The Five First Saturday devotions were first mentioned by Our Lady during the July 1917 apparition to the children at Fatima.
She said, "I shall come to ask... that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world."
These special devotions were then formally requested by Our Lady of Fatima, in an apparition to Sister Lucia, some eight years after the famous Fatima apparitions, on December 10, 1925. In a later apparition to Lucia, Our Lord asked what had been done to spread the word of His Mother's requests.
Then some 55 years later, (in 1980) when Our Lady appeared in Cuapa, Nicaragua to Bernardo Martinez, she again repeated her requests that the Five First Saturday devotions, which had earlier on been observed at Nicaragua, be renewed.
The Elements of the Five First Saturday Devotions
This Confession can be made up to a week before, or even up to a week after the First Saturday. The intention for each of the elements of the devotion must be to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and if this intention is not made at the time of Confession, it can be made at the following confession.
Before receiving Holy Communion, obviously one must be in the state of Grace, and must make the intention of receiving Holy Communion in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
RECITE THE ROSARY
Again, this Rosary must be made with the intention of offering reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and must be at least five decades, joined with meditation on the particular Mysteries of the Rosary, whether Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful or Glorious.
FIFTEEN MINUTES OF MEDITATION
on any or all of the twenty mysteries of the Rosary. This meditation is a marvellous opportunity to have some one-on-one time with Our Blessed Mother.
Our Lady's Promise
If you faithfully carry out Our Lady's requests by completing all the elements of the Five First Saturday devotions, then she will carry out the most wonderful promise she has made in return. "I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation."
No greater reward could ever be promised.
The following is taken from the large book, "Documents on Fatima & The Memoirs of Sister Lucia" by Father Robert J Fox., which I purchased while in Fatima in 1995.
Chapter 41 - Classic Document.
On December 10, 1925 there appeared to her (Lucia), the Most Holy Virgin, and by her side, on a luminous cloud, a Child. The Most Holy Virgin, putting a hand on her shoulder, showed her at the same time, a heart ringed round with thorns, that she held in her other hand. At the same time, the Child said, "Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, that is covered in thorns, which ungrateful men, at every moment, stick in it, without there being anyone to make an act of reparation to take them out."
Then the Most Holy Virgin said, "Look daughter, at my heart surrounded with thorns, which ungrateful men at every moment pierce me, with blasphemies and ingratitude. Let you, at least strive to console me, and tell all those who during five months, on the first Saturday, go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, say a Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes, meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, for the intention of making reparation to me, I promise to assist them at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."
On February 15, 1926, the Child Jesus appeared to her again. He asked if she had spread the devotion to His Most Holy Mother. She told him of the confessor's difficulties, and said that the Mother Superior was willing to spread it, but that the confessor had said that on her own, she would achieve nothing. Jesus replied, "It is true that your superioress, on her own will achieve nothing: but with My grace she will achieve eveything."
Chapter 42. The Essence of Devotion - Document
Part of a letter dated May 29, 1930 from Sister Lucia to Father Jose Bernardo Goncalves.
The Most Holy Virgin promises to assist at the hour of death,with all the graces necessary for salvation, the souls who seek to make reparation to her in the following manner.
Chapter 44, Father Goncalves' Questions and Lucia's Answers
"The devotion consists in, during five consecutive months, on the first Saturday, to receive Holy Communion, say a Rosary, pass fifteen minutes in the company of Our Lady, meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary, and going to confession with the same intention.
In May of 1930, the Reverend Father Jose Bernardo Goncalves asked Sr. Lucia to answer, in writing, the following questions.
- When, how and where: that is to tell the date (if known), and the occasion or the manner in which you felt this manifestation of the devotion to the five Saturdays.
- The required conditions: or what is it that is required to fulfil such devotion.
- Advantages: What graces are promised to those who do this, at least once.
- Why has it to be "Five Saturdays", and not nine or seven in honour of the Sorrows of Our Lady?
- And who is not able to fulfil all the conditions on a Saturday, will they not be able to do it on a Sunday? Country people, for example, won't be able to do it frequently, living, as they do, at a distance ....
- As regards the salvation of poor Russia, what is it that is wanted or desired?...
On June 12, the seer, who was confined to bed with the 'flu', sent him the following reply.
June 6, 1930
Dear Reverend Fr.,
After imploring the help of the Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, I ma going to answer, as far as I am able, Your Reverence's questions, regarding the devotion of the Five Saturdays.
- When? On December 10, 1925
How? Our Lord and the Most Holy Virgin appearing to me, showing me her Immaculate Heart encircled with thorns, and asking for reparation.
Where? Pontevedra, Travesia Isable II: the first apparition in my bedroom; the second, beside, the yard gate, where I used to work.
- The required conditions?
During five months, on the first Saturday, to receive Holy Communion, say the Rosary, keep Our Lady company for fifteen minutes, mediatating on the Mysteries of the Rosary, and going to Confession with the same intention. This can be done on another day, as long as, on receiving Holy Communion, one is in the state of Grace.
- Advantages or promises.
" To the souls who in this manner seek to make reparation to me (says Our Lady) I promise to assist them, at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation."
- Why has it to be "Five Saturdays", and not nine or seven in honour of the sorrows of Our Lady?
Remaining in the chapel, with Our Lord, part of the night of the 29th-30th of the month of May, 1930, and talking to Our Lord about the fourth and fifth questions, I suddenly felt possessed more intimately by the Divine Presence; and if I am not mistaken, the following was revealed to me:
"Daughter, the motive is simple: There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies spoken against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
- Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
- Against her Virginity
- Against the Divine Maternity, refusing, at the same time, to receive her as the Mother of Mankind.
- Those who seek publicly to implant, in the hearts of children, indifference, disrespect, and even hate for this Immaculate Mother.
- And who is not able to fulfil all the conditions on a Saturday, will they be able to do it on a Sunday?
It will be equally acceptable the practice of this devotion on the Sunday following the first Saturday, when my priests, for a just reason so grant it to souls.
- In regards to Russia:
If I am not mistaken, Our Lord promises to end the persecution of Russia, if the Holy Father condescends to make, and likewise ordains the Bishops of the Catholic world to make, a solemn and public act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary. In response to the end of this persecution, His Holiness is to promise to approve of and recommend the practice of the already mentioned devotion of reparation.