DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Mary Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy; our life, our sweetness and our hope… These are the beginning lines of one of the most familiar Marian prayers in the Church, the Regina Caeli, or Hail Holy Queen. They very quickly state the stature and importance of the Blessed Mother in our lives and in the Church, where the Christian learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source as the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven as its source. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2030)
The more I imitate the Mother of God, the more deeply I get to know God. — Saint Maria Faustina, Diary entry 843
FIFTEEN PROMISES OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN TO CHRISTIANS
WHO FAITHFULLY PRAY THE ROSARY
- To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.
- Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive some special grace.
- The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy.
- The Rosary will make virtue and good works flourish, and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
- Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.
- Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
- Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
- Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.
- I will deliver promptly from purgatory souls devoted to my Rosary.
- True children of my Rosary will enjoy great glory in heaven.
- What you shall ask through my Rosary you shall obtain.
- To those who propagate my Rosary I promise aid in all their necessities.
- I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire Celestial Court during their life and at the hour of death.
- Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
- Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.
BLESSINGS OF THE ROSARY
- Sinners are forgiven.
- Souls that thirst are refreshed.
- Those who are fettered have their bonds broken.
- Those who weep find happiness.
- Those who are tempted find peace.
- The poor find help.
- Religious are reformed.
- Those who are ignorant are instructed.
- The living learn to overcome pride.
- The dead (the Holy Souls) have their pains eased by suffrages.
BENEFITS OF SAYING THE ROSARY
- It gradually gives us a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- It purifies our souls, washing away sin.
- It gives us victory over all our enemies.
- It makes it easy for us to practice virtue.
- It sets us on fire with love of our Lord.
- It enriches us with graces and merits.
- It supplies us with what is needed to pay all our debts to God and to our fellow men; and finally, it obtains all kinds of graces for us from Almighty God.
FIRST FRIDAY DEVOTION
Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690), a French nun in the Visitation Order, and gave her the special task to spread devotion to His Most Sacred Heart at a time when religion was growing cold in the hearts of mankind. He said to her:
“Behold this heart which, notwithstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service.”
Jesus asked for special prayers and practices to make amends (reparation) for this great neglect to the proper reverence owed to God. For those who did this faithfully, he made what St. Margaret Mary referred to as the “Great Promise” which was the last and greatest of the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavor [the grace of final repentance], or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life.”
CONDITIONS TO FULFILL THE FIRST FRIDAY DEVOTION
The specific conditions to receive the Great Promise of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are:
- Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays of the month (this assumes that the person is in a state of grace, having made a sacramental confession for any mortal sins prior to receiving communion).
- Having the intention, at least implicitly, of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all the sinfulness and ingratitude of men.
FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTION
The practice of the First Saturday devotion was requested by Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, multiple times starting in 1917. She said to Lucia, the oldest of the three children:
“I shall come to ask . . . that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.”
Years later she repeated her request to Sr. Lucia, the only one still living of the three young Fatima seers, while she was a postulant sister living in a convent in Spain:
“Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at very moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
CONDITIONS TO FULFILL THE FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTION
There are five requirements to obtain this promise from the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, one should:
- Have the intention of consoling the Immaculate Heart in a spirit of reparation.
- Go to confession (within eight days before or after the first Saturday).
- Receive Holy Communion.
- Say five decades of the Holy Rosary.
- Meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary with the goal of keeping Our Lady company (for example, while in church or before an image or statue of Our Lady).