Five First Saturdays: What the tiniest parish in North America is doing

There are two conditions for the conversion of Russia and a period of peace being granted to the world: (1) the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary [✔] AND (2) the Five First Saturdays.

I’d like to see all the major Catholic websites and (arch)diocesan websites and newspapers right around the world making a push for the Five First Saturdays. While those running such websites might not look at that as a necessity because those involved already did the Five First Saturdays as kids and assume that everyone else did as well, I’d say that not everyone has heard of them much less done them, or even had the opportunity to do them. Do all Catholic parishes still have Saturday confessions or even ever have confessions? Are the Five First Saturdays preached up anywhere? A parish here or there, maybe, but…

In this tiniest of parishes in North America, Holy Redeemer in Andrews, NC, which is at least as remote as Fatima was in the Santarém District of Portugal back in 1917, we’ve added a Saturday morning 9:00 AM Holy Mass specifically for the Five First Saturdays, not just for the next five first Saturdays, but for as long as we can, until I’m transferred or die. Here’s our clever way of doing things:

  • Holy Mass with a homily at least 15 minutes long accompanying our Lady meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Our first go at this included the mysteries were the Finding of Christ Jesus in the Temple and the Agony in the Garden, speaking about what the accompaniment of Jesus was with His dear Mother. I hope I recorded that. I’d like to put that up in another post. Tears were flowing.
  • Holy Communion, of course.
  • Confessions were available before and after Mass, as always. We also have two more sessions of confessions later in the day on Saturday. By the way, this condition can be fulfilled anytime from eight days before that first Saturday of the month until eight days afterward.
  • After Mass there is a third part of the Rosary together (itself a condition for a plenary indulgeance).
  • I make sure to tell everyone to do all this in reparation for the outrages and sacrileges committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which, you have to know, are very directly outrages and sacrileges committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

We also had a retreat for the youth of the parish on this first Saturday. They had the opportunity for the fulfillment of the Five First Saturdays. We made sure that their schedule included what was needed. A really wonderful day in the parish altogether. Very consoling.

Meanwhile, an anecdote is in order, as always. 12 July 1976, vigil of the anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima in which the three children saw the souls of sinners falling like snowflakes into hell during a blizzard, I was a Fatima Cadet at 16 years old and had the privilege that night of helping to carry the statue of the Cova da Iria from the far side of the old location of the pillar of the Sacred Heart of Jesus all the way to the Cova (with me not being changed out by the gentlemen in charge of cycling the – I think twelve – bearers when he saw how eager I was to continue). Back in the day, there were no barricades. The crowd was pressing in, and it was not motorized. In 1976, there was an unusually large crowd present, even for back in the day, 2.2 million pilgrims. Here’s a modern video of the “Ave”.

I was still trying at that time – brat that I was – to do the Five First Saturdays, I thought unsuccessfully.

It turns out that I was being quite scrupulous. I made my intention on those Saturdays to fulfill the conditions for a First Saturday, particularly the one about reparation. But, sure enough, when it came to actually making my confession I would forget about that intention while confessing. Of course, such immediacy of intention is not required in the least. As the months went by I even convinced myself that during the confession I had to tell the priest that I was doing this confession also in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But that’s totally unnecessary. That detail would always bring confusion to the priest. When I realized that saying such a thing was a good instruction for the priest, I would entrench in saying this, though with a bit of timidity, as it might cause a whole other conversation with the priest somewhat tolerating this, or not very well tolerating this, or with him even becoming a bit impatient.

But five consecutive first Saturdays? Did I complete them consecutively? Did I do them correctly? I honestly can’t remember. I’m sure our Lady appreciates another go at it, you know, making it a lifelong practice. It can be done. For example, just the other day, the first Friday of the month, a gentleman just finished nine consecutive First Fridays. Nine. But that’s another post for another day.

Long story short, Jesus and His dear Immaculate Mother want to get us to heaven.

8 Comments

Filed under Fatima

8 responses to “Five First Saturdays: What the tiniest parish in North America is doing

  1. pelerin

    I have been a Catholic for nearly 57 of my 79 years and this blog was the first to inform me of the ‘Five First Saturdays.’ Thank you Fr George.

  2. nancyv

    yep yep yep, you are so right (again) about our ignorance of the Five First Saturdays…my friend was telling me that someone else told her the Saturday vigil Masses took care of that. No No No I told her. We are so lost in our comfort and convenience. So hopefully, this latest Act of Consecration will be a turning point.

    • nancyv

      ok, from your comment below, darn it, I told my friend wrongly. The problems of the world start with people like me who think they know it all.

  3. I just got goosebumps watching that video of the huge crowds at Fatima and people singing the Ave with the processed statue of Mary (and me singing long with them ) Wow!

  4. Joisy Goil

    Father George, thanks for posting this info. I too had occasions when in confession I would mention Fatima and be met with, (what seemed at least to be) total ignorance of Our Lady’s words and requests. This in turn baffled me – because I always thought priests would be the authority on anything Catholic. I hope I wasn’t being unfairly critical, but this has always confused me.
    Anyway, my question is this. Can the first five Saturdays be fulfilled if a person attends mass on Saturday and then again on Sunday? I mean attending the Saturday vigil mass rather than a daily mass on Saturday and then the regular Sunday mass. Because in our area there are only two parishes that offer daily mass on Saturday. In fact, due to the priest shortage quite a few of the local parishes don’t even offer daily mass on all the six weekdays.

  5. sanfelipe007

    “Holy Mass with a homily at least 15 minutes long accompanying our Lady meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Our first go at this included the mysteries were the Finding of Christ Jesus in the Temple and the Agony in the Garden, speaking about what the accompaniment of Jesus was with His dear Mother. I hope I recorded that. I’d like to put that up in another post. Tears were flowing.”

    YES, yes, yes! Meditating on the Mysteries as a way of accompanying Mary is great, but seeing things from her perspective is much more fruitful. My own demeanor changed when adding when mentioning Aussie Mum (which brought my own departed mother’s struggles to mind) to the Lord in my contemplation of His Mother’s pain.

    It is never about us, alone, is it?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.