The Catholic Defender: The First Five Saturdays Devotion Of Our Lady Of Mount Carmel
"See, My daughter, My heart surrounded by thorns which ungrateful men pierce at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude... Say to all who, for the five months, on the first Saturday, confess, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep Me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the fifteen (20) 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."
Picture above taken at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Laurie Missouri, the Shrine of Mary, pictured with the moon in the background.
Our Lady speaking to Sister Lucia (Fatima Child) on the evening of Thursday, December 10, 1925 giving this mission by Our Lady for all those whom Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Heaven, offers this devotion for prayer, reparation, and consecration.
The Virgin Mary also said, "If people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace."
Considering the events caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas with the massive destruction taking place there and the threat of North Korea detonated an Atomic Bomb, we are in great need to follow Heaven's peace plan given at Fatima.
The First Five Saturdays devotion all point to Jesus, that is what Mother Mary does, she deflects everything to her Son Jesus. The Mass itself is Heaven's greatest prayer. It is an offering that goes back to the Last Supper and to the cross.
Hebrews 10:23-25 states, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." We are to present ourselves in community worship.
1 John 1:6-7 states, "If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." By attending Mass on five consecutive Saturdays, you are assisting at Mass with the intention of reparation.
Our lady instructs us to go to Confession. This is to cleanse ourselves of sin as part of this devotion. Jesus said to the Apostles, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." The Sacrament of Confession is the Mercy Seat of God, where grace is given to restore the sinner.
St. Paul referred to the Confessional as the "Ministry of Reconciliation"; "Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Our Lady next instructs for us to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. Matthew 26:26-28 states, "Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body. "And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." By receiving the Eucharist, you renew the Covenant with Our Lord and then with each other.
Our Lady then calls for us to pray the Rosary, the importance of devotion and our commitment is central in a daily walk with Christ. 1 Timothy 4:7-9 states, "Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance." Many times Our Lady encourages us in the strongest, yet the most compassionate way to pray the Rosary for the conversion of sinners.
Intercessory prayer is vital, 1 Timothy 2:1-4 states, "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Our Lady is capable of taking our prayer requests to the very depths of Our Lord Jesus Christ's Sacred Heart. When praying the Rosary, I think of us as praying with Our Lady more that simply praying to her.
In the same breath, Our Lady is asking that we also meditate on the other mysteries of the Rosary, reflecting on them. Mother Mary mentions 15, but we know that St. Pope John Paul II added 5 more. Our Lady is asking for another 15 minutes of mediation. This is really the Gospel message.
Our Lady is calling for this devotion to be a means of reparation for sin. Not just ours, but for all sin. An act of reparation is a prayer or devotion with the intent to expiate the "sins of others", e.g. for the repair of the sin of blasphemy, the sufferings of Jesus Christ or as Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary.
Penance is a Sacrament, confessing our sin made with sorrow and with the intention of amendment, followed by the forgiveness of the sin. Reparation and Penance are means to expiate our personal sin as well as interceding on behalf of others. This is what the First Five Saturday Devotion is calling us to do and I love the promise Our Lady offers by doing this devotion, "If people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace."
All this is embodied in three main areas of emphasis, Prayer, (which includes the wearing of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Scapular) Reparation, (for the sins and outrages perpetuated against God's Grace and blasphemies to the Immaculate Heart of Mary) and Consecration, (to the Immaculate Heart of Mary personally and publicly. Jesus said, "I wish My Church to ...put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart." Pray for the conversion of Russia and the whole world.
Simple ways to practice Penance and Reparation:
1. Pray, offer more time each day for prayer
2. Share, give more aid and support to others in need
3. Forgive, be mindful of Our Lord's prayer to forgive as we are forgiven
4. Work, first do what is necessary, what is useful, then what we like.
5. Endure, suffer without pitying ourselves
6. Deprive, put other's first, sacrifice for others
7. Sacrifice, Surrender to live a holy life obedient to God