First Saturday Devotion

Mary fatima e1629740147658At Fatima on 13 July 1917 the shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, were shown the vision of hell by Our Lady, who then said, so kindly and sadly:

“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 …  I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays … 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.”

On 10th December 1925, the Blessed Virgin appeared again to Lucia, with the Child Jesus. Mary rested her hand on Lucia’s shoulder, and showed her a heart encircled by thorns in her other hand. The Child Jesus spoke first:

“Have pity 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 make an act of reparation to remove them.”  Then Mary said:

“My daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it 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 all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”


It signifies the intimate union of Mary’s Immaculate Heart with the Sacred Heart of her Son. Mary’s heart, “opened with the words, ‘Woman, behold your son’ (Jn 19: 26) is spiritually united with the heart of her Son, opened by the soldier’s spear”, Pope John Paul II taught in his homily at Fatima, on 13th May 1982.

In this devotion, Jesus Himself desires reparation for the sins which pierce His Mother’s sorrowful heart, maternal symbol of her merciful love and desire for the salvation of all mankind in Him. If you practice this devotion, Mary promises to come with the “graces necessary for salvation” at the supreme moment of death.



The First Saturday Devotion

With the intention of making reparation for the offenses against the Immaculate Heart, we are asked to:

Go to Confession (may be 8 days before or after, if you are in a state of grace)
Receive Holy Communion (can be received at a Saturday evening anticipatory Mass)
Pray five decades of the Rosary
Keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes while meditating on one or more of the mysteries of the Rosary.

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 role of Mary in salvation history.

1.  Offences against her Immaculate Conception – by denial or ridicule
2. Against her Perpetual Virginity
3. Against her Divine Maternity, refusing to accept her as the Mother of all mankind
4. Those who implant in children’s hearts, indifference, contempt and even hate against this Immaculate Mother
5. Insults directed against her sacred images – ridicule and the infliction of damage to them.

The Great Promise
Our Lady promised to assist all those who will practice the devotion of the first Saturday on five consecutive months with the graces necessary for salvation at the hour of their death. This is not a guaranteed passage into heaven. Our cooperation with grace is always required.  

Monthly practice as a sign of our devotion

Our regular practice of the First Saturdays is a sign of our devotion to the Immaculate Heart and a desire on our part to make reparation for the blasphemies against her.  Our Lady said at Fatima, “Many people go to hell because there is no one to offer sacrifices for them.”   Practicing the First Saturday devotion monthly atones for their sins, consoles the Immaculate Heart of Mary and is a spiritual act of mercy. It also helps us develop the habit of monthly confession, to aid in our spiritual growth.

Sister Lucia wrote of this devotion: “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.” 

Fulfilling the requirements when opportunities are limited

One can practice the First Saturdays individually or communally.  The Rosary and 15 minute meditation can be said at anytime during the day.

If a Saturday morning Mass is not available, you can offer your Holy Communion at a Saturday evening anticipatory Mass.  There is no need to attend Mass again on Sunday.  You may also offer a Spiritual Communion in reparation to the Immaculate Heart, if a Mass or Holy Communion is not available on first Saturday.

Spiritual Communion

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 Lord told Lucia that if people cannot go to confession on the first Saturday, it can be within 8 days, and “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.”


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