The Five First Saturdays Devotion Explained

Our Lady spoke of the Communion of Reparation devotion of the Five First Saturdays firstly on 13 July 1917. After showing Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia the vision of hell, 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. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.

“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.

“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.”

The request for the First Saturdays devotion on 10th December 1925

By 1925 Lucia, who was now 18, had become a postulant with the Sisters of St Dorothy at Pontevedra in Spain, and on Thursday 10 December, the Blessed Virgin appeared to her and by her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was the Child Jesus. Lucia recounted that Mary rested her hand on her shoulder, while showing her a heart encircled by thorns which she was holding in her other hand.

The Child Jesus spoke first: “Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother. It is covered with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.”

Then Mary said:

“My daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

The Child Jesus again appeared to Lucia in February 1926 to encourage her to propagate this devotion, and additionally on the night of 29-30 May 1930, as she was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, she received an interior locution from Our Lord in which He said that people who had difficulty in getting to confession on the Saturday could do so within eight days, or longer still, provided that “when they receive Me they are in the state of grace and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary” (Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, vol I, pp. 193-196).

Also, Our Lord explained that the Communion of Reparation was to be made on five first Saturdays in reparation for the five kinds of offences and blasphemies uttered against Our Lady, namely: blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception, against Our Lady’s perpetual virginity, against her divine maternity and refusal to recognise her as the mother of mankind, blasphemies by those seeking to alienate children from her, and in reparation for those who outrage Our Lady in her sacred images.

The Importance of the Five First Saturdays devotion

On 13 July 1917 Our Lady had requested “the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart [by the Pope] and the Communion of reparation [by the Church] on the First Saturdays”. The first part of her request was fulfilled when Pope St John Paul II consecrated Russia in union with all the Bishops on 25 March 1984, and as a result in December 1991 the Soviet Union and its violently anti-Christian Communist ideology was dissolved, peacefully, from within.

The second part of Our Lady’s request — for the Five First Saturdays devotion — has received only a partial response in some countries, and little if at all in many others. This regrettable lack of an adequate response has permitted the grave negative consequences for the Church and the world to take place, about which Our Lady had warned, because, as Pope St John Paul II said.

The message of Fatima conditions later events on our response

In a letter to the Bishop of Fatima dated 1st October 1997, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, St John Paul II wrote that Fatima is certainly one of the greatest signs of the times of the 20th century “because its message announces many of the later events and conditions them on the response to its appeals” (our emphasis).

Today, some 30 years after he fulfilled Our Lady’s request for the consecration of Russia, we see that on the one hand the violent persecution of the Church has ceased in Russia, as a consequence of this act of consecration, and churches and monasteries are now being restored and rebuilt there at an astonishing rate, and the countries of Eastern Europe that were formerly under the sway of the Soviet Union have regained their freedom; whereas on the other hand we also see an ever-increasing proliferation of evil through the world in new forms that are continuously evolving, especially in the once-Christian West.

The one factor all these latter developments have in common, to a greater or lesser degree, is that they are animated by the spirit of the denial and rejection of God, and this, Pope St John Paul II explained in his homily at Fatima in May 1982, is what Our Lady meant by the “errors of Russia” when she warned that these errors would spread throughout the world, causing wars and persecution of the Church, etc, if people did not comply with her requests.

What is achieved by fulfilling the Five First Saturdays devotion

So to summarise what is achieved by fulfilling the Five First Saturdays devotion, in the first instance we comply with the desire of Jesus to establish devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, as revealed by Our Lady in her second apparition on 13th June 1917. She then went on to say, “I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and these souls will be loved by God, like flowers placed by me to adorn his throne”.How overflowing with goodness is God to those who fulfil his holy will !

When we fulfil the requirements for making this devotion, as revealed by Our Lady on 10th December 1925, we make reparation for the thorns of blasphemies and ingratitude which pierce Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart and by which she is offended. Our Lady then promises to assist those souls who make this devotion “at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation”. What a wonderful consolation, to know that at the moment of death when it is natural to feel a sense of apprehension, one need not fear because Our Lady will be there to assist with the graces needed to ensure eternal salvation !

And lastly, by making this devotion, we are thereby helping to fulfil the request of Our Lady on 13th July 1917 which she said will bring about the conversion of Russia and peace — “if my requests are heeded”.

First Saturdays information and prayer leaflets – 2 A6 double sided leaflets on one A4 double sided sheet

First Saturdays poster – A4 size, with space for local contact details

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary


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