|Our Lady returned to Sister Lucy at Pontevedra on December 10, 1925 as She promised at Fatima that She would. She came to ask for the Communion of Reparation on the Five First Saturdays. She promised eternal salvation for Catholics who fulfill Her Five First Saturday requests.|
The Five First Saturdays:
THE APPARITIONS OF PONTEVEDRA
In the evening of Thursday, December 10, 1925, after supper, Lucy received the visit of the Child Jesus and the Virgin Mary in her cell.1 Let us listen to her testimony:
«On December 10, 1925, the Most Holy Virgin Herself appeared, and beside Her, borne by a luminous cloud, the Child Jesus. The Most Holy Virgin put Her hand on her shoulder and showed her, at the same time, a Heart surrounded by thorns which She held in the other hand. At that same moment, the Child said to her2:
"Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Her at every moment, without there being anyone to make an act of reparation in order to take them away."
«Then the Most Holy Virgin said to her:
"See, My daughter, My Heart surrounded by thorns which ungrateful men pierce at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me and say to all those who, for five months, on the first Saturday, confess, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary, and keep Me company during fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, in a spirit of reparation, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."»
Charged with this new mission, the young postulant Lucy was then eighteen years old did everything possible to make known the requests of Our Lady.3 She opened up at once to her superior, Mother Magalhaes, who had been won over to the cause of Fatima and was ready, as far as she was concerned, to conform to the desires of Heaven4. Lucy also shared this with the confessor of the house, Father Lino Garcia: «He, she relates, ordered me to write down everything which concerned [that revelation] and to keep the writings which we might need.» But then he waited. Lucy then wrote the account of the event to her confessor of the Asilo de Vilar, Bishop Pereira Lopes, who expressed some reserve and advised waiting. A few days after February 15, Lucy answered the bishop while revealing to him in detail the sequence of events. Fortunately, this letter has been preserved for us. Here are some abundant extracts from it.
«My most Reverend Father, I come respectfully to thank you for your gracious letter which you kindly wrote me. When I received it and saw that I was still unable to comply with the wishes of the Holy Virgin, I felt a little sad. But I realized at once that the wishes of the Most Holy Virgin were for me to obey you. I became calm and the next day, when I received Jesus in Communion, I read Him your letter and said to Him: "O My Jesus! I, with Thy grace, prayer, mortification and confidence, will do everything obedience permits me, and what Thou inspire me; the rest is up to Thee". . .
«On the 15th, I was very busy with my chores, and I scarcely thought of it [the apparition of the preceding December 10]. I was about to empty the garbage can outside the garden. At the same place, several months previously, I had met a child whom I had asked if he knew the Hail Mary. He had replied yes, and I had asked him to say it for me, in order to hear him. But as he would not say it alone, I had recited it three times with him. At the end of the three Hail Marys, I asked him to say it alone. As he remained silent and did not appear capable of saying it alone, I asked him if he knew the church of Saint Mary.5 He answered yes. I then told him to go there every day and to pray thus: "Oh my Heavenly Mother, give me Your Child Jesus!" I taught him that prayer and departed6. Then on February 15, while returning as usual [to empty a garbage can outside of the garden], I found there a child who appeared to me to be the same (as previously), and I then asked him: "Have you asked Our Heavenly Mother for the Child Jesus?" The Child turned to me and said: "And have you revealed to the world what the Heavenly Mother has asked you?" And saying that, He transformed Himself into a resplendent Child. Recognizing then that it was Jesus, I said to Him:
«"My Jesus! You know very well what my confessor said to me in the letter I read to You. He said that this vision had to be repeated, there had to be facts permitting us to believe it, and that the Mother Superior alone could not spread this devotion.
It is true that the Mother Superior, alone, can do nothing, but with My grace, she can do anything. It is enough that your confessor gives you permission, and that your Superior announce this for it to be believed by the people, even if they do not know who it was revealed to.
But my confessor said in his letter that this devotion already exists in the world, because many souls receive Thee every first Saturday of the month, in honor of Our Lady and the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.
It is true, My daughter, that many souls begin, but few persevere to the very end, and those who persevere do it to receive the graces promised. The souls who make the five first Saturdays with fervor and to make reparation to the Heart of your Heavenly Mother, please Me more than those who make fifteen, but are lukewarm and indifferent.
My Jesus! Many souls find it difficult to confess on Saturday. Will You allow confession within eight days to be valid?
Yes. It can even be made later on, provided that the souls are in the state of grace when they receive Me on the first Saturday, and that they had the intention of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Mary.
My Jesus! And those who forget to form this intention?
They can form it at the next confession, taking advantage of their first opportunity to go to confession."
