APPENDIX I: Sister Lucy explains the Reparatory Devotion of the First Saturdays*
*EDITORS NOTE: This booklet is taken from Frère Michel’s book The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume II. Sections I, II, III, and IV of this booklet are taken from Chapter VI, "The Great Promise ..." (pages 245-277). Appendix I is taken from Appendix III, pages 817-821.
Sister Lucy took this "lovable devotion" so much to heart that she constantly returns to it in her correspondence. Unquestionably there is nothing more capable of touching our hearts than this insistence of Our Lady’s messenger. Here are some of these beautiful texts:
On November 1, 1927, she writes to her sponsor for confirmation, Dona Maria Filomena Morais de Miranda:
"(…) I don’t know if you already know about the reparatory devotion of the five Saturdays to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As it is still recent, I would like to inspire you to practice it, because it is requested by Our Dear Heavenly Mother and Jesus has manifested a desire that it be practiced. Also, it seems to me that you would be fortunate, dear godmother, not only to know it and to give Jesus the consolation of practicing it, but also to make it known and embraced by many other persons.
"It consists in this: During five months on the first Saturday, to receive Jesus in Communion, recite a Rosary, keep Our Lady company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary,1 and make a confession. This confession can be made a few days earlier, and if in this previous confession you have forgotten the (required) intention one can offer the following confession for this intention, provided that on the first Saturday one receives Holy Communion in the state of grace, with the intention of repairing for offenses against the Most Holy Virgin, and which afflict Her Immaculate Heart.2
"It seems to me, my dear godmother, that we are fortunate to be able to give Our Dear Heavenly Mother this proof of love, for we know that She desires it to be offered to Her. As for myself, I avow that I am never so happy as when first Saturday arrives. Isn’t it true that our greatest happiness is to belong entirely to Jesus and Mary and to love Them, and Them alone, without reserve? We see this so clearly in the lives of the saints … They were happy because they loved, and we, my dear godmother, we must seek to love as they did, not only to enjoy Jesus, which is the least important — because if we do not enjoy Him here below, we will enjoy Him up above — but to give Jesus and Mary the consolation of being loved … and that in exchange for this love They might be able to save many souls. Adieu, my dear godmother, I embrace you in the holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary."3
On November 4, 1928, after several attempts to obtain an official approval from Bishop da Silva, she writes to Father Aparicio:
"I hope therefore that Our Good Lord will inspire His Excellency with a favorable response, and that among so many thorns I may pick this flower, seeing the maternal Heart of the Most Holy Virgin honored also on this earth. This is my desire now because it is also the will of Our Good Lord. The greatest joy that I experience is to see the Immaculate Heart of our most tender Mother known, loved and consoled by means of this devotion."4
On March 31, 1929, Sister Lucy writes to Father Aparicio on the subject of Canon Formigao and Father Rodriguez, who desire to preach the reparatory devotion:
"I hope that Jesus will make them — according to the desire I have of spreading this lovable devotion — two ardent apostles of the reparatory devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Your Reverence cannot imagine how great is my joy in thinking of the consolation which the Holy Hearts of Jesus (and Mary) will receive through this lovable devotion, and the great number of souls who will be saved through this lovable devotion. I say, ‘who will be saved’, because not long ago, Our Good Lord in His infinite mercy asked me to seek to make Reparation through my prayers and sacrifices, and preferably to perform Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and implore pardon and mercy in favor of souls who blaspheme against Her, because the Divine Mercy does not pardon these souls without reparation."5
In this devotion which is so simple and so easy, Sister Lucy writes to her mother, "it seems to me that the fifteen minutes of meditation are what might give you some difficulty. But it is quite easy." We have said that it is a question only "of keeping Our Lady company for fifteen minutes" and it is not at all necessary to meditate on all fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, but one or two can be chosen. In a letter quoted by Father Martins, Sister Lucy writes:
"Here is my way of making the meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary on the first Saturdays: First mystery, the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Our Lady. First prelude: to imagine myself seeing and hearing the Angel greet Our Lady with these words:
"‘Hail Mary, full of grace.’ Second prelude: I ask Our Lady to infuse into my soul a profound sentiment of humility.
"1st point: I will meditate on the manner in which Heaven proclaims that the Most Holy Virgin is full of grace, blessed among all women and destined to become the Mother of God.
"2nd point: The humility of Our Lady, recognizing Herself and declaring Herself to be the handmaid of the Lord.
"3rd point: How I must imitate Our Lady, in Her humility, what are the faults of pride and arrogance through which I most often displease the Lord, and the means I must employ to avoid them, etc.
"On the second month, I make the meditation on the second joyful mystery. The third month, I make it on the third joyful mystery and so on, following the same method of meditating. When I have finished the Five First Saturdays, I begin five others and meditate on the sorrowful mysteries, then the glorious ones, and when I have finished them I start over again with the joyful ones."6
Sister Lucy thus reveals to us that far from contenting herself with the Five First Saturdays, every month she practices "the lovable reparatory devotion" indicated by Our Lady. Since it is a question of "consoling Our Heavenly Mother" and interceding so efficaciously for the salvation of souls, why not follow her example and renew this pious practice often? We could then ask this good Mother, with the firm hope of being heard, to vouchsafe to grant particular assistance at the hour of death, "with all the graces necessary for salvation", for such or such a soul whom we confide to Her7, as She has promised to us in return for this "little devotion" accomplished through love and a spirit of Reparation.
1. Let us recall that according to the Blessed Virgin’s exact request, this quarter of an hour of meditation must be performed outside of the time when the Rosary is recited. Bishop da Silva’s interpretation, according to which it suffices to meditate during recitation of the Rosary, is a regrettable dilution of Our Lady’s true requirements (see The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. II pages 719-721).
2. It is clear, according to this letter, that there is no need to express this intention to the confessor, but only to offer God this monthly confession, in the spirit of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let us also make it clear that the Mass of Saturday evening, even if it is an "anticipated Sunday Mass", can be counted as Mass of the first Saturday of the month.
3. Quoted by Alonso, (Ephimerides Mariologicæ, 1973, pages 41-42) and recently, by Father Martins (Novus Documentos, pages 118-119; and Fatima e o Coraçao de Maria, page 22-23).
4. Ephemerides Mariologicæ, 1973, page 54. Cf., in the same sense, the letter of December 20, 1928 (op. cit., page 55); cf. Fatima e o Coraçao de Maria, pages 25-27.
5. Ephemerides Mariologicæ, 1973, page 57. Fatima e o Coraçao de Maria, pages 27-28.
6. Cartas, pages 19-20. Unfortunately, Father Martin’s does not indicate the date of this letter.
7. Although this promise does not explicitly figure in the seer’s writings, many texts guarantee for us that it is indeed in the spirit of Our Lady. Sister Lucy writes, for example, on May 27, 1943, on the subject of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: "The holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary love and desire this devotion, because They use it to draw souls to Them, and herein lie all Their desires: To save souls, many souls, all souls, salvar almas, muitas almas, todas as almas." (Fatima e o Coraçao de Maria, pages 62-63; cf. The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III, page 150.)