Today, we follow up on our earlier post about the words of Our Lady of Fatima. In that post, “Words, just words“, we noted that,
On her second visit (June 13, 1917), Our Lady told the little shepherds,
“Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” … “I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the path that leads you to God.” … Our Lady extended her right hand and in front of her palm was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. In Lúcia’s words, “We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary outraged by the sins of humanity and seeking reparation.”
And then, the following month, after showing them the the vision of Hell, Our Lady said:
You have seen Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish throughout the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people do what I request, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end. But if people do not stop offending God, another and worse war will break out in the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you, that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine, and persecutions against the Church and of the Holy Father.
To prevent this I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.
If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, she will be converted, and some time of peace will be given to the world.”
Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité , in Volume II of the Whole Truth About Fatima quotes Sister Lúcia of Fatima’s recollection (given in the third person):
“On December 10, 1925, 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 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.”
Then the Most Holy Virgin said: “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.”
In this revelation, Our Lady of the Rosary as Mediatrix of Graces, promises the supremely valuable gift of God’s grace, that is, the gift of final perseverance, without which other gifts are worthless, “For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matt 16, 26).
Frère Michel continues, “the first fruit of the Communion of Reparation is the salvation of the one practicing it. Let us place no limits on the divine mercy, but keep to the letter of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s promise: whoever fulfills all the conditions set down can be sure of obtaining at the moment of death at least – and this even after miserable lapses back into a state of grave sin – the graces necessary to obtain the pardon of God, and to be preserved from eternal chastisement.”
The devotion of First Saturdays was not at all new, but was given a new emphasis by the Blessed Virgin. Previously, there had existed the practice of devoting Saturdays to Mary. For instance, “The Fifteen Saturdays in honor of the Most Holy Rosary”, a popular devotion of the Rosary Confraternities to receive the Sacraments and perform pious works on each of fifteen consecutive Saturdays in honor of the Fifteen Mysteries of Our Lady’s Rosary. Pope Leo XIII enriched this devotion with generous plenary indulgences.