In 1930, Sister Lucia asked Our Lord Jesus Christ why five First Saturdays instead of any other number. Sister Lucia said that Our Lord explained that there are five offenses against the Immaculate Heart of His Mother which require reparation. They are:
- Blasphemies against the 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.
The truth of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Mother of God is the basis for all devotion to Mary. By undermining it, satan weakens and corrupts all devotion to Mary, who is the Mediatrix of our salvation. God the Father willed to give the world His only begotten Son through a woman, and to this end, He decreed that this Woman be perfectly, flawlessly pure, with no slightest stain of sin, ever. Satan rages at this fact and in these days, strives with all his might to eradicate this truth from the hearts of men, the better to deprive them of the most effective assurance of their adherence to their Savior Jesus Christ, her Son.
The most recent notable example of blasphemy against the Immaculate Conception is Pope Francis’ homily in December, 2013 when he suggested that Mary may have responded to the humiliations of Jesus in His Passion with, “Lies, I was deceived!”. It is difficult to think of a more unfitting comment from the “Holy Father”. The fact that this insulting remark drew so little attention from mainstream Catholic commentators is proof positive that they either do not know their faith or simply could not care less about something so boringly ordinary as the Vicar of Christ blaspheming the Mother of God.
For blasphemy against the perpetual virginity of the the Blessed Mother, a perfect example was given in the 2003 book on dogmatic theology written by Gerhard Muller. His name should be familiar because he is now, in an ironic turn of fate, the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Muller says of the the perpetual virginity of Mary,
“It is not about specific physiological peculiarities in the natural process of birth of Jesus (such as the birth canal not being opened, the hymen not being broken, and the absence of birth contractions), but rather about the healing and saving influence of the Redeemer’s grace on human nature. …The content of the faith statement, therefore, does not refer to physiologically and empirically verifiable somatic details. Rather, it recognizes already in the birth of Christ the initial signs of the eschatological salvation of the Messianic end time which dawned with Jesus. (“Catholic Dogmatics. For a Study and Practice of Theology” (Katholische Dogmatik. Für Studium und Praxis der Theologie) Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Freiburg: Herder, 2003, p 498).
Atila Sink Guimaraes pointed out in Animus Injuriandi I (Desire to Offend), that for a Catholic to question the virginal birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, “constitutes a supreme offense to the Faith. It is even graver because the Church has repeatedly pronounced herself on this matter.” (Margaret Galitzin at www.traditioninaction.org). To be fair to Muller, he is only echoing what many theologians from Vatican II onwards have stated, among them, Karl Rahner and Leonardo Boff, who is a favorite of Pope Francis.
For blasphemies against the Maternity of Mary, especially her maternity of mankind, one of the best examples is the way the Second Vatican Council scorned the proposed schema on the Blessed Virgin Mary in favor of a watered down, weakened tribute that deliberately left loopholes. This complex issue is covered in many books about the Council, but Dr. Roberto de Mattei’s, “The Second Vatican Council, an unwritten story” has many well documented examples of the expressed intentions of the Council Fathers to minimize the role of Mary in order to promote ecumenism. He references Congar, Rahner, Laurentin, Frings and others, but perhaps the most telling quote was the one from Pope John XXIII when he was Patriarch of Venice. In a letter of 22 April, 1954, he wrote of Mary,
“Jesus dying said to John: Behold your Mother – this is sufficient for the faith and for the liturgy. The rest may be edifying (and it is mostly) and for many pious and devout souls, moving; but for many, many more, even if they are well-inclined towards the Catholic Church – it is irritating – and as we say these days – counter-productive”.
And Pope Francis would heartily agree with Roncalli, whom he has since canonized.
The fourth offense against Our Blessed Mother is that of sowing scorn, hatred or indifference for our Blessed Mother in the hearts of her children. That is to say, the heretical corruption of Catholic catechesis that has occurred in the post-conciliar church. Father John Hardon spoke of this in an article entitled, “The Blessed Virgin in Modern Catechetics” in The Immaculata Magazine, Conventual Franciscan, 1980.
Father Hardon affirmed that, “a considerable number of leaders in American religious instruction, all nominally Catholic and some highly influential, simply do not believe in Mariology in any traditional sense of the term.” He noted that post-conciliar catechesis is experiential, not dogmatic, and he stated, “the Blessed Virgin is part of the doctrinal possession of Catholic Christianity. So that to teach Catholic doctrine means to teach Mary as belonging to the mystery of the Incarnation and the Mystical Body of Christ.” Father Hardon cited numerous examples, especially in the Teacher’s Instructions for the Catholic Catechism,
“Remember that Mary had no part in the active life of the Church. … Do not picture to your class the apostles going to Mary for advice on how they would teach the truth Christ left with them. (Catholic Catechism, Bk. II, Teacher’s Book, Australia and Hong Kong, Huntington, IN)
Father Hardon’s article in the Immaculata Magazine concluded with his heartfelt warning against ignoring Mary’s role in our faith, “Unless catechetics pays due respect to Mary it will not give due honor to Christ, and without Christ there is no Christianity.” This is precisely the point!
The final offense against Our Blessed Mother is that of outraging her directly in her images. Perhaps the first image that comes to mind is that of the Muslim defamation of the statues that have been in the news. But this is also done on a routine basis by modern church “art”. The ugly images of Mary, which are found in the modern churches of the Novus Ordo church are examples of outraging her in her images.
But this matter actually goes deeper than all that, in fact, it sums up all the foregoing offenses, because it represents the entire goal of the devil’s attack on Mary, which is to obliterate her image in the church, and negate her role in salvation. The Immaculata is the arch-enemy of Satan. She is the Mother of our Savior, and He chose her from all eternity to be the one who would give Him the very Body and Blood He with which He would save us and continue through the ages to nourish us. Therefore to strike at Mary is to strike at Jesus Christ Himself in a most particular way.
These are just a few thoughts on the subject of the Five Offenses to Mary. I offer them in hopes that others, more capable than I am, may be moved to expand on them to the profit of all who are devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In any event, perhaps someone reading this will be encouraged to renew their efforts to make the First Saturdays of Reparation to our Dearest Mother and even assist others to do so!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us all now and at the hour of our death.
Viva Cristo Rey.