It is often forgotten that Our Lady of Fatima requested the First Saturday devotion to be widely observed to ensure Russia's conversion.
When Our Lady of Fatima appeared to Sr. Lucia on December 10, 1925, the Virgin Mary requested the practice of the First Saturday devotion for the conversion of Russia.
This request was also connected to the famous “consecration of Russia” to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that is so often a point of debate among Fatima enthusiasts.
The Holy See has repeatedly insisted that the consecration of Russia has taken place, and that Sr. Lucia confirmed this fact to St. John Paul II.
Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished (“Yes, it has been done just as Our Lady asked, on March 25, 1984:” Letter of November 8, 1989). Hence any further discussion or request is without basis.
Yet, the consecration was not the only requirement for the conversion of Russia, according to Our Lady of Fatima. She included the request for the observance of the First Saturday devotion.
When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, 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.
What is the First Saturday devotion?
Our Lady of Fatima revealed to Sr. Lucia the following aspects of the First Saturday devotion.
- Receive holy communion on five consecutive First Saturdays.
- Go to confession each month.
- Recite five decades of the Rosary on the First Saturdays.
- Meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary.
All of these actions should be done with the intention to make reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Above all, this devotion is not simply meant to be a mechanical or meaningless recitation of prayers, but a true conversion of heart.
Pope Benedict XVI, when he was a cardinal, explained this central aspect of the “secret” of Fatima.
I would like finally to mention another key expression of the “secret,” which has become justly famous: “my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” What does this mean? The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind.
The future of Russia is in God’s hands, but we can do our part by seeking an interior renewal of the heart, looking to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for inspiration, allowing her heart to triumph in the world.