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.
/// This is from the SSPX. It’s a great summary. ///
The Private Heavenly Apparitions of Sister Lucia of Fatima: 1925-1952. Sister Lucia towards the end of her life.
Divine Providence had not yet finished the work entrusted to the little shepherds. The Blessed Virgin told Lucia that “in order to prevent the war, I will come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the communion of reparation on the first Saturdays of the month.” Let us recall, then, the main communications with which Heaven asked Sister Lucia for both requests.
The Spreading of the Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
On December 10, 1925, Sister Lucia was then a postulant of the Dorothean Convent in Pontevedra, the Most Holy Virgin appeared to her, and by Her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was the Child Jesus. The Most Holy Virgin rested 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:
Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of Reparation to remove them.”
Immediately the Most Blessed Virgin added:
Look My daughter, 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 announce in My name that I promise to assist at the moment 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 fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making Reparation to Me.”
Why this Heavenly desire to ask for the communion of reparation of the first five Saturdays of the month? Our Lord told Sister Lucia on May 29, 1930, when she was in Tuy:
The reason for the five Saturdays of the month is simple, it is because there are five types of offenses and blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
Blasphemies against Her Immaculate Conception;
Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity;
Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize 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 offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images.
Apparitions of Our Lord
Several times, Our Lord returned to express to Sister Lucia His ardent desire of establishing in the world the devotion of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of His most Blessed Mother. He did so in March 1939, in Tuy:
Ask, He insists again, that the devotion of the first Saturdays of the month in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be recommended. The time is near when the rigor of my justice will punish the crime of many nations.”
Similarly, in May 1943, also in Tuy:
I desire most ardently the propagation of the cult of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, because the love of this Heart attracts souls to Me; it is the center from which the rays of My light and My love go through all the earth, and the unquenchable fountain from which the living water of My mercy flows into the earth.”
Sister Lucia was so attached to this Devotion, that fulfilling the mission given to her by Our Lord, she did not cease to recommend it repeatedly by letter to her correspondents. For example:
My mother, I would like also for you to give me the consolation of adopting a devotion I know is so pleasing to God and which our dear Heavenly Mother has requested. As soon as I became aware of it, I wanted to adopt it and see the whole world practice it… It consists only in doing what is written on that little image…The fifteen minutes [of meditation], is what can, it seems to me, give you difficulty; but it is quite easy. Who after all cannot contemplate the mysteries of the Rosary…Who cannot spend fifteen minutes in these holy thoughts, near the most tender of mothers?” (Letter to her mother, Maria Rosa, July 24, 1927)
I hope that Jesus, according to my desire for the spreading of this amiable devotion, will make them two ardent apostles of the reparatory devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Your Reverence cannot imagine how great is my joy in thinking about the consolation through this amiable devotion, that the Holy Hearts of Jesus [and of Mary] are going to receive, and of the great number of souls who are going to be saved by means of this amiable devotion. I am saying who will be saved, because in the little time that remains to them, our Good God, in His Infinite Mercy, has asked me to seek through my prayers and sacrifices to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to implore pardon and mercy for souls who blaspheme against Her, because the Divine Mercy will not pardon those souls without reparation.” (Letter to Fr. Aparicio, March 31, 1929)
Pope Pius XII consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart, with the future Pope Paul VI flanking him. Request for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Closely linked to devotion of reparation to the Heart of Mary is the request that the Pope consecrate Russia to His Immaculate Heart. This request was made by the Blessed Virgin in Tuy on June 13, 1929, in the famous Trinitarian Theophany, which Sister Lucia described as follows:
Suddenly a supernatural light illumined the whole chapel and a luminous cross appeared over the altar that reached up to the ceiling. In a brighter part, could be seen, on the upper part of the Cross, the face of a Man and His Body to the waist (God the Father); On His breast was an equally luminous dove (the Holy Ghost), and nailed to the Cross, the Body of another Man (Our Lord Jesus Christ). A little above the waist, suspended in mid-air, was to be seen a Chalice and a large Host onto which fell some drops of Blood from the Face of Jesus crucified and from a wound in His breast. These drops ran down over the Host and fell into the Chalice. Under the right arm of the Cross was Our Lady with Her Immaculate Heart in Her hand. It was Our Lady of Fatima with Her Immaculate Heart in Her left hand without a sword or roses, but with a crown of thorns and flames. Under the left arm (of the Cross), some large letters, as it were of crystal clear water running down over the altar, formed these words: Grace and Mercy. I understood that it was the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity that was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal. Then Our Lady said to me: ‘The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”
At the beginning of 1930, Our Lord made known to Sister Lucia dual requests -the consecration of Russia and the devotion of the Five First Saturdays of the month- were to be simultaneously transmitted to the Holy Father in Rome. Similarly, in May, 29th of 1930, after explaining to Sister Lucia the reasons for the devotion of reparation of the Five First Saturdays, Our Lord promised to put an end to the Bolshevik persecution against the Catholic church if the Pope ordered all the Bishops in the world to make a solemn act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and promised at the same time to approve and recommend the practice of the devotion of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In the wake of Pope Pius XI’s indecision to fulfill the requests of Heaven, and his diplomatic policy of “Opening to the East,” Our Lord made known to Sister Lucia the following in August 1931 in Rianjo:
You console Me a great deal by asking Me for the conversion of those poor nations (Russia, Spain and Portugal)…Make it known to My ministers, that given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My request, that they will follow him into misfortune. Like the King of France, they will repent and will do as I have requested, but it will be very late: Russia will already have spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer! But it will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.”
