During her July 1917 apparition at Fatima, Our Lady said to Lucy, “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."
Request of the Two Hearts
On December 10, 1925, our Blessed Mother again appeared to Lucy at Pontevedra, Spain. Sr. Lucy, while a Dorothean postulant, was in her cell when Our Lady appeared to her, placing one hand on Sr. Lucy’s shoulder and in the other hand showing her a heart surrounded by thorns. Next to the Blessed Virgin was the Child Jesus borne by a luminous cloud and He said to her:
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 Blessed Virgin said:
Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at very 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 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Five parts of the request
1. Spirit of reparation
The spirit of reparation is a loving desire to make reparation to and console the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Our Mother. It considers the offenses which the Immaculate Heart of Mary now receives from those who reject her maternal intervention and despise her prerogatives.
One should make this intention before carrying out Our Lady’s requests. A renewal of the actual intention at the time is best.
2. Confession in the spirit of reparation
If one cannot go to confession the first Saturday of the month, one can go within eight days. Even one’s monthly confession would be sufficient, which would need the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
3. Reparatory Communion
This is the essential act of this devotion. If a just reason prevents the Communion on a First Saturday, with the priest’s permission it may be received the following Sunday.
4. Recitation of the rosary
The rosary is a vocal prayer said while meditating upon the mysteries of Our Lord’s and Our Lady’s lives. To comply with the request of our Blessed Mother, it must be offered in reparation for the offenses committed against her Immaculate Heart and said properly while meditating.
5. 15-minute meditation
Also offered in reparation, the meditation may embrace one or more mysteries; it may include all, taken together or separately. This meditation should be the richest of any meditation, because Our Lady promised to be present when she said “...those who keep me company....”
Five types of offenses
One could wonder: why five Saturdays? Our Lord answered that question when He appeared to Sr. Lucy May 29, 1930.
My daughter, the reason is simple. There are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;
2. Blasphemies against her virginity;
3. Blasphemies against her divine maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize her as the Mother of men;
4. Blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference or scorn or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;
5. Offenses of those who outrage her directly in her holy images.
Here, my daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation…”
Three fruits of this devotion
To those who faithfully follow our Lady’s requests, she has made this wonderful promise to “assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation.” This means that our Blessed Mother will be present at the hour of death with the actual grace of final perseverance.
This devotion obtains the conversion of sinners. “So numerous are the souls which the justice of God condemns for sins committed against me that I come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.” (Our Lady to Sr. Lucy at Tuy, June 13, 1929)
As Lucy put it
In consideration of this little devotion, They [Jesus and Mary] wish to give the grace of pardon to souls who have had the misfortune of offending the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” (Letter of May, 1930)
In His Providence, God decided that the peace in the world will depend on this devotion.
Whether the world has war or peace depends on the practice of this devotion, along with the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is why I desire its propagation so ardently, especially because this is also the will of our dear Mother in Heaven.” (Sr. Lucy, March 19, 1939)
After completing the five first Saturdays, one may continue the devotion simply to console the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady. A tender love of our Blessed Mother will lead one to do all he can to make reparation for the sins which pierce her Immaculate Heart.
Let us remember, too, that although Our Lady made this promise to those who would observe five consecutive first Saturdays, in her July apparition she asked simply that Communions of reparation be made on every first Saturday to atone for the sins of the world.