«Right after that He disappeared, without me finding out anything more about Heavens desires, up to the present. And as for myself, she continued, it is a flame of Divine Love which is lit in souls so that, sustained in that love, they truly console the Holy Heart of Mary. I at least have the desire to console my dear Heavenly Mother a great deal, while suffering a great deal for Her love.7»
Sister Lucy’s Exhortations
to Practice the Reparatory Devotion of the First Saturdays
Sister Lucy is so attached to this «agreeable devotion» that she comes back to it unceasingly in her correspondence. Let us quote some of her letters, drafted shortly after the revelation of Pontevedra.
On July 24, 1927, she wrote to her mother, Maria Rosa:
«My mother, I would like also for you to give me the consolation of adopting a devotion I know is so pleasing to God and which our dear Heavenly Mother has requested. As soon as I became aware of it, I wanted to adopt it and see the whole world practice it. As a result, I hope, mother, that you will answer me, saying that you are going to practice it and seek to have everyone over there practice it. You could not give me a greater consolation. It consists only in doing what is written on that little image. The confession can be made on a day other than Saturday. The fifteen minutes [of meditation], is what can, it seems to me, give you difficulty; but it is quite easy. Who after all cannot contemplate the mysteries of the Rosary? Of the Annunciation of the Angel to Mary, and of the humility of our dear Mother who, in seeing Herself exalted in such a manner, called Herself the handmaid [of the Lord]; of the Passion of Jesus Who suffered so much for our love, and of our Most Holy Mother near Jesus on Calvary? Who cannot spend fifteen minutes in these holy thoughts, near the most tender of mothers?
«Good-bye, my dear mother. Console thus your Heavenly Mother, and seek to have many others console Her the same way. Thus you will also give me an unimaginable joy.
«Your entirely devoted daughter, who kisses your hand.»8
On November 1, 1927, she wrote to her confirmation godmother, D. Maria Filomena Morais de Miranda:
«I do not know if you have already become aware of the reparatory devotion of the Five First Saturdays to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As it is still recent, I should like to inspire you with it, for it is requested by our dear Heavenly Mother, and Jesus has manifested His wish that it be practiced. Also, it seems to me that you will be happy, dear godmother, not only in knowing it, and giving Jesus the consolation of practicing it, but also of making it known and embraced by many other people...
« It seems to me, my good godmother, that we are fortunate in being able to give our dear Heavenly Mother this proof of our love, for we know that She wants our devotion offered to Her. As for me, I confess that I never feel as happy as when the First Saturday comes. Is it not true that our greatest happiness is to belong entirely to Jesus and Mary and to love Them, Them alone, without reserve? We see that so clearly in the lives of the Saints... They were happy because they loved, and we, my good godmother, we should strive to love like them, not only to enjoy Jesus here below, which is the least important, for if we do not enjoy Him here below, we will enjoy Him in Heaven but to give Jesus and Mary the consolation of being loved... and thus in exchange for that love they can save many souls. Good-bye, my dear godmother, I embrace you in the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary.9»
On November 4, 1928, after the first steps to obtain the official approval by Bishop da Silva, she wrote to Father Aparicio:
«I hope therefore that our good God will deign to inspire His Most Reverend Excellency with a favorable response, so that among so many thorns, while still on this earth, I will be able to pick that flower of seeing the maternal Heart of the Most Holy Virgin loved and honored. That is now my wish because it is also the Will of the Good God. The greatest joy I feel is to see the Immaculate Heart of our so tender Mother known, loved and consoled by means of this devotion.10»
|When Saint Philomena (above) was martyred over 1,000 years ago, she was about the same age as Jacinta of Fatima when she died.|
On March 31, 1929, concerning Canon Formigao and Father Rodrigues, who wanted to preach the reparatory devotion, Sister Lucy wrote Father Aparicio:
«I hope that Jesus, according to my desire for the spreading of this amiable devotion, will make them two ardent apostles of the reparatory devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Your Reverence cannot imagine how great is my joy in thinking about the consolation through this amiable devotion, that the Holy Hearts of Jesus [and of Mary] are going to receive, and of the great number of souls who are going to be saved by means of this amiable devotion. I am saying who will be saved, because in the little time that remains to them, our Good God, in His Infinite Mercy, has asked me to seek through my prayers and sacrifices to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to implore pardon and mercy for souls who blaspheme against Her, because the Divine Mercy will not pardon those souls without reparation.11»
In a letter which Father Martins quotes,12 Sister Lucy writes:
«Here is my way of making the meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary on the First Saturdays: The First Mystery, the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Our Lady. First preamble: to imagine I myself, see and hear the Angel greet Our Lady with these words: "Hail Mary, full of grace". Second preamble: I ask Our Lady to infuse into my soul a profound sentiment of humility. First 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 be the Mother of God. Second point: The humility of Our Lady, recognizing and calling Herself the handmaid of the Lord. Third point: How I should imitate Our Lady in Her humility, what are the faults of pride and haughtiness by which I have the habit of displeasing Our Lord, and what are the means I should use in order to avoid them, etc.»
