Why Are Saturdays Devoted To The Blessed Mother?

by January, Mary - The Blessed Mother, Prayer

In the third apparition at Fatima, the Blessed Mother told the little seers that, to save souls and avert war, she came to request not just the praying of the Rosary and consecration to her Immaculate Heart, but a “Communion of reparation” on the first Saturdays of the month. In 1925, in a later vision to the surviving visionary, Sr. Lucia, Mary asked that her children console her Immaculate Heart, grieved by men’s blasphemies and ingratitude, by committing to the following on the first Saturday of five consecutive months: going to Confession, receiving Holy Communion, reciting five decades of the Rosary, and keeping her company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to her.[1] Sister Lucia later explained that the Five First Saturday devotion was requested by Jesus to make reparation for the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies uttered against His mother: (1) blasphemies against her Immaculate Conception, (2) her perpetual virginity, (3) her divine maternity and identity as the mother of men, (4) the desecration of images of her, and (5) those who seek to plant scorn, indifference, or hate of Mary in the heart of others.[2]

While the element of five consecutive Saturdays was new, the recognition of Saturday as a day specially devoted to Mary had a long history in the Church. In the tenth century we hear of Saturday Masses being celebrated in her honor in churches in Italy, France, and Germany. The Franciscans and Benedictines spread the devotion, and by the seventeenth century the Dominicans had started the practice of honoring Mary with special acts of devotion on the fifteen consecutive Saturdays preceding the feast of the Holy Rosary. The popes attached an indulgence to the Fifteen Saturdays for anyone who: (1) went to Confession, (2) received Holy Communion, and (3) prayed five decades of the Rosary. Also in the seventeenth century, St. John Eudes and Ven. John J. Olier began to speak to their spiritual sons of the first Saturday of the month as a day of reparation for blasphemies against the Blessed Mother.[3]

Saturday – A Day Of Devotion To The Blessed Mother

It has been suggested that Saturday became a day of devotion to the Blessed Mother in memory of the desolation she suffered on Holy Saturday. While not denying this impulse, I wish to suggest another reason for the practice – the Saturday Sabbaths shared between Mary and Jesus. As Christians we look to Sunday, the first day of the week, as the day to worship and renew our consecration to the Lord in the celebration of the Eucharist (Acts 20:7; Rev 1:8; CCC 2190). But Saturday was the day that, by divine command, Jesus and Mary set apart to the Lord (Ex 20:8-11; Dt 5:12-15). “This is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD sanctify you [mekoddishkem, ‘consecrate you’]” (Ex 31:13). Saturday was the day that no work was done. The Sabbath dinner, the finest meal of the week, was prepared by Mary in advance. She and Jesus attended the synagogue where they prayed and meditated upon Scripture, and then returned home to spend the rest of the day enjoying one another’s company as they prayed and discussed God’s revelation and their daily lives.

After Jesus’s ascension Mary shared the Saturday Sabbath with the Apostle John, marking Saturday as the day when the Church experienced her maternal care in a special way. And for Mary, those Saturdays continued to be the day that her Son showered her with His affections – communicated to her through John. When we today undertake the Five First Saturdays, what we ultimately seek through its practices is the intimacy shared between Jesus and Mary on those days. It is a sign, and its various practices a means of deepening, our total consecration, in union with the Immaculate Heart, to Jesus. It is also a means for the Sacred Heart to express, through us, His love for His mother and soothe the wounds inflicted upon her heart.

Adapted from Shane Kapler’s The Biblical Roots of Marian Consecration: Devotion to the Immaculate Heart in Light of Scripture (TAN Books, 2022).

Continue Learning About The Biblical Roots Of Marian Consecration

Did you know that Marian Consecration is biblical? With roots stretching all the way back to Genesis?

Just as Jesus is the only Way to the Father (Jn 14:6), the sole mediator between God and man (1 Tm 2:5), so Mary is the primary mediator and intercessor before her Son. By virtue of the grace given to her as the Mother of God, she is the “Queen of Heaven and Earth.”

In this timely book, Shane Kapler uncovers the biblical basis for Marian Consecration. He demonstrates how entrusting oneself to Our Lady—and living this devotion through practices such as praying the Rosary, wearing the Brown Scapular, and keeping the Five First Saturdays—is firmly rooted and foreshadowed in the Old and New Testaments. In Mary, we see the heights to which each of us is called: to be without blemish (Eph 5:27), be glorified in body and soul (1 Cor 15:51–53), and share Christ’s heavenly reign (Rv 3:21).

Discover how, like Saint Joseph and Saint John the Apostle, we are invited to share in Mary’s interior life, to fully surrender ourselves to the action of the Holy Spirit, and to begin loving Jesus with her Immaculate Heart.

More than ever, the popes have recognized Our Lady of Fatima’s call—as urgent now as it was in 1917—for consecration and devotion to the Immaculate Heart as a reiteration of the Gospel, a plea for Christians to enflesh the message of Scripture.

“Blessed are the pure [or ‘immaculate’] in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8)

Purchase Shane Kapler’s The Biblical Roots of Marian Consecration: Devotion to the Immaculate Heart in Light of Scripture today.

[1] Louis Kondor, ed., Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words (Still River, MA: Ravensgate Press, 2003), 194.

[2] Francis Johnston, Fatima: The Great Sign (Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1979), 118.

[3] Fancis D. Costa, “Mary’s Day and Mary’s Months,” in Juniper B. Carol, ed. Mariology, vol. 3, 54-55.

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