made to Jesus is greater when they insult the Virgin Mary, their Heavenly Mother, or when they cause Her sadness.
4) To whom? Reparation is made to the Sacred Heart on the First Fridays, on First Saturdays, to the Immaculate Heart.
5) To what end? For the salvation of the world.
What are the crimes that wound the Hearts of Jesus and Mary? They are the insults, the blasphemy, the impieties towards Jesus and Mary. Yet, above all, it is the blasphemy, the contempt pronounced against the Virgin, His Mother, that Jesus detests.
For example, when people burn paintings representing Her, when they destroy Rosaries, medals. It seems that this was done in the USSR. The Bolsheviks were like demons. Pope Pius XI and the bishops made us pray for all those Bolsheviks who had become rabid demons, doomed to Hell. So, it became necessary to compensate, to make reparation, to do something that blots out sin, and consoles the Heart of Jesus and Mary. Nowadays, however, it is in our own country that such things are taking place!
In the past, many people carried a Rosary or had statues in their homes. Now we no longer find an image of the Blessed Virgin, and statues are disappearing even in churches.
In addition, depraved men insult the Blessed Virgin in their words or writings, denying the dogmas and beauties of the Blessed Virgin! Now it is said that the Blessed Virgin had other children after Jesus! She Who is called ever Virgin, Who is the Mother of Jesus Christ, Son of God. To deny Mary’s virginity and divine motherhood is an impiety: it is tantamount to trampling on Her glories, to uncrowning Her. There are priests who deny Her Immaculate Conception. The priest who preaches this is heading straight for Hell. What kind of a figure will he cut when he appears before Jesus and Mary, Queen of Heaven and Angels? The Blessed Virgin will look at him with sadness, and Jesus will condemn him with fury, saying to him: “You have insulted My Mother, you, a priest!”
What can be done? It is necessary make reparation, that is, you, with your pure souls, purified by Confession, you will receive Communion and, in your Communion, you will think of so many of these outrages, like the children of Fatima used to think of the sinners they had seen falling into Hell. To stop this, there has to be holy souls who console the Blessed Virgin and Our Lord.
Our Communion on Friday is to console Jesus in His agony and that of Saturday, to console the Blessed Virgin Who had to witness Her Son’s calvary. When Christians lose the faith, no longer ever say their Rosary or prayers, She sees them from Heaven heading towards their damnation. So, it is very mysterious: She asks God the Father to forgive them so that they do not go to Hell.
Our Lady of Fatima looks sad, and She shows Her Heart pierced with thorns. These are all the blasphemies, all the insults She receives from sinners, and there are sinners even in the Catholic Church! They are stinging wounds, like that of a sword in the Heart of our Mother, insulted by Her children. Jesus cannot bear it!
So we intercede like children embracing their Mother to console Her, because wicked people have hit Her. There is no need to look far to find these people. We have many around us who no longer believe in anything, who swear, who often want to turn us away from our religion, who mock the Church, the Blessed Virgin. How we pity them! First, we must not follow them, then we must say to ourselves: if they continue like this, they will go to Hell!
The Angel of Fatima said to the children: “Console your God.” It is necessary to console Jesus, to console Mary. It is a wonderful thing. As we console our mother, when she weeps without us knowing why. And it is very sweet to our heart to be able to console her! Now, we must console the Blessed Virgin, our heavenly Mother.
Thus, every child who goes to Confession, receives Communion and then, says his Rosary, meditates before a statue or image of the Blessed Virgin on every first Saturday, is blessed by God. If some tears come to his eyes, thinking that his Heavenly Mother is so despised, this child, obviously, when he comes before Her [at the hour of his death] will be able to put his arms around Her neck. He will say to her: “O poor little Mother, how You have been mistreated by sinners, but have mercy on them!”
Asking Her to take mercy on sinners pleases Her and allows Her to act as a Mediatrix, to intercede for sinners before the great God of Heaven. If the Blessed Virgin weeps before Her Heavenly Father and asks forgiveness for sinners, they are sure to go to Heaven.
Let us trust in Her, and ask Her for the salvation of poor sinners. I say to Her: “Look at all these poor sinners!” I push them into Her arms and when She has Her arms full, zap! I squeeze myself in amongst them. So, lost in the mass, I join Her easily. It is a secret, do as I do!
Spiritual lecture given by Father de Nantes on March 1, 1997
THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS OF THE MONTH
Through the warnings of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima, we learned what Jesus was desiring, seeing that He, the unfortunate, had not had much success, and that people had not converted as He would have desired through the revelation of His love.
He said to the Blessed Virgin: “Since they are so stubborn and insensitive, unable to love Me and do what I have asked of them, despite My promises, go first, My Mother, and try to win them over, to make them fond of You, so that they may do those acts of devotion that will allow Us to save them, otherwise they will all go to Hell.”
So the Blessed Virgin descended to Fatima and later on, in other communications to the surviving seer of Fatima, Mary Lucy of the Immaculate Heart. She explained that God desires us to do the five First Saturdays of the month.
Only five, that is insignificant, but at least it is something. People, however, refuse to give Her the small amount She is demanding! So there is no need to ask for more. The five First Saturdays: that means that we go to Confession, that we receive Communion that day, and not simply to have the grace not to go to Hell and to go straight to Heaven, but so that we may receive Communion in reparation for all the blasphemy, wickedness, insults, and indecencies hurled against the Blessed Virgin.
When I was young, I used to say to myself: no one insults the Blessed Virgin. I did not know at that time that the Communists in Russia were burning all these paintings that they call icons, and which represent the Blessed Virgin.
The Blessed Virgin knew all this and asked that we receive Communion on five Saturdays in reparation. We must not forget when we receive Communion on the first Saturday, to make an act of reparation, to ask for forgiveness and, in our mind, to put our arms around the neck of the Blessed Virgin, as children do, and ask Her forgiveness.
In addition, it is necessary to recite the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary. The Rosary is composed of fifteen decades, divided into three groups: the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries. In each of these groups, there are five decades: fifty Ave Maria.
With the Rosary, we are sure to please the Blessed Virgin and God the Father, since every time She appeared in Lourdes and then in Fatima, the Blessed Virgin always had a rosary in Her hand, and She asked that it be recited.
To say one’s rosary well, it is necessary to know what the fifteen mysteries are. For this, it is necessary to meditate for a quarter of an hour on one or the other of them.
There are five events in the life of Mary, Jesus and Saint Joseph, which were happy. These are the Joyful Mysteries.
There are five events that were very sorrowful, among many others: the agony of Our Lord, all the sufferings He endured during His Passion and finally, His death on the Cross.
Then there were the Glorious Mysteries. They began with the Resurrection, the Ascension, and finally Pentecost. The Assumption and the crowning of the Virgin Mary complete this meditation, leading us to Heaven!
Meditation of Father de Nantes, June 6, 1998