MONUMENT. The Colorado Springs Order of Malta will be sponsoring the First Saturday Devotions to Mary starting Nov. 7 at St. Peter Parish in Monument (www.petertherock.org.)
We will begin with praying the rosary at 8:40 a.m. followed by Mass at 9 a.m. A chaplain of the Order of Malta will be the main celebrant, and Masses will be held every first Saturday of the month. All parishioners in the diocese are invited to attend.
During these most troubled times in our country, prayer, fasting and penance are our recommended weapons against evil. Our Lady of Fatima’s message is just as important today as it was when she first appeared in Portugal in 1917. We encourage you to please come and pray with us for peace to combat the violence and mayhem in our country and in the world.
In his pamphlet on the Five First Saturdays Devotion (www.marian.org/13th/firstsaturday.php) Father Donald Calloway explains that Our Lady came to Fatima in 1917 and asked for specific things. If we listened to her and did what she asked, there would be peace in the world. Among her requests were:
• Pray the rosary every day for peace in the world.
• The consecration of Russia to prevent its errors from spreading into the world.
• Do our daily duties out of love, dedicating everything to God.
• Make reparation for sins against the Immaculate Heart of Mary by observing the “Five First Saturdays of Reparation.”
Our Lady explained those Five First Saturdays to Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the Fatima visionaries, on Dec. 10, 1925, in the following way:
“See, my daughter, my heart encircled by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you, at least, strive to console me? Tell them that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, in order to make reparation to me, on the first Saturday of five successive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour, meditating on the mysteries of the rosary.”
Why Five First Saturdays in particular? Jesus explained this to Sister Lucia in May of 1930:
“There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies spoken against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Here, dear daughter, is the motive that led the Immaculate Heart of Mary to petition me to ask for this small act of reparation. And, out of regard for her, to move my mercy to pardon those souls who have had the misfortune to offend her. As for you, seek endlessly, with your prayers and sacrifices, to move me to mercy in regard to these poor souls.”
The five offenses against Mary that Jesus identified were:
• Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
• Blasphemies against her virginity.
• Blasphemies against the Divine Maternity, refusing, at the same time, to receive her as the mother of mankind.
• Blasphemies of those who seek publicly to implant, in the hearts of children, indifference, disrespect, and even hate for our Immaculate Mother.
• Blasphemies of those who revile her directly in her sacred images.
Do the First Five Saturdays still matter? Many people have forgotten about this special devotion, but it is still relevant today. Wars are still going on, and we have not yet seen the fulfillment of Our Lady’s promise that, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
We invite everyone to join us in making the Five First Saturdays a regular part of their prayer life, for love of Mary.
(Bill and Eileen Maggio are members of the Order of Malta’s Western Association and attend St. Peter Parish in Monument.)