Sister Lucia thought often on this terrible judgment of Our Lord, ratified with a firm but distressing prophecy. And in May 1936, she asked Our Lord why did He not want to convert Russia without the Holy Father making the consecration? Jesus replied:
Because I want my whole Church to acknowledge the Consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that it may extend its cult later, and put the Devotion to My Mother’s Immaculate Heart beside the Devotion to My Sacred Heart.”
Sister Lucia exclaimed: “But the Holy Father will never believe me, Lord, unless You, Yourself move him with a special inspiration!” He replied:
The Holy Father! Pray very much for the Holy Father. He will do the Consecration, but it will be very late! Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia which has been entrusted to her.”
Similarly, Our Lord told Sister Lucia on October 22, 1940:
Pray for the Holy Father; Sacrifice yourself so that his heart will not succumb to the bitterness that oppresses him. The persecutions will increase; I will punish the nations with wars and famine: the persecution against My church will weigh heavily upon my Vicar on Earth. His Holiness will be able to shorten these times of tribulation if he fulfills My desire of consecrating the whole world, and of Russia in particular, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
A Well-Received Consecration – But Not What Heaven Wanted
Pope Pius XII, on October 31, 1942, consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but without mentioning Russia in particular, as Our Lord had requested. Sister Lucia declared the following:
Our Lord has accepted the consecration of the world of October, 1942 to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and promises to put a rapid end to the war. Furthermore, as the consecration was not done fully as He requested, the conversion of Russia will not take place for now.”
On the 15th of July, 1946, in an interview with the writer, William Thomas Walsh, Sister Lucia declared:
What Our Lady wants is for the Holy Father and all the Bishops to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, in a special ceremony. If this consecration is made, the Blessed Virgin will convert Russia and peace will reign in the world. Otherwise, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world.”
And in May 1952, the Blessed Virgin told Sister Lucia:
Make it known to the Holy Father that I continue to wait for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart. Without this consecration, Russia will not convert and the world will not enjoy peace.”
Neither did the two consecrations made by John Paul II at Fatima on May 13, 1982 and March 25, 1984, fulfill the desires of heaven, for lacking the explicit mention of Russia in them, and not having been made in union with all the bishops of the world in a special ceremony of reparation; so, that this consecration is still pending today. Sister Lucia made this known repeatedly to the people who visited her in the Carmel of Coimbra, despite the reserve imposed on her by obedience.
From the Dominicans: Five First Saturdays Devotion of Reparation as requested by Our Lady of Fátima on July 13, 1917. Our Lady said: “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. In order to save them God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I will come to ask for the Communion of Reparation.” On December 10, 1925, Our Lady returned with the Child Jesus and spoke to Sr. Lucia about true devotion of reparation to Her Immaculate Heart. Jesus spoke first: “Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with 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 Our Lady instructed Lucia about the Five First Saturday devotions. On the First Saturday of Five Consecutive Months
Make a Sacramental Confession [One can confess within 8 days of the First Saturday]
Pray the Rosary (5 decades)
Receive Holy Communion
Keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes while meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary
The Great Promise of Our Lady: “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, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”