First Saturdays are entrance into deeper meaning of Fatima

By Father Thomas Dufner –

Fatima is a wonderful place where we are drawn into the heart of Our Lady and there are made her true children filled with her own life. Through this “school of Our Lady” we enter into the sacramental life, the interior life and the apostolic life, all for the good of the Church. The First Saturdays devotion helps us get there.

The Sacramental Life

The five First Saturdays is about reparation, but it leads us into the sacramental life of the Church, where God pours out Divine power. The sacramental life starts with confession. That’s where we renew the innocence once given us in Baptism. Here we renounce Satan, reject sin and its ability to separate us from God, and demonstrate a desire to be with Christ. Our attitudes are reshaped by the Sacrament of Penance.  Remember, this is a time for us to confess all of our mortal and God wipes them away.

Next is Holy Communion. Reception of Holy Communion establishes us as members of the Mystical Body of Christ, intimately united with the Divine Head and entirely disposed to be Mary’s own children, having that precious Blood flow within us.

The Interior Life

The First Saturdays lead us into the interior life, where God pours out His personal love for us. Through the Rosary, we have recourse to Our Lady in prayer and it follows the office that she continually fills at the side of her Divine Son as mediatrix of all graces. When we pray the Rosary, we are filled and protected with Mary. Some will say, “Oh it’s so repetitious.” But Fr. Benedict Groeschell, CFR said the prayer form is actually called a ‘mantra.’ We use the words of God, but we go beneath the words and enter into their meaning. As the beads slip through our fingers, we enter into the mystery of the Incarnation, the mystery of the birth of the God-man, the mystery of the Eucharist. All of these things we enter into far deeper than we could have if we only sat there with our own pious meditations. So the Rosary is a powerful prayer. At the end of the Rosary there is often peace. Our Lady does this. She brings peace and she’ll do this in times of great temptation. The additional 15-minute mediation allows us to enter deeply within the mystery.

The Apostolic Life

The First Saturdays also leads us into the apostolic life, where God pours out His gifts. We are sent out to speak the Word, to call people back from a world of darkness. Perhaps they won’t like it, but they need to hear the words anyway. There are moments in the apostolic life when we are summoned to do something more, summoned to greatness, to be apostles, to be ambassadors for Christ.

In all of this, Fatima becomes this friendship with Our Lady, with her divine maternity over us. It’s the school of her Immaculate Heart—the sacraments, the interior life and the apostolic life—the very place where you and I enter deep within.

Father Thomas Dufner is pastor of Epiphany Catholic Church in Coon Rapids, MN.  This is an excerpt from a First Saturday talk.

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  1. Thank you for this extract on the first 5 Saturdays, it brings a deep insight to what can develop within us when following this devotion, this is not always easy to do but with the grace of God possible.

    kind regards

  2. The First Saturday devotion is a Great source of Life and a constant presence of God .
    I am a devotee and member of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima since 1985.
    I only missed First Saturday Mass and devotions when I am sick.
    Have had so many life saving miracles in my life that doctors could not explain. Only God can.

  3. Are first Saturdays done in the morning or any time on Saturday

    • They can be done anytime on Saturday. If you cannot get to a morning Mass for Communion, you can offer your Saturday evening (anticipatory) Communion for the First Saturday, and can even offer your Sunday morning Communion if you were not able to celebrate on Saturday.
      You can go to confession 8 days before or after, as long as you are not in a state of grave sin on the First Saturday when you receive communion.
      The Rosary and 15 minutes meditation can be done anytime during the day.

      • Oh Thank you for this information! I have to work onSaturdays always and have been stressing over not being able to make the First Sat. Devotions.

        • You can offer your Sunday morning Communion and go to confession 8 days before or after, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart.

          On the first Saturday then, if you can pray a rosary and spend 15 minutes keeping Our Lady company while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, in reparation, this would fulfill the request. Our Lady is inviting us to be formed in her Immaculate Heart, to be drawn into the deeper mystery of Fatima and she wants us to spend time with her so that a friendship can develop. You do not need a program in the church to fulfill the requirements. This can be done on your own time.

          I hope you will at least do the Rosary and spend 15 minutes with Our Lady to console her on first Saturdays. Then try to do the other two requirements as close as you can to the first Saturday, offering that confession and Communion in reparation for the sins that offend her.

          Thank you,

  4. Our Church does not have Mass on Sat.. The priest has two parishes and has a Vigil Mass at the other parish. However, there was a Vigil Mass on Fri. evening for the 5th All Souls Sat., which is celebrated in the Eastern Rite Church. Does receiving Communion in that Vigil Mass fulfill the requirement of receiving Holy Communion for the 1st Sat.? Our priest thinks it did.

    • Yes, you may offer your Communion on Friday evening or your Communion on Sunday morning in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

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