Nancy Bauer / (Click for full image.)

The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Nancy Bauer /
(Click for full image.)

As so many of the saints know, devotion to Mary is a key trait of those Christians who are most perfectly conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

“The greatest saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as a powerful helper to assist them. (St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, #46)

In my own journey of faith, devotion to Mary has time and again been the critical step in my returning to right paths when I have strayed. And not surprisingly, I have my own mother to thank for that.

I cannot imagine a friendship with Jesus that ignores the mother He so loved. Just think of your own earthly relationships. How long would you keep your best friend if you did not honor his mom? And what good friend would be jealous of the honor you gave to his mom?

For we never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek—Jesus, her Son. (St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, #94)

God desires you to be close to the Blessed Virgin and to practice pious devotions around her life and intercession.

The Five First Saturdays Devotion—An Act of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

In her July 13, 1917 apparition at Fatima, Mary said:

“You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. It is to save them that God wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved…  I shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins-of the world.”

Then on December 10, 1925, Mary appeared to Lucia in Spain and instructed her on how to make the Five First Saturdays devotion:

“Look, My daughter, at My Heart surrounded by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me and announce in My Name that I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all 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 fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to Me.”

So here is what you do to receive the promise of Mary to assist you at the moment of your death…

On the first Saturday of five consecutive months:

  1. Make a good sacramental confession (this can actually be done a reasonable number of days before the first Saturday, as long as the person is in a state of grace on the first Saturday).
  2. Receive Holy Communion.
  3. Pray a Rosary (five decades or more) properly—attentively saying the vocal prayers while meditating on the mysteries.
  4. Spend fifteen minutes or more  in the company of Mary meditating on one or more of the mysteries of the rosary (this is in addition to praying the rosary in #3).
  5. All components of this devotion must be done with the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for sin.

Not only is the practice of this devotion a very good act that Mary and Jesus desire of you, it is also a means of gaining graces to secure the gift of salvation you have received.

Into the deep…

Into the Deep by Deacon Mike Bickerstaff is a regular feature of the The Integrated Catholic Life™.

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