In the first note, I presented the three cycles around which the entire message of Fatima is organised. In this second note, I will deal with the third cycle. Sister Lucia told us of her mystical experience that took place in Pontevedra, on the night of December 10th, 1925. She liked to retire to the Chapel during the night to pray, to console and keep Jesus company, the hidden Jesus, as the little shepherd children used to like to call him. And during her adoration, she saw the Immaculate Heart of Mary encircled with thorns, a sign of her suffering due to man’s ingratitude, since they lived as if God did not exist. Our Lady asked Lucia to promote the devotion of the first Saturday of five consecutive months. It was her request and great promise. The request was to spend the first Saturdays of the month in a spirit of love and reparation by “attending confession, receiving Holy Communion, reciting five decades of the Rosary, and keeping the Our Lady company for fifteen minutes while meditation on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making Reparation to Our Lady.” And the promise to all those who completed this devotion was that Our Lady would “assist them at the moment of death with all the graces necessary for salvation.” That’s it! I continue to be more and more amazed by this simple pedagogy that is available and accessible to everyone. One hour a month the first Saturday of the month and special assistance at the moment of death. If we look more closely, we can see that in fact one hour alone condenses the meaning of our whole life, for it is the hour of the passage from life to death! So, Our Lady’s presence is comforting throughout a pious person’s whole life, that itself is centred on this last hour that we are given to live! I, therefore, invite you to put in place the devotion of “the first Saturdays of the month” as the best way to prepare for the great Gathering in Fatima this year.
Father José Jacinto Ferreira de Farias, scj
Spiritual Counsellor to the ERI