Saturday, October 15, 2011


Eight years after the Fatima events, when Sister Lucy was living in a convent in Pontevedra, Spain, she experienced another apparition of Our Lady (see picture above). On this occasion, the Virgin returned as She had promised at Fatima to relate the specific requirements for the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.

Lucy, writing in the third person, gives the account of the December 10, 1925, visit of Our Lady and the Child Jesus:

"The Most Holy Virgin appeared to her (Sister Lucy), and by Her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was the Child Jesus. The Most Holy Virgin rested Her hand on her (Sister Lucy's) shoulder and as She did so, She showed her (Sister Lucy) a heart encircled by thorns, which She was holding in Her other hand. At the same time, the Child said:

"'Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, surrounded 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 the Most Holy Virgin said to Sister Lucy:

"Look, My daughter at My Heart surrounded by 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."

What a charming dialogue in which the Child Jesus and His Mother take turns speaking -- He, to plead Her cause, while She makes Her requests ... to lead us back to Him.

The devotion of the Communion of Reparation on the Five First Saturdays, mentioned by the Virgin at Fatima on July 13, 1917, and then confirmed at Pontevedra as described above, forms an essential part of the Message of Fatima.

The most astonishing thing at Pontevedra is the incomparable promise made by Our Lady.

The Most Holy Virgin grants there, with unmeasurable generosity, the grace of final perseverance, which not even a holy life of prayer and sacrifice will necessarily merit, for it is always a gratuitous gift of the Divine Mercy. The promise is without any restrictions.

The disproportion between the little devotion requested, and the grace which is attached to it, reveals to us the almost infinite power of intercession conceded to the Blessed Virgin Mary for the salvation of souls.

Let us keep to the letter the promise of Our Lady that whoever will have fulfilled all the wanted conditions, can be sure of obtaining, at least at the moment of death, and even after miserable relapses into a state of grave sin, the graces necessary for salvation in order to obtain God's pardon and be preserved from eternal punishment.

In calling for the Five First Saturdays, Our Lady was, in a way, reiterating the First Saturday devotions previously approved by the Church.

On July 1, 1905, St. Pius X approved and granted indulgences for the practice of the first Saturdays of twelve consecutive months in honor of the Immaculate Conception. On June 13, 1912, finally, he granted new indulgences to the practice of the first Saturday of each month. This practice greatly resembled the request of Pontevedra.

In order to promote the piety of the faithful towards Mary Immaculate, Mother of God, and in order to repair the outrages made against Her holy name and against Her privileges by wicked men, Pius X has granted, for the first Saturday of each month, a plenary indulgence, applicable to the souls in Purgatory. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The rosary is a form of combined prayer and meditation that has been around for over 1200 years.  The origin of the rosary dates back to the ninth century where Irish monks would recite and chant the 150 Psalms of the Bible as a major part of their worship.  People living near the monasteries were drawn towards this beautiful and harmonious devotion, and they became very eager to join in with the monks' prayers. 

Unfortunately, the people were not able to adapt to this form of prayer because the psalms were very hard to memorize and printed copies of the psalms were not readily available.  As a result, it was suggested to the people outside the monastery that they recite a series of 150 "Our Father" prayers in place of the psalms.

As this form of devotion became increasingly popular, people started to devise methods in order to keep track of their prayers.  At first, 150 little pebbles were placed inside small leather pouches to keep count.  Since this method was rather troublesome, a thin rope having 50 knots on it was used instead (it was used three times for a total of 150 prayers). Eventually, the instrument of choice became the use of string with small pieces of wood.

In later years, the Irish monks traveled throughout Europe and brought this form of devotion with them.  In some areas, both clergy and lay people began to recite the "Angelic Salutation" (the first part of what we now know as the "Hail Mary") as part of this devotion.  The popularity of this prayer led to the adoption of 50 Angelic Salutations being said for each piece of wood or knot on the prayer string.

During the 13th century, Medieval theologians began to interpret the 150 psalms as veiled mysteries about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  They began to write a series of Psalters, or praises, in honor of Jesus for each interpretation of the psalms.  In addition, 150 Psalters honoring Mary were also composed.  In order to fit the existing prayer string, these Psalters were divided into groups of 50 and were referred to as "Rosariums".  Although "rosarium" refers to roses and rose gardens, it was used to signify a collection of prayers which could be compared to a bouquet of roses. 

As we see today, the rose is a very popular symbol associated with our Blessed Mother Mary and it is a sign that she often uses as she did in the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The interpretation of the psalms into written Psalters lead to the implementation of special thoughts or meditations being attached to each bead.  This innovated version of the rosary was widely spread by Blessed Alan de la Roche of the Dominican Order, as it revived the divinely inspired works that St. Dominic and his Rosary Confraternity had initiated some hundred years earlier.  The prayers of the Rosarium were later broken out into sets of 10 and these groupings became known as decades.  Each decade of ten "Hail Mary" prayers would be preceded by one "Our Father".

Around the year 1700, the thoughts used in the rosary started to become narratives.  St. Louis de Montfort composed the most common set of narratives that eventually became used as meditations for each decade of the rosary.  These narratives were divided into five Joyful, five Sorrowful, and five Glorious meditations that are referred to as "mysteries".  Just recently, in 2002, Pope John Paul II introduced another set of five meditations referred to as the "Luminous Mysteries".

