What is the Catholic Tradition of First Saturday?
The Catholic devotion of First Saturdays was given to the Church by Our Lady of Fatima and the Child Jesus through the children of Fatima. It is a devotion that atones for the sorrows of Our Lady.
On July 13, 1917, Mary appeared to the children and showed them a vision of hell. Afterward, she told the children,
“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, when one of the children, Sr. Lucia, was a postulant, Our Lord appeared to her with Our Lady and showed Sr. Lucia the Immaculate heart, pierced by a sword. Our Lady said,
“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.”
How to Practice the Devotion
The devotion takes place over a period of five consecutive months and each Saturday atones for a different offense against Our Lady. The five Saturdays atone for:
1. attacks against Our Lady's Immaculate Conception.
2. attacks against her perpetual virginity.
3. attacks against her place as the Mother God and mother of all humanity.
4. those who try to implant indifference and hatred of Our Lady within the hearts of children.
5. those who insult her sacred image.
On each of these Saturdays you must:
1. receive communion in the state of grace within 24hrs of Saturday. (This usually will involve going to confession beforehand).
2. say a five decade rosary
3. meditate on the mysteries for at least fifteen minutes. This could be done all at once or you can spend three minutes on each mystery as you say the rosary.
Why Practice the Devotion?
You should first approach the practice of this devotion with love for Our Lady and Our Lord. When practiced worthily Our Lady promises to assist you at the hour of your death with all the graces necessary for salvation. Through this devotion many souls can be saved, including your own. As with any devotion, the promise is not a free ticket heaven. Rather, it is a promise of Divine assistance for those who have lived Christian lives and frequented the sacraments.