Newsletter n° 30 (28th June 2016)
This year 2016, the month of July will be under the special patronage of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. In fact, 1st July will be both the Feast day of the Precious Blood and the First Friday of the month. On 2nd July, we will celebrate the Feast of the Visitation and the First Saturday of the month as well. Therefore, let us not miss the opportunity to offer this first Friday and this first Saturday of the month to the two Hearts of Our Lord and of Our Lady.
On this subject, it is appropriate to clarify an aspect of the devotion of the First Saturday of the month. While the four first practical conditions are well-known, i.e. Confession, Communion, Rosary and 15 minutes of meditation, it is however important to remember the fifth condition: to fulfill these conditions to make amends for the sins perpetuated against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
On that particular aspect, some people have expressed some reservations. For some, the intention behind these First Saturdays of the month should not be a spirit of reparation but rather an attitude of trust in the love shown to us by the Heart of our Mother in Heaven and above all by the Heart of Her Divine Son. For others, the reparation would be an effort to make amends for our faults or those of others. It would then imply a kind of justice, whereas the relationship with Our Lady should rather be full of a spirit of love and mercy.
We do not want to question the goodness behind those observations. However, on 13th July 1917, Our Lady clearly said: « I will come to request the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturday of the month. » Of course, our love for Our Lord and Our Lady must certainly prevail and inspire all our devotions. However, it is not possible to separate the spirit of reparation from the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In fact, in Fatima, the word “reparation” was indeed used both by the Angel (in Summer and Autumn 1916) and Our Lady (13th may and 13th July 1917).
During Summer 1916, the Angel asked the children: « Offer to God a sacrifice of whatever you can as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and as a plea for the conversion of sinners. »
In Autumn, he taught this prayer to the little shepherds: « Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly and offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus-Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the earth, in reparation for the insults, sacrileges and indifference with which He is Himself offended. »
As for Our Lady, on 13th May 1917, she asked them: « Do you want to offer yourselves to God to bear all the sufferings that He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and as a plea for the conversion of sinners? »
On 13th July 1917, she taught them this prayer: « Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and often say, especially each time you will make a sacrifice: “O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” »
Let us note that, on 13th May, Our Lady uses the same expression as the Angel did the year before: to offer sacrifices « an act of reparation for sins by which Jesus is offended. » On the other hand, on 13th July, she requests sacrifices to atone for sins committed against her Heart.
Subsequently, the Infant Jesus and Our Lady will mostly refer to reparation for sins perpetuated against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On 10th December 1925, in Pontevedra, the Infant Jesus said to Sister Lucia: « Have compassion on the Heart of your very Holy Mother. It is surrounded by thorns that ungrateful men constantly pierce Her Heart with, while nobody makes an act of reparation to remove them. »
Then, the Holy Virgin said: « See, my daughter, my Heart surrounded by thorns because ungrateful men unremittently pierce my Heart with their blasphemies and ungratefulness. You, at least, try to console me and let people know that anyone who: on the first Saturday, for five consecutive months, will go to confession; receive Holy Communion; pray a Rosary; stay in my presence for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, in a spirit of reparation. I promise that they will be assisted by me at the hour of death and will be granted all the graces necessary for the salvation of their soul. »
A little while later, on 15th February 1926, the Infant Jesus told her again: « The souls who pray fervently on the five first Saturdays of the month, in order to make reparation to the Heart of your Mother in Heaven, are more pleasing to me than those who practice this devotion over fifteen Saturdays with lukewarmness and indifference. » Also, referring to confession, He added: « When going to confession before the first Saturday, may it also be done as reparation to the Sacred Heart of Mary. »
Finally, on 13th June 1929, Our Lady will mention it again: « So great is the number of souls condemned by God’s justice for sins perpetuated against me that I have come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray. »
Moreover, during the same period, in Poitiers, Our Lord was instructing Sister Josepha Menendez in a similar way. This is, for example, what He told her on 15th February 1922: « Sinners increase divine anger whereas souls who love Me, who sacrifice themselves and consume themselves as victims of reparation, attract God’s Mercy. And that is what saves the world. » (extract from “Un appel à l’amour”)
Our Lord and Our Lady ask us very clearly to make amends for the sins committed against the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Doesn’t Our Lord tell us that, if we make these acts of reparation, “we will save the world”!
Indeed, this spirit of reparation is in no way incompatible with an exchange of love. It is quite the opposite. Let us try to use an example to illustrate our point. Let us imagine that someone we love very much loses something particularly dear to them. Wouldn’t we surround them with all our love to comfort them? However, wouldn’t it move them even more if we also offered them something to replace at least partially what was lost? The compensation would certainly not be full. Nevertheless, in addition to easing the loss endured, this action will also have the merit of showing our affection in a very practical way. Therefore, the reparation is not only an act of justice which atones for a prejudice. It is also a way of proving in a practical way the love that we bear to people who suffer affliction. Why would it be any different regarding Our Lady?
Consequently, next Saturday, let us practice what Our Lady requests not only with all our heart but also with a true spirit of reparation.
In union of prayer in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Yves de Lassus,
Cap Fatima 2017.