As you can see, the rosary we know today is the result of many evolutions dating back several hundred years.  Although the manner in which the rosary is recited has changed, the results of praying the rosary are still the same.  Countless interventions still occur today, and the power and divine graces the rosary offers are available to everyone who is willing to give it a chance.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


In the apparition of July 13 in Fatima, Our Lady announced: ‘In order to avoid war, I’ll return to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Reparation Communion of the First Saturdays’.

She returned to ask for the latter devotion, when She appeared to Sr. Lucy on December 10, 1925, in Pontevedra, Spain. She said then: ‘Look, My daughter, at My Heart surrounded by the thorns with which ungrateful men at every moment pierce Me through blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me and tell that I promise to assist, at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for their salvation, all those who, in the First Saturday of five consecutive months, went to Confession, received Holy Communion, recited five decades of the Rosary and made Me company for fifteen minutes, while meditating in the 15 mysteries of the Rosary, all with the intent of making reparation to My Immaculate Heart’.

Our Lady showed then Her Heart surrounded with thorns, which represent our sins. She called for acts of reparation, in order to remove them, namely the reparation devotion of the five First Saturdays of the Month. In exchange, She promises us ‘all the graces necessary for salvation’.

Jesus Himself, appearing to Sr. Lucy in the following two years, on February 15 of 1926 and December 17 of 1927, insists on the spreading of this devotion. Sr. Lucy wrote: ‘War or peace in the world depend on the practice of this devotion of the First Saturdays, together with the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary’.

Why five?
The First Saturdays are five, according to this revelation of Jesus, because ‘five are the kinds of offenses and blasphemies directed at the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

1.  Blasphemies against Her Immaculate Conception.

2.  ...against Her Virginity.

3.  ...against Her Divine Maternity, including the refusal to receive Her as Mother of all men.

4.  Offenses of those who try to instill in the hearts of children indifference, contempt and even hate against this Immaculate Mother.

5. ...of those who offend Her directly in Her sacred images’.

The conditions to gain the privilege of the First Saturdays are four:

l. Confession. For each First Saturday a confession with intention of reparation is needed. It may be made in any day, before or after the First Saturday, provided one is in the state of grace when receiving Communion.The seer asked: - ‘My Jesus, people may forget to formulate that intention (of reparation)!? Jesus replied: - They can do it in the following confession, taking advantage of the first opportunity they have to go to Confession’.
The other three conditions must be fulfilled on the First Saturday itself, except if a priest, for just cause, grants that they may be fulfilled on the following Sunday.

2. Communion of Reparation.

3. Five decades of the Rosary.

4. Meditation, during 15 minutes, on one, several or all mysteries. It is equally good to meditate, instead, for three minutes, before each of the five decades of the Rosary being recited.

In all these practices one must have the intention of doing reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Devotion of the Five First Saturdays of the Month was approved by the Bishop of Leiria on September 13,1939, in Fatima.
(Pope Pius XII)

Queen of the Holy Rosary, Help of the Christians, Refuge of the human race, Conqueress in God’s battlefields, to You and to Your Immaculate Heart.

In this tragic hour of human history, we entrust and consecrate ourselves, and the Holy Church. She is the Mystical Body of Your Jesus, suffering and bleeding in so many parts and tormented in so many ways, we consecrate to You the whole world torn by bitter strive and consumed by the fire of hatred the victim of its own wickedness.

Look with compassion to all material and moral destruction to the suffering and fears of fathers and mothers of husbands and wives, of brother and sisters and innocent children. Look at the many lives cut down in the flower of youth so many bodies torn to pieces in brutal slaughter so many souls tortured and troubled and in danger of being lost eternally.

Oh, Mother of Mercy, obtain peace for us from God! Obtain especially those graces, which can convert human hearts quickly. Those graces, which can  prepare, establish and insure peace. Queen of Peace, pray for us; Give the world at war the peace for which all are longing, Peace in Truth, Justice and the Charity of Christ. Give them peace of the arms and peace of mind, that in tranquillity and order the Kingdom of God may expand.

Grant Your protection to infidels and to those still walking in the shadow of death; give them peace and permit that the sun of truth may raise upon them; and that together with us they may repeat before the Only Saviour of the World: Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth among men of good will (Lk2.14).

Give peace to the people separated by error and schism, particularly those, who have special devotion to You and among whom there was no home, where Your venerable Icon was not honoured, though at present it may be hidden in the hope for better days. Bring them back to the One Fold of Christ, under the One True Shepherd.

Obtain peace and complete liberty for the Holy Church of God, check the spreading flood of neo-paganism, arouse within the faithful love of purity the practice of Christian life and apostolic zeal, so that the people who serve God, may increase in merit and number. All of humanity were once consecrated to the Heart of Your Son. All our hopes rest in Him, Who is in all times sign and pledge of victory and salvation.

Forever we consecrate ourselves to You and to Your Immaculate Heart, Oh, Mother and Queen of the World! May Your love and patronage hasten the victory of the Kingdom of God, may all nations, at peace with each other and with God, proclaim You Blessed and sing with You from one end of the earth to the other, the eternal Magnificat of glory, love and gratitude to the Heart of Jesus, in which alone, they can find Truth, Life and Peace.