A Fatima expert explains
The devotion of the Five First Saturdays was given to make up for the five blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, David Carollo, executive director of the World Apostolate of Fatima U.S.A., told CNA.
As listed on the World Apostolate of Fatima U.S.A.’s website, those five offenses consist of: offenses against Mary’s Immaculate Conception, by denial or ridicule; offenses against her perpetual virginity; offenses against her divine maternity, that is, refusing to accept her as the mother of all mankind; offenses by those who implant in children’s hearts indifference toward, contempt for, and even hate of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and insults or damage done purposefully to sacred images of Mary.
Promises connected to the devotion
When Mary asked for Russia’s consecration and the practice of the First Saturdays devotion, she promised that there would be certain fruits if her requests were fulfilled.
"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,” Mary said, Sister Lucia wrote in her memoir. “The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
Carollo told CNA that the grace of “final perseverance” at the hour of death will also be granted to any soul who fulfills the Five First Saturday devotion. But, he added, that “grace has to be cooperated with.”
Request not yet fulfilled?
It was Carollo who called the Five First Saturdays devotion the “unfulfilled part of the Fatima message.”
How can that happen then? Carollo said that the fulfillment of the promises of Fatima “will come when we merit it.”
“And we merit it,” he added, “primarily if enough people are fulfilling that Five First Saturdays devotion.”
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Speaking of Pope Francis’ recent consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Carollo said that grace would surely come. “But there has to be cooperation on our part,” he said.
“We have to start living the Fatima message, particularly the Five First Saturdays devotion. We have to fulfill that,” he said.
Sign the pledge
On the World Apostolate of Fatima’s website, Carollo invites people to sign a membership pledge that was formulated by Sister Lucia with the apostolate’s founder, John M. Haffert, as a commitment to pray the daily rosary, devote themselves to the brown scapular, offer up the sacrifices demanded by the daily duties of each individual’s state in life, and move toward the fulfillment of the Five First Saturdays devotion.
Carollo told CNA that although no official records have been kept, an estimated 20 million people worldwide have signed the pledge since it was formulated 75 years ago.
As far as fulfilling the Five First Saturdays devotion goes, receiving the sacrament of reconciliation may occur eight days before or after the first Saturday, “if you are in a state of grace,” the website says.