«The second month, I meditate on the second Joyful Mystery. The third, on the third and so forth, while following the same method for meditating. When I have finished those five First Saturdays, I begin five more and I meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries, then the Glorious and when I have finished them, I begin again the Joyful.13»
|O my Jesus forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need.|
Sister Lucy thus reveals to us, far from contenting herself with the five First Saturdays, she practices each month «the reparatory amiable devotion» indicated by Our Lady. Why not follow her example and renew often this pious practice? More especially we will be able then to ask this good Mother, with the firm hope of being heard, that She would be willing to grant, to such and such a soul that we entrust to Her,14 the special assistance promised at the hour of death «with all the graces necessary for salvation» , in consideration of that «small devotion» accomplished through love and in a spirit of reparation.
1) In 1972, at the suggestion of Father Alonso, the Spanish "Ejercito Azul" bought the convent of the Dorothean Sisters of Pontevedra, which was falling into ruins. (cf. "Fatima, apostolat mundial;" pages 191-196). Sister Lucys cell being very narrow, in order to transform it into a chapel, it was necessary to bring down a partition and use an adjacent room. Thereafter, people could go there on pilgrimages.
2) Documentos, page 401. That text was drawn up by Sister Lucy at the end of 1927, at the request of her confessor, Father Aparicio, S.J. «Through humility, he explains, Sister Lucy shows her repugnance to write in the first person, to which I replied that she write in the third person; which is what she did.» (Letter to Father da Fonseca of Jan. 10, 1938, quoted by Father Alonso, "Ephemerides Mariologicae" 1973, page 25).
3) In the great plan of God, the reparatory devotion and the consecration of Russia are so intimately connected with one another, that in our next chapters (cf. chapters 10-16), we will relate at the same time how Lucy, tirelessly, made known to the hierarchical authorities of the Church those two demands of Our Lady. Up to this year 1991, in which we are writing, the Popes, disobedient to the voice of Our Lady, have refused to accomplish Her commands.
4) In addressing her wishes to Bishop da Silva, in a letter drafted scarcely three weeks after the apparition, Mother Magalhaes provides some news of her protegé, Maria das Dores, (Sister Lucy) and already makes an allusion to that revelation: «Maria das Dores has already told me that she had received here a great grace from the Blessed Virgin Mary, and I do not doubt it, because the little one has virtue and simplicity in such great abundance that she must charm the Most Holy Virgin! For those matters, I am the most incredulous person there could be in this world, but about her, I do not doubt at all, I do not know what that can mean! I have never spoken to her about this topic, and I do nothing more than just listen to what she has just told me spontaneously because she judged it her duty to tell me. For all the difficulties she has, I send her to her spiritual director, Dom Pereira Lopes, so that he may resolve them, since for those things, I am worse than a mole.» (Letter of Dec. 25, 1925, quoted by Father Alonso, "Ephemerides Mariologicae", 1973, pages 30-31).
5) The Basilica St. Mary Major is quite close to the house of the Dorothean Sisters, on the street called Passage Isabelle II.
6) Let us admire the marvellous soul of Lucy. Near the portal of the garden, she meets a child and at once, the idea comes to her to speak about the Blessed Virgin Mary. The little prayer which she teaches the child was surely her own in that 1925 Advent.
7) Quoted by Father Martins does Reis in "Uma Vida," pages 337-357; cf. Documentos, pages 477-481.
8) Documentos, page 403.
9) Quoted by Father Alonso (Ephemerides Mariologicae, 1973, pages 41-42) and by Father A. M. Martins (Novos Documentos, pages 118-119; and "Fatima e o Coraçao de Maria" [FCM], pages 22-23).
10) Ephemerides Mariologicae,1973, page 54, Cf. in the same sense, the letter of Dec. 20, 1928; cf. "Fatima e o Coraçao de Maria" [FCM], pages 25-27.
11) Ephemerides Mariologicae, 1973, page 577. "Fatima e o Coraçao de Maria" [FCM], pages 27-28.
12) Unfortunately, Father Martins does not indicate the date of this letter.
13) Letters, pages 19-20.
14) Although that promise does not figure explicitly in the writings of the seer, numerous texts guarantee us that it is indeed in the spirit of Our Lady. Sister Lucy, for example, writes on May 27, 1943, concerning devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: «The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary love and desire this devotion, because they use it to attract souls to Them, and there is found all their wishes: Save souls, many souls, all souls, Salvar almas, muitas almas, todas as almas.» ("Fatima e o Coraçao de Maria [FCM], pages 62-63).