BY REV. F. P. O’SHEA, C.SS.R
PREFACE BY REV. W. FREAN, C.SS.R
Our Blessed Lady said to Lucy at Fatima, “I promise to help at the hour of death with the graces needed for salvation, whoever, on the First Saturday of Five Consecutive Months, shall confess and receive Holy Communion, recite Five Decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Father O'Shea wants to help all those who are desirous of complying with this request of our dear Mother, Mary-and this, of course, should mean-every good Catholic.
Though his little book opens with a short account of the marvels which have caused the eyes of the world to turn with wonder and with hope to the mountain village of Fatima, its one object is to help you to make the Five Saturdays as Our Lady wants you to make them. Use it and you will find Father O”Shea’s method easy, practical and fruitful.
THIS little book is written to spread the Message of Fatima, to help you to make your First Five Saturdays well. No doubt you know well the story of Fatima. On Saturday, May 13th., 1917, a beautiful Lady appeared to three little children, Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, in Portugal, at a place known as the Cova da Iria, about 60 miles north of Lisbon, and asked them to come to the same place on the 13th of each month until October, when She would tell them who She was. The Lady then told them to say the Rosary well.
The news of this apparition spread through Fatima but many of the villagers did not believe their story and the children suffered much because of this unbelief. Nevertheless many of the people accompanied the little shepherds on the first Saturday of June when the Lady again appeared.
On the 13th of July the Lady appeared again, and at Lucy’s request that She should work a miracle, promised a great miracle on the 13th of October. During this apparition the Lady foretold the end of the War. Then She warned them: “I come to ask the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the first Saturdays. If they heed my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be wiped out.”
The secular press, dominated by a godless and revolutionary government, began a violent persecution of the children by stirring up a campaign of slander and contempt against them.
When 15,000 Catholics gathered at the Cova on August 15th they were filled with anger and disappointment to find that the children had been kidnapped by the anticlerical mayor of Ourem.
On the 13th of September, 30,000 people gathered at the Cova and the Lady again appeared to the three children. Many of the people saw a luminous globe coming from the East. A chance visitor to Fatima, the Vice-Consul of the United States, was able to photograph an extraordinary phenomenon. What appeared to be snowflakes or rose petals fell from the sky in great quantities, disappearing before they reached the earth,
On the 13th of October, despite heavy and incessant rain, an enormous crowd of over 70,000 people assembled from all parts of Portugal and from other parts of Europe. When the Lady appeared Lucy asked; “Who are you, and what do you seek?” The Lady replied: “I am the Lady of the Rosary and I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and to repent of their sins. They must cease to offend Our Lord Who is already so much offended. They are to say the Rosary!”
Then in the presence of that vast crowd Our Lady worked the great miracle that She had promised in July. It is thus described by eyewitnesses: “The sun began to tremble, shook and turned giddily on itself like a wheel of fire, casting great beams of light in all directions. The beams were in turn, green, red, blue, violet etc., and held the crowd breathless. It stopped and then began again, and yet again. Next the sun left its place in the heavens and falling from side to side, plunged zig-zagging upon the crowd below, sending out intense heat, and giving the impression of the end of the world as foretold in the Gospels. When it seemed that collision with the earth was inevitable the sun stopped its fall and climbed back to its place. To add to the amazement of the crowd their sodden clothing suddenly became dry and warm just as though it had not been saturated with the torrential rain of the preceding twenty four hours.”
The evidence of this great miracle is irrefutable. Thousands of people of all classes witnessed the event-unbelievers and sceptics were convinced, The anticlerical newspaper, “O Seculo,” changed its antagonistic and sceptical attitude overnight. The usual theory of mass-hypnotism could not explain the phenomenon since reliable witnesses many miles away, saw the event. The only answer that the enemies of the Church have is to shut their eyes to the facts and say in effect, “It could not happen, miracles cannot happen, therefore it did not happen,”
The real significance of Fatima is this. Our Lady appeared to a world that is fast becoming corrupt and Godless, a world in which Satan, using the forces of atheistic Communism, is striving to turn men from Christ to Antichrist, to drag men’s souls to hell. Mary’s purpose is to make men turn back to God and His Church, to make them lead good lives by making reparation for sin, by prayer and penance. Mary, herself, gave men the means to do this in the remarkable words recorded by Lucy. It was during one of the apparitions in which She had showed the children a terrible vision of hell.
“You have just seen hell,” said the Mother of God, “where will end the souls of poor sinners. To save them the Lord wishes to establish in the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I tell you is done, many souls shall be saved and there will be peace.
