One Saturday morning, the alarm on my stopwatch randomly went off. I was a college student working at Ace Hardware, and my shift didn’t start until eleven. It was 8AM. Am I forgetting something? I do not remember setting that alarm.
At that time, I lived right across the street from the student Catholic Church. The usual Saturday daily Mass time was 9AM, that I usually attended before work followed by prayer in front of Planned Parenthood with the usual crowd of the Students for Life. DING DING DING. Of course, how could I forget, it’s the first Saturday of the month. Mary’s First Saturday Devotion. Did Mary set my alarm?
I think She did, because; what She specifically asks for on that day are four things:
1.) Go to confession.
2.) Receive Holy Communion.
3.) Meditate for 15 minutes.
4.) Pray the Holy Rosary.
All in honor of making an “act of reparation” for all the sins committed against Her Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart.
Mary, knew that before the 9AM Mass, there were confessions. I had more than enough time to be ready for Mass, walk across the street, go to confession in honor of Her Heart. Yet, all of that would not have happened if Mary did not wake me up through my watch; that early Colorado morning. Mother knows best!
Looking back, I cannot exactly pin point when or how I started getting into the First Saturday Devotion of Our Lady. I do know that it became a big part of my life. I knew the importance She placed on it at Fatima. Four months prior to becoming a Carmelite nun, almost everyday I listened to homilies, podcasts and videos on Mary’s Fatima messages- especially the third secret. Fatima became my daily homework- my life! And Mary was my Teacher.
When I entered Carmel, I was thrilled the nuns practiced the First Friday Devotion, but my heart sank when the next day came and there was no First Saturday. The very year I entered, 2017- the 100 year anniversary of Fatima- Cardinal Burk made the sad and disappointing statement that the First Saturday Devotion has been ignored, even by the faithful. And peace and even the proper consecration of Russia depend on the faithfulness in practicing Mary’s First Saturday. In fact, I just met a priest this past Sunday who said he was not familiar with this devotion. If priests are not familiar with it..who is?
The five months leading up to my clothing and naming ceremony in Carmel- I was named Sr Rosa Maria of the Sorrowful Heart- I faithfully practiced Her First Saturday Devotion on my own. Offering up any small sacrifice and mortification for Her and Her Heart throughout those Saturdays. Some of the things the sisters can do are called “mortification’s in the refectory”. The refectory is the place we eat in silence as a community. On first Saturdays I always wanted to pick something for Mary. Some, included sitting on the floor in the middle of the room with your plate of food, while the others sat at their places. Choosing that particular sacrifice was hard for me, but Our Lady of Fatima said She desired Sacrifice and Her Heart was all that was on my mind. I remembered Mary’s words of even the smallest sacrifice is precious to God! Choosing even the food you like least. All these are so pleasing to Jesus!
When I received the date of my clothing ceremony, I was thrilled that I would be clothed in Mary’s Habit on a FIRST SATURDAY. July 7th, 2018. Not only was I named after Her Heart, but I would be receiving Her precious Scapular, (The Scapular is the Carmelite’s sign of consecration to Her Immaculate Heart) I would be laying prostrate in the Habit on the very day she desires acts of reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart. It was as though I offered my very self! July 7th, will always be one of the happiest days of my life. I realized, then; just how important this devotion must be to heaven. O’ how the good Jesus wants this! Like a perfect Gentleman, He steps aside to put His dear Mother in the spotlight. To show off His most prized creation:
My dear friends, we must practice this devotion, faithfully. It’s only once a month, and at Fatima- it’s all She asked of us. She asked the Pope for the consecration of Russia in union with all the Bishops. Us- only the First Saturday Devotion. We all have a part to play, and we are all linked. Unity seems to be what God the Father desires of His children. Let us do this for Christ’s Queen!
As He said:
I am giving the world one last remedy: My Mother.