It is 37 years (this book was written in the 1940′s) since these events took place and still the message of Fatima is for the most part, unheeded. Much good has been done, but much has been left undone. Dear reader make it your business to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Make the Five First Saturdays fervently yourself: If you have already made them, make them again for those tepid Catholics who, not realizing the terrible alternative, have not the generosity to heed Our Lady’s requests. You can be an Apostle of Our Lady by spreading the message of Fatima. Give this little book to your friends; ask them to use it and make the Five First Saturdays properly.HOW TO MAKE THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS
What must we do to make the Five First Saturdays? Our Lady Herself tells us in those words recorded for us by Lucy.
“My child, behold My Heart surrounded with the thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment, by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me and tell them that I promise to help at the hour of death with the graces needed for salvation, whoever, on the First Saturday of Five consecutive months, shall confess and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Therefore, to make the Five First Saturdays we must, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months:-.
1. Go to Confession and Communion.
2. Say five decades of the Rosary.
3. Keep Mary company for 15 minutes whilst meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.
4. Do all this with the intention of making reparation to Our Lady.
NOTE: The confession may be made within a week, before or after, the Communion. Your First Friday confession would suffice.
YOUR FIRST SATURDAY ROSARY
The Rosary of five decades may be said at any time of the day. You may say the decades one at a time. For example, you might say one decade in the morning, another at lunch time, another after supper and the remaining two before you go to bed, “In saying the Rosary it is well for us to remember that the meditation on the mysteries is an essential part of it. For the meditations on the various mysteries (see pages 5-9) which deal with the First Saturday meditation.”
It has become customary to say after each decade, after the “Glory be to the Father etc.,” the short prayer prescribed by Our Lady at Fatima, “O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell, bring all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.”
When you have said the five decades say the “Hail Holy Queen” for the grace to persevere in a good life until death. Then “Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.” Then say, “Let us pray, O God Whose only Begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection hath purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating on the mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
YOUR FIRST SATURDAY MEDITATION
“Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.” (Our Lady of Fatima)
The First Saturday Meditation of fifteen minutes may be made any time during the day. You may meditate on one mystery or on all the mysteries. To hear a sermon on the mysteries of the Rosary would suffice for your meditation.
It is permissible to combine your Rosary and meditation. To do this you could say your Rosary as usual and after each decade spend three minutes in prayerfully thinking over some mystery or mysteries of the Rosary.
THE NECESSITY OF MEDITATION
“With desolation is all the land made desolate, because there is none that considereth in the heart,” says the Holy Ghost. That is the cause of all the unhappiness in the world today. People do not give themselves time to think upon the things of eternity, upon the things of God, upon death and judgment, heaven and hell.
Meditation (or thinking about our salvation) in some form or another is necessary for everyone who wishes to save his soul. A person who does not meditate is like one who goes on a journey without light or strength. Resolve then to put aside a few minutes every day to read some good religious book and think about the great work of your salvation. Then you will learn how to know and love and serve God in this life and to see and enjoy Him forever in Heaven. What is a practical method of meditation? St. Alphonsus, the Doctor of Prayer, gives us a simple method of meditation.
1. Ask God to help you to make your meditation well, saying a short prayer to the Holy Ghost.
2. Remember that you are always in the presence of God. He is with you now as you pray, knowing your most secret thoughts and actions.
3. Make the preparatory acts:
“My God, I believe that Thou art truly present to me, I should now be in hell on account of my sins. Do not send me to hell for there I could not love Thee. Mary, my Mother help me to make this meditation well.”
4. Read about the mysteries of the Rosary upon which you are going to meditate. When you have read it once, read it again more slowly until you have absorbed its meaning, or until some point appeals to you: Then ask yourself the following questions:
(a) What have I read?
(b) What lesson is contained in this mystery? What virtues are practised by Our Divine Saviour? By Our Blessed Lady?
(c) What have I done in the past in this matter? What must I do for the future?
Then, thinking upon what you have read, make acts of Faith, Hope, Love, Contrition, Humility, and Resignation to the Will of God. When you have made these acts, renew your resolution to practise the virtue upon which you have been meditating. For example I will make many pacts of love during the day. “Mary help me to keep this resolution.”
You will find that meditation will not be a burden, but a source of charm and pleasure, a means of making your life holy and very happy.
(To be continued….)
Pope Benedict XVI in Fatima
Prior to the public recitation of the Holy Rosary on May 12, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI gave an address to the pilgrims gathered at the shrine. The following is a short quotation from that address.
“Brothers and sisters, in this place it is amazing to think how three children entrusted themselves to the interior force which had enflamed them in the apparitions of the Angel and of our heavenly Mother. In this place where we were repeatedly requested to recite the rosary, let us allow ourselves to be attracted by the mysteries of Christ, the mysteries of Mary’s rosary. The recitation of the rosary allows us to fix our gaze and our hearts upon Jesus, just like his Mother, the supreme model of contemplation of the Son. Meditating upon the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries as we pray our Hail Marys, let us reflect upon the interior mystery of Jesus, from the Incarnation, through the Cross, to the glory of the Resurrection; let us contemplate the intimate participation of Mary in the mystery of our life in Christ today, a life which is also made up of joy and sorrow, of darkness and light, of fear and hope. Grace invades our hearts, provoking a wish for an incisive and evangelical change of life so that we can say with Saint Paul: “For me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21) in a communion of life and destiny with Christ.”
To see the various speeches and prayers of the Pope on his pilgrimage to Fatima visit: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2010/may/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20100512_benedizione-fiaccole_en.html
All photos are taken from: http://www.santuario-fatima.pt