“The war will end; but if men do not cease to offend the Lord, not much time will elapse before another and more terrible one will commence: It will occur during the next Pontificate. When a night illuminated by an unknown light is seen, know that it is the signal which God gives you that the castigation of the world for its many transgressions is at hand, through war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and the Holy Father. To prevent this I ask the consecration of the world to My Immaculate Heart, and Communion of Reparation on the First Saturday of each month.
“If My requests are heard, Russia will be converted and there will be peace.
Otherwise great errors will be spread throughout the world, giving rise to wars and persecutions of the Church: The good will suffer martyrdom, and the Holy Father will have to suffer much; different nations will be destroyed; but in the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.
“The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me. It will be converted, and an era of peace will be conceded to humanity.”
It is 37 years since these events took place and still the message of Fatima is for the most part, unheeded. Much good has been done, but much has been left undone. Dear reader make it your business to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Make the Five First Saturdays fervently yourself: If you have already made them, make them again for those tepid Catholics who, not realizing the terrible alternative, have not the generosity to heed Our Lady’s requests.
You can be an Apostle of Our Lady by spreading the message of Fatima. Give this little book to your friends; ask them to use it and make the Five First Saturdays properly.
HOW TO MAKE THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS
What must we do to make the Five First Saturdays? Our Lady Herself tells us in those words recorded for us by Lucy. “My child, behold My Heart surrounded with the thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment, by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me and tell them that I promise to help at the hour of death with the graces needed for salvation, whoever, on the First Saturday of Five consecutive months, shall confess and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Therefore, to make the Five First Saturdays we must, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months:-.
1. Go to Confession and Communion.
2. Say five decades of the Rosary.
3. Keep Mary company for 15 minutes whilst meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.
4. Do all this with the intention of making reparation to Our Lady.
NOTE: The confession may be made within a week, before or after, the Communion. Your First Friday confession would suffice.
YOUR FIRST SATURDAY ROSARY
The Rosary of five decades may be said at any time of the day. You may say the decades one at a time. For example, you might say one decade in the morning, another at lunch time, another after supper and the remaining two before you go to bed,
“In saying the Rosary it is well for us to remember that the meditation on the mysteries is an essential part of it. For the meditations on the various mysteries (see pages 5–9) which deal with the First Saturday meditation.”
It has become customary to say after each decade, after the “Glory be to the Father etc.,” the short prayer prescribed by Our Lady at Fatima,”O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell, bring all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.”
When you have said the five decades say the “Hail Holy Queen” for the grace to persevere in a good life until death. Then “Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.” Then say, “Let us pray, O God Whose only Begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection hath purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating on the mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
YOUR FIRST SATURDAY MEDITATION
“Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.” (Our Lady of Fatima)
The First Saturday Meditation of fifteen minutes may be made any time during the day. You may meditate on one mystery or on all the mysteries. To hear a sermon on the mysteries of the Rosary would suffice for your meditation.
It is permissible to combine your Rosary and meditation. To do this you could say your Rosary as usual and after each decade spend three minutes in prayerfully thinking over some mystery or mysteries of the Rosary.
THE NECESSITY OF MEDITATION
“With desolation is all the land made desolate, because there is none that considereth in the heart,” says the Holy Ghost. That is the cause of all the unhappiness in the world today. People do not give themselves time to think upon the things of eternity, upon the things of God, upon death and judgment, heaven and hell.
Meditation (or thinking about our salvation) in some form or another is necessary for everyone who wishes to save his soul. A person who does not meditate is like one who goes on a journey without light or strength. Resolve then to put aside a few minutes every day to read some good religious book and think about the great work of your salvation. Then you will learn how to know and love and serve God in this life and to see and enjoy Him forever in Heaven. What is a practical method of meditation? St. Alphonsus, the Doctor of Prayer, gives us a simple method of meditation.
1. Ask God to help you to make your meditation well, saying a short prayer to the Holy Ghost.
2. Remember that you are always in the presence of God. He is with you now as you pray, knowing your most secret thoughts and actions.
3. Make the preparatory acts:
“My God, I believe that Thou art truly present to me, I should now be in hell on account of my sins. Do not send me to hell for there I could not love Thee. Mary, my Mother help me to make this meditation well.”
4. Read about the mysteries of the Rosary upon which you are going to meditate. When you have read it once, read it again more slowly until you have absorbed its meaning, or until some point appeals to you: Then ask yourself the following questions:
(a) What have I read?
