The Prayers of Fatima and the Devotion of the Five First Saturdays
Deacon Mike Bickerstaff | May 12, 2012 |
Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia
Tomorrow, May 13, 2012, marks the 95th anniversary of the first apparition of Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, to the three young seers at the Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal. The children were Lucia de Jesus dos Santos (age 10), Blessed Francisco Marto (age 9) and Blessed Jacinta Marto (age 7). Francisco and Jacinto died within a few years of the apparitions and were beatified in 1983. Lucia (Sr. Maria Lucia) died in 2005 and the cause for her beatification is in progress. Together, the three children were to witness a total of six apparitions of Our Lady in 1917. In 1916, they had witnessed three apparitions of the Angel of Portugal.
The message of Fatima is as relevant today as it was then.
“Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ’s proclamation: the Father’s love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel.” (The Message of Fatima, Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith)
Among the messages they received, they were taught five prayers by the angel and Our Lady. Many of us who pray the Rosary are familiar with the prayer that ends each decade, “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins…” (the Decade Prayer), but we need to recall and offer the other prayers as well. Anyone who reads the following will readily agree.
In her July 13, 1917 apparition at Fatima, Mary said:
“You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. It is to save them that God wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved… I shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins-of the world.”
Then on December 10, 1925, Mary appeared to Lucia in Spain and instructed her on how to make the Five First Saturdays devotion:
So here is what is necessary to receive the promise of Mary to assist you at the moment of your death… On the first Saturday of five consecutive months:
Into the deep…
Deacon Mike Bickerstaff, Editor-in-Chief for The Integrated Catholic Life™, is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization at his parish and a deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
Please help us in our mission to assist readers to integrate their Catholic faith, family and work. Tell your family and friends about this article using both the Share and Recommend buttons below and via email. We value your comments and encourage you to leave your thoughts below. Thank you! – The Editors