When we speak of the Fatima Devotions we are usually referring to 4 specific practices which are direct responses to what we identify as Our Lady’s Fatima requests. In the simplest of terms these can be expressed as follows:
1. Daily Reparation; 2. Daily Rosary; 3. the Brown Scapular; and 4. the 1st Saturday Communions of Reparation.
Daily Reparation is related to the July 13 apparition during which Our Lady requested it in saying: “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” [You may recognize the “O Jesus,…” as the words of The Sacrifice Prayer.]
The shepherd children, and all of us by extension, were taught how to honor this request of Our Lady during the 2nd apparition of the Angel in 1916 when he said: “Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. … Above all, accept and bear with submission, the suffering which the Lord will send you.”
Daily praying of the Rosary was asked for during each of the six apparitions in 1917, and the Rosary is one of the 4 elements of the 1st Saturday Communions of Reparation.
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For English, please click here: How To Pray the Rosary
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The wearing of the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as one of Our Lady’s Fatima requests is based upon her last appearance on October 13, 1917.. During what has come to be known as The Miracle of the Sun, while the crowd was witnessing the solar phenomena, there were three apparitions only the children saw. During the 3rd Our Lady appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Brown Scapular is, in fact, a miniature version of the Carmelite habit.
We are not. however, simply asked to wear the scapular. We are called to embrace and live the consecration to Our Lady it signifies. We wear the scapular 1st as a sign of our consecration; 2nd as a reminder of that consecration; and finally as a protection against the snares of the Devil.
The Communions of Reparation on 1st Saturdays were not actually requested until December 10, 1925, when Our Lady appeared with the Child Jesus to Sister Lucia at the Dorothean convent in Pontevedra, Spain. Its connection with Fatima as one of Our Lady’s requests is based upon the fact that during the July 13, 1917 apparition Our Lady told the children she would come back to ask for it.“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communions of Reparation on the First Saturdays.”
The Motives for the Devotion
While Sister Lucia was in the chapel with Our Lord during part of the night of May 29-30, 1930, He explained the motivation for the devotion. This explanation answered the question posed by her confessor about why the number should be 5 Saturdays and not 9 to correspond to the 9 First Fridays, or 7 to correspond with Our Lady’s 7 sorrows.
There are 5 ways in which people offend and blaspheme against The Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1. Offences or blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception – its denial and/or ridicule.
2. Against Her perpetual virginity – that She had relations with Joseph and had other children.
3. Against Her Divine Maternity, refusing at the same time to accept Her as Mother of all Mankind – denying that She is the Mother of God and our Mother.
4. The implantation into children’s hearts of indifference, contempt and even hate against our Immaculate Mother.
5. Insults directed against Her sacred images –displays of indifference or ridicule, and the infliction of damage to them.
The essential elements of the practice of the devotion of the 1st Saturday Communions of Reparation
With the intention of making reparation for offenses committed against The Immaculate Heart of Mary:
Go to Confession.
Receive Holy Communion worthily.
Pray five decades of the Rosary.
Keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.
The Great Promise
Our Lady promised to assist all those who would practice the devotion on the first Saturday of five consecutive months with the graces necessary for salvation at the hour of their death.
Promise not a guarantee of heaven
It would be a serious mistake to think that those who practice the devotion on five consecutive First Saturdays are guaranteed passage through the pearly gates when the moment of their death arrives. Our cooperation with grace is always required.
A Life-Long Devotion, not merely five First Saturdays – a requirement of Christian Charity
The promise associated with the practice of the devotion on five consecutive First Saturdays has been mistakenly construed by many to mean that, once one has completed a series of five in succession, they have accomplished the practice of the devotion – that they are finished. This was not Our Lady’s intention in making the promise, and has resulted in a far fewer people practicing the devotion’s than are necessary to fulfill her request. This is one reason why wars, famines and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father have increased rather than abated.
The essence of genuine Christian Charity
Genuine Christian Charity involves placing the good of others before ourselves. If we practice the devotion only to the extent necessary to merit the promise for ourselves, our Christian Charity is seriously lacking.
We ought to look at it this way: For how many others can I merit the promise during the remainder of my life? Each time we complete a series of five successive First Saturdays we can ask Our Lady to apply the promise merited to a soul in need. Just think of how many souls would become beneficiaries of our life-long practice. This is Christian Charity in action. And as for ourselves, can there be any doubt that, if we gift our merited promises to so many others, Our Lady will provide one for us?
A Centennial Gift for Our Lady
Please consider participation in the apostolate’s initiative to bring about a dramatic increase in the practice of this devotion between now and 2017. That increase will be a most pleasing gift to Our Lady. Centennial Gift Registration
First Saturday Devotion Resources
To acquire a more complete treatment of the devotion which includes its history, the 5 focuses of reparation, and a Q&A treating common misconceptions and addressing obstacles to its practice, please read The First Saturday Devotion.
Our most complete and comprehensive treatment of the devotion which includes two booklets in one – “First Saturday Aid” and Father Andrew Apostoli’s “Treasure of Fatima” – is Treasures Of the First Saturday Devotions.