(b) What lesson is contained in this mystery? What virtues are practised by Our Divine Saviour? By Our Blessed Lady?
(c) What have I done in the past in this matter? What must I do for the future?
Then, thinking upon what you have read, make acts of Faith, Hope, Love, Contrition, Humility, and Resignation to the Will of God. When you have made these acts, renew your resolution to practise the virtue upon which you have been meditating. For example I will make many pacts of love during the day. “Mary help me to keep this resolution.” You will find that meditation will not be a burden, but a source of charm and pleasure, a means of making your life holy and very happy.
MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY
FIRST MEDITATION. THE ANNUNCIATION
“In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
“And the angel being come in, said unto her: “Fear not Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a Son and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father: and He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end.”
“And Mary said to the angel: “How shall this be done, because I know not man?” And the angel answering said to her: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy Which shall be born of thee shall be called the San of God.” And Mary said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.”
HOW TO MEDITATE ON THIS MYSTERY AND THOSE THAT FOLLOW SAY THE INTRODUCTORY PRAYERS AS ON PAGE 3
Read the passage on the Annunciation as above. When you have read it once read it again more slowly. Then ask yourself the following questions:
What have I read? I have read of God’s love for men, and for me personally. To save my soul from the terrible effects of sin He left His starry Heaven and became a child on earth-became one of us-that He might take our sins upon Himself by a life of most bitter suffering, and by a terrible death on the Cross. I must try to realize the tremendous importance of the Incarnation. God became man, because He loved me.
WHAT IS THE LESSON CONTAINED IN THIS MYSTERY?
In this mystery we see God’s great love for men, and Mary’s love for God and men. Our Blessed Lady loved God so much that she merited to become His Mother, to co-operate with Her Son in the Redemption of mankind. I must learn to love God as Mary loved Him-especially by resolving never to sin again, by avoiding the dangers of sin.
WHAT HAVE I DONE IN THE PAST?
I have so often sinned against the love of God by my venial sins. Perhaps I have even driven Him from my heart by mortal sin. I have certainly been cold in my love for Jesus Christ Why has loved me so much.
WHAT MUST I DO IN THE FUTURE?
I will grow more and more to love God each day. I will never again offend Him by sin. I will tell Him frequently during the day that I love Him: “Lord Thou knowest all things-Thou knowest that I love Thee.”
THEN MAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTS OF
Faith : My Jesus I believe that You became man out of love for me. I believe all that the Holy Church believes and teaches because You have said it and Your word is true, I believe Lord, help Thou my unbelief.
Hope: Sacred Heart of Jesus I place my trust in Thee.
Love: My Jesus because of my sins You became man, You were born in a cold stable at Bethlehem and suffered all the days of Your life. My Jesus I love Thee.
Humility: For my sake dear Jesus You became despised and the most abject of men. Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
Resignation to the Will of God: For love of me my Jesus You were resigned to the Will of God even to death. Teach me O Lord to do Thy Will for Thou art my God. Lord, always Thy Will be done.
(Repeat these little aspirations over and over-they are very pleasing to Our Lord, being as it were, darts of love that wound the Heart of Christ with wounds of love.)
When you have made these acts renew your resolution and ask Our Blessed Lady to help you to be faithful to it. Let your resolution be small but make sure you keep it. For example, during the day I will frequently tell God that I love Him: “My God I love You.” Ask Jesus and Mary to help you to keep your resolution: “Jesus and Mary help me to keep this resolution.”
Next say the “Hail Holy Queen” for the grace to lead a good life and to be always faithful in loving and serving God.
- The Little Office
- 1 Mirror of Justice
- 2 The Saviour
- 3 The First Years
- 4 In The Temple
- 5 Nazareth
- 6 The Annunciation
- 7 The Visitation
- 8 The Magnificat
- 9 The Benedictus
- 10 Christmas
- 11 The Magi
- 12 At The Manger
- 13 Nunc Dimittis
- 14 The Presentation
- 15 Flight into Egypt
- 16 The Holy Innocents
- 17 Life at Nazareth
- 18 Jesus in the Temple
- 19 Jesus at labour
- 20 Death of St. Joseph
- 21 Baptism Of Jesus
- 22 Jesus In The Desert
- 23 Calling The Apostles
- 24 Marriage at Cana
- 25 Silence Of The Gospel
- 26 Start Of The Passion
- 27 Foot Of The Cross
- 28 Jesus Laid In The Tomb
- 29 Resurrection
- 30 Ascension, Pentecost
- 31 The Assumption