Saturday, July 27, 2013

What's the Difference Between First Friday and First Saturday Devotions? And are They Important?

As a revert to the Catholic Church after many years absence (thank you, God, for calling me back) I have some catching up to do. Like many children raised in the 70's and 80's, my catechism kind of, er, lacked fullness. As Father Robert Barron pointed out in one of his talks, the Church was (and still is, in places) in a Happy Clappy stage.

When I heard about First Saturday devotions, I thought I was mistaken. Wasn't it First Fridays? That sounded more familiar. Turns out it's both.

(Note: the First refers to the first Friday or Saturday of the month.)


First Saturdays is an act for the reparation of offenses against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as requested by Jesus.  The devotion was given to us at Fatima, and we've seen the consequences of Catholic ignorance of this practice.  Fatima was all about the conversion of sinners, including the consecration of Russia to stop the spread of communism and persecutions against the Church. Just open the paper (or read online) and you can see that persecutions are on the rise, and our own government promotes the three most evil isms--communism, socialism and Marxism.

Catholics need to get serious about honoring First Saturdays.

There are four acts to complete the devotion. On the first Saturday of the month, we must:

1. Attend Confession
2. Receive Holy Communion
3. Recite five decades of the Rosary
4. Spend fifteen minutes meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary

All four acts must be done in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and though there is some leeway, it's supposed to be a sacrifice, so don't get lazy.

If you are unable to attend Reconciliation that Saturday, attend as soon as possible, preferably within eight days. Using Sunday obligation as your Saturday Mass doesn't really cut it.  That's like saying, "I'm allergic to dairy, so I'll give up cheese for Lent."  It's half-hearted.  Look up your local Mass schedules, and you'll find that many parishes have a Saturday morning Mass.

In Santa Clarita, St. Clair of Assisi has a 9 AM Mass, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help has 8 AM Mass and 8:45 Confessions. They also say the Rosary.

(Note that neither Mary nor Jesus, in their revelations to Sister Lucia--one of the three children present at Fatima--said anything about five First Saturdays.)

After reading up on First Saturdays at Fatima Family, I believe it is a very important act, and that Catholics should get off their lazy butts develop a habit of carrying out this devotion.


First Fridays is a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and is made by receiving Holy Communion on nine consecutive First Fridays.

From the writings of St. Margaret Mary:

"On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to His unworthy slave, if I mistake not: I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment."
My own home is consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It's like having, with respect, a "Beware" sign up for Satan. 
Both revelations are private revelations. Public revelation is binding on all Catholics and ended with the death of the last apostle, but one need not believe in a private revelation. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the role of private revelations is to help us live more fully by Christ's definitive revelation in a certain period of history. The Church recognizes and welcomes revelations that constitute an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church, as long as they don't surpass or correct the revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment. 
Bottom line, Jesus' first words in the Bible are a call to repentance, so a call to confess and make reparations makes sense. 
The Catholic faith is beautiful, with much more depth than I'd ever dreamed, and devotions are a special call to holiness.   As I discover more of these riches, I'll be sharing them. 

Do you have a favorite and fruitful devotion? I'd love to hear about it. 

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