Thought for the Day – 7 September – – Saturday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time, Year C and a Marian Saturday
The Heart of Mary Saturdays and the Saturday Rosary
By Sr M Jean Frisk SSM
In the message of Fatima, especially in the apparitions of 13 June 13 and 13 July 1917, Mary drew attention to the custom of devoting Saturdays to her and praying the Rosary in reparation. Lucia, the eldest of the three children heard the following on 13 June:
“My child, behold my heart surrounded with 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 fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me.”
On 13 July, the children were again admonished to say the Rosary. At this time, the Blessed Mother asked for the consecration of the world to her Immaculate Heart and for communion of reparation on the first Saturday of each month. These messages were accompanied by an appeal and a promise – an appeal for prayer and reparation by the people for their transgressions against the divine law, a promise of peace and love in this life and eternal happiness in the next, on the twofold condition of prayer and amendment.
In 1925, Lucia vouched for this message, saying that Mary would assist us at the hour of death if the first Saturdays of five consecutive months were sanctified with confession, communion, praying the rosary and meditation.
This practice refreshed the custom known as the Rosary Saturdays, popular since the seventeenth century and continued to the present at places of pilgrimage. Both Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII fostered this custom. St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716), also fostered the rosary in connection with his missions, which often encompassed Saturdays.