Throughout the history of Fatima, the date of 29th May 1930 isn’t well known. However, it is an important date, almost as important as 13th May or 13th October 1917. A few days before 29th May 1930, the Holy Virgin appeared to Lucia who was then a novice with the Dorothy’s sisters in Tuy. Our Lady wanted to inform her that the time had come to ask the Holy Father to recognize the communion of reparation on the first Saturdays of the month.
This request was the ou0tcome of various celestial interventions since 1917:
1) On 13th July 1917 in Fatima, Our Lady confided a secret in the little seers. In this secret she announced the following: “I will come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and for the communion of reparation on the first Saturdays of the month.” (see the message of Fatima)
2) Eight years later, on 10th December 1925 in Pondevedra, Our Lady appeared to
Lucia, as she had promised. Lucia was then a postulant at the Dorothy’s sisters. Our Lady gave her the details of the devotion on the first Saturdays of the month and asked her to start spreading this devotion. Lucia told everything immediately to her confessor, Don Lino Garcia. However, she didn’t reveal the relation this had with the apparitions in Fatima. Then, Sister Lucia, Don Lino and the Mother Superior Magalhaès started to spread this devotion. They informed the Bishop of Leiria, His Grace Da Silva as well as His Grace Pereira Lopès, who was Lucia’s confessor when she was a boarder at Asilo de Vilar. His Grace Pereira Lopès had since become General Vicar. Unfortunately, none of them reacted positively.
On 15th February 1925, in Pondevedra again, the Infant Jesus appeared to Lucia: to her request, He softened the conditions which had been set by the Holy Virgin two months before. He also confirmed that it was Heaven’s will to see this devotion spread. Unfortunately, despite new attempts to get it approved, neither His Grace Da Silva, nor His Grace Pereira Lopès did anything about it.
3) The following July, Lucia was sent to Tuy, at the novitiate of the Dorothy’s sister. One of her spiritual directors there, Father Aparicio, was convinced of the interest of the apparitions at Pontevedra. He asked Lucia to write down the account of it and to specify that it was related to the apparitions in Fatima. This request put Lucia in an awkward position because she hadn’t been yet allowed to reveal the secret of 13th July 1917. On 17th December 1927, as she was in the chapel, she heard Jesus’ voice very clearly. He allowed her to reveal the relation between the apparitions in Fatima and in Pontevedra, although he asked her to keep all the rest secret. Therefore, she told Father Aparicio about the apparition on 13th June only. (see Letter to Father Aparicio)
From then on, Father Aparicio endeavoured to spread the devotion of reparation of the First Saturdays of the month. In October 1928, Sister Lucia and himself tried again to speak to the Bishop of Leira. However, like the previous attempts, it failed.
4) Finally, in May 1930, Heaven told Lucia that the time had come to ask the Holy Father to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to approve of the devotion of the first Saturdays of the month. Lucia wrote immediately to her confessor who was at the time Father Gonçalvès. Here is what she wrote on 29th may 1930:
It seems to me that the Good Lord is working in the depth of my heart to make me ask the Holy Father to approve of the devotion of reparation which God Himself and the Very Holy Virgin have deigned to ask in 1925. Through this small devotion, the grace of forgiveness will be given to the souls who have had the misfortune to offend the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To the souls who will endeavour to make reparation this way, the Very Holy Virgin has promised to assist them at the hour of death and to provide all the graces necessary for their salvation.
This devotion implies that, for five consecutive months, on the first of the month, one shall receive holy communion, shall pray the Rosary and keep company to Our Lady for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the rosary. One shall also go to confession with the same intention. One can also go to confession on a different day. If I am not mistaken, the Good Lord promises to end the persecution in Russia if the Holy Father deigns to make a solemn and public act of reparation and of consecration of Russia to the Holy Hearts of Jesus and of Mary. The Holy Father needs to order all Bishops in the catholic world to do the same. In return for the end of this persecution, His Holiness shall promise to approve and recommend the above-mentioned practice of this devotion of reparation. (See Letter to Father Gonçalvès)
This letter is particularly important because it marks the date when Heaven formally asked the Pope to recognize the devotion of the first Saturdays of the month.
On the same day, Father Gonçalvès had a note given to Sister Lucia, asking her to answer five questions about the devotion. That evening, Sister Lucia went to the chapel and received the answers from Our Lord. On the 12th June, she wrote to Father Gonçalvès to inform him of the answers given by Heaven. (See Father Gonçalvès’ questions and Sister Lucia’s answers in the letter dated 12th June 1930)
Thus, in one of the answers, Our Lord affirms that it is He who asks for this devotion: “… The Immaculate Heart of Mary has inspired ME to ask for this little reparation and, because of this, MY mercy shall be moved.” Therefore, we are in the presence of a will coming from Our Lord himself. Certainly, Our Lady had already requested it in July 1917, then in December 1925: but, in fact, she was only passing on a request from her Son. Because, as early as 13th June 1917, she had said that this devotion was her Son’s will: “Jesus wants to establish in the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart” (See also the fact sheet on the communion of reparation on the first Saturday of the month)
86 years have passed since heaven asked the Holy Father to approve of the Communion of reparation on the first Saturday of the month. Strictly speaking, this recognition was requested to happen only after the persecution in Russia has ended. But nothing prevents the Holy Father from doing it before, since it is God’s will which has been clearly expressed. Moreover, according to the Vatican, Russia has already converted. However, the Holy Father has not yet recognised the devotion of the first Saturdays of the month. Why? What prevents him from doing it? It is sad indeed to see that this request from Our Lord has still not been honoured. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to enlighten Our Holy Father to honour this request.
On our part, let us generously answer to the will of our Lord and of our Lady and let us practice the devotion of the first Saturday of the month from now on.
In union of prayer in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Yves de Lassus,
Cap Fatima 2017.