A number of (traditional) Catholics of my acquaintance have made the Nine First Fridays and Five First Saturdays, fulfilling the requirements of these devotions. Unfortunately however, for some of these souls, once the necessary quota of months, reception of the Sacraments, rosaries said, times of mental prayer passed etc. is reached, First Fridays and First Saturdays are no longer made a priority; the effort to spend those days as Our Lord and Our Lady respectively asked is greatly diminished, if it does not completely vanish. Too often, pride and our selfness overcome generosity and fervor.
Once our First Fridays and First Saturdays are properly made, then we can be sure that we will enjoy the great promises attached to these important observances. But we should not and cannot think that our job is done, once we have completed “nine” and “five.” The Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary are unspeakably, everywhere and too much offended. While realizing that our efforts will never be totally sufficient, we still must do everything in our power to appease the justice of Almighty God by making continuous reparation, just as sin is today continuous.
Our Lady, in 1925, asked for the Five First Saturdays devotion (about which you can find more information, here: https://fatima.org/what-can-i-do/our-lady/) to repair for five corresponding blasphemies or offenses against Her Immaculate Heart. The fifth is that of the offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images. Considering our present day, the words of a prayer to Our Lady immediately come to mind: “in these times of brazen impiety.” While fallen-away Catholics and non-Catholics in the United States, even only a few years ago, usually would respectfully refrain from public expressions of irreverence and certainly acts of sacrilege and damage, this is no longer the case. Horrible desecrations of sacred images and blasphemous “arts” performances have sadly become the order of the day, not limited to rough and diabolical revolutionaries, but within our own nation, in which live so many (supposed) Catholics. Catholics, sadly, who show little to no interest in defending their God and His Mother.
The latest example, is the smashing of a statue of Our Lady, apparently a traditional depiction of the Immaculate Conception, which took place on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. Enshrined outside of the parish church of Saint John Kanty, the statue of the Blessed Virgin was first pulled from its foundation, and a baseball bat was then used to disfigure the statue’s face and hands. With the broken statue, an anti-Catholic note belying heretical beliefs concerning the True Faith was found. An 18 year old man has been charged with mischief and harassment, along with a hate crime enhancement by local police.
How can we not be filled with sorrow at such an act? Is it possible to be unmoved at the disdain and hatred shown for the Mother of God in Her holy images? The successive and consistent onslaught of attacks against Our Lord, Our Lady, the Catholic Faith will not only continue, it is sure to worsen. As the Reconciliatrix of Sinners told Melanie and Maximin in 1846: “If my people refuse to submit, I will be forced to let go the arm of my Son. It is so strong and so heavy, I can no longer hold it back. How long a time I have suffered for you! If I want my Son not to abandon you, I am obliged to plead with Him constantly. And as for you, you pay no heed! However much you pray, however much you do, you will never be able to recompense the pains I have taken for you.” 71 years later, She returned as Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, and told the Little Shepherds just before the Miracle of the Sun took place: “‘Do not offend the Lord our God any more, for He is already too much offended!” 101 years later, how much worse is our world, our society? How serious and numerous are our continued offenses against Almighty God? Against His Immaculate Mother?
Let us take seriously these words of warning, and renew our commitment, our efforts at making reparation to Our Lord and Our Lady; not just to stay Their just wrath, to preserve ourselves and our world from deserved chastisement, but for Their own sake: because They are so good, so loving, so merciful – and so offended, so wounded. If we have not already made the Nine First Fridays and the Five First Saturdays, let us do so as soon as possible. If we have already performed these devotions, let us continue them or take them up again, with more fervor, sincerity and dedication than ever.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.