This is a devotion of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, done to honour
Our Lady's sorrows as suggested by Our Lord in an apparition to Sister Lucia a visionary
from Fatima in 1925 and as requested by Our Lady.
The First Saturday Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was first mentioned by Our Lady of Fatima on July 13, 1917. After showing the three children a 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... I shall come to ask for... the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays..."
Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Mary and the Child Jesus appeared to Lucia, (already postulant at that time in the Dorothean house at Pontevedra, Spain) the only surviving Fatima visionary. Our Lady rested her hand on Lucia's shoulder, revealing a heart encircled by thorns.
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..."
Our Lady's conditions for this devotion
Our Lady spoke next, saying: "Look, my daughter, 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 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 fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me."
Why Five Saturdays?
Christians have always honored the Blessed Virgin on Saturday because of her constant faith in Jesus on that first Holy Saturday before the Resurrection.
Five first Saturdays of reparation were requested to atone for the five ways in which people offend the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1.attacks upon Mary's Immaculate Conception
2.attacks against her Perpetual Virginity
3.attacks upon her Divine Maternity and the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all mankind
4.for those who try to publicly implant in children's hearts indifference, comtempt and even hatred of this Immaculate Mother
5.for those who insult her directly in her sacred images.
Letter of Sister Lucia explaining this devotion:
1 November, 1927, letter to Dona Maria de Miranda, her godmother,
Sister Lucia wrote:
"I don't know if you already know about the reparatory devotion of the five Saturdays to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As it is still recent, I would like to inspire you to practice it, because it is requested by Our dear Heavenly Mother and Jesus has manifested a desire that it be practiced. Also, it seems to me that you would be fortunate, dear godmother, not only to know it and to give Jesus the consolation of practicing it, but also to make it known and embraced by many other persons.
"It consists in this: During five months on the first Saturday, to receive Jesus in Communion, recite a Rosary, keep Our Lady company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, and make a confession. The confession can be made a few days earlier, and if in this previous confession you have forgotten the (required) intention the following intention can be offered, provided that on the first Saturday one receives Holy Communion in a state of grace, with the intention of repairing for offenses against the Most Holy Virgin and which afflict Her Immaculate Heart.
"It seems to me, my dear godmother, that we are fortunate to be able to give Our dear Heavenly Mother this proof of love, for we know that She desires it to be offered to Her. As for myself, I avow that I am never so happy as when first Saturday arrives. Isn't it true that our greatest happiness is to belong entirely to Jesus and Mary and to love Them and Them alone, without reserve? We see this so clearly in the lives of the saints...They were happy because they loved, and we, my dear godmother, we must seek to love as they did, not only to enjoy Jesus, which is the least important -- because if we do not enjoy Him here below, we will enjoy Him up above -- but to give Jesus and Mary the consolation for being loved...and that in exchange for this love they might be able to save many souls."
The Work of God