These messages were approved by the Catholic Church and was published in its entirety at Lecce. France, on November 15, 1979 with the imprimatur of Bishop Zola.
Published by the Shepherdess of La Salette with Imprimatur by Mgr. Bishop of Lecce.
“Well my children you will pass this on to all of my people.”
Simple reproduction without commentary or controversy of the original edition of Lecce in 1879.
The following Secret was given by Our Lady to two children, Mélanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud, on September 19, 1846, while they were tending cattle on the mountain of La Salette, France.
“On the 18th of September (1846), the eve of the Holy Apparition of the Holy Virgin, I was alone, as usual, watching over my Master’s cows. Around eleven o’clock in the morning, I saw a small boy walking towards me. I was frightened at this, for it seemed to me that everyone ought to know that I avoided all kinds of company. This boy came up to me and said:
“Little girl, I’m coming with you, I’m from Corps too”. At these words, the natural evil in me soon showed itself, and taking a few steps back, I told him: “I don’t want anybody around. I want to be alone.” But the boy followed me, saying: “Go on, let me stay with you. My Master told me to come and watch over my cows together with yours. I’m from Corps.”
I walked away from him, gesturing to him that I didn’t want anybody around, and when I was some distance away, I sat down on the grass. There, I used to talk with the little flowers of the Good Lord.
A moment later, I looked behind me, and there I found Maximin sitting close to me. Straightway he says to me: “Keep me with you. I’ll be very good.”
But the natural evil in me will not hear reason. I jump to my feet, and run a little farther off without saying a word and again I start playing with the little flowers of the Good Lord. In an instant, Maximin was there again, telling me he would be very good, that he wouldn’t talk, that he would get bored all by himself, and that his Master had sent him to be with me, etc. This time, I took pity, I gestured to him to sit down, and I kept on playing with the little flowers of the Good Lord.
It wasn’t long before Maximin broke the silence by bursting into laughter (I think he was making fun of me). I look at him and he says to me: “Let’s have some fun, let’s make up a game”. I said nothing in reply, for I was so ignorant I didn’t understand what games with other people were, always having been alone. I played with the flowers, on my own, and Maximin came right up close to me, doing nothing but laughing, telling me the flowers didn’t have ears to listen to me and that we should play together instead. But I had no liking for the game he told me to play. I started talking to him, however, and he told me that the ten days he was to spend with his Master would soon be over and then he would go home to his father in Corps etc…
While he was talking, I heard the bell of La Salette, it was the Angelus. I gestured to Maximin to lift his soul up to God. He took off his hat and was silent for a moment. Then I said: “Do you want to have dinner?” “Yes, he replied, let’s eat.” We sat down and I brought out of my bag the provisions my Master had given me. As was my habit, before breaking into my little round loaf, I made a cross with the point of my knife in the bread, and a little hole in the middle, saying: “If the devil’s in there, may he leave, and if the Good Lord is in there, may he stay!” and I rapidly covered up the little hole. Maximin burst into laughter and kicked the loaf out of my hands. It rolled down the mountainside and was lost from site. I had another piece of bread which we shared. Afterwards, we played a game. Then, realizing that Maximin must still be hungry, I pointed out a place on the mountainside covered with all kinds of berries. I urged him to go and eat some and he went straight away. He ate a few berries and brought back his hat full of them. In the evening we walked back down the mountain together and promised to come back the next day and watch over our cows together.
The next day, the 19th of September, I met Maximin on the way up. We climbed up the mountain side together. I discovered that Maximin was a very good, simple boy, and would willingly talk about what I wanted to talk about. He was also very flexible and had no fixed opinions. He was just a little curious, for, when I walked away from him, as soon as he saw I had stopped, he would run over to me to see what I was doing and hear what I was saying to the flowers of the Good Lord. And if he arrived too late, he would ask me what I had said.
Maximin told me to teach him a game. It was already late morning. I told him to gather some flowers for the “Paradise”. We set to work together. Soon we had a number of flowers of various colours. I could hear the village Angelus ringing, for the weather was fine and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Having told the Good Lord what we had learned, I said to Maximin that we ought to drive our cows on to a small plateau near the gully, where there would be stones to build the “Paradise”. We drove our cows to the selected spot and then had a small meal. Then we started collecting stones to build our little house, which comprised of a so-called ground floor which was where we were to live, and then a story above which was to be, as we called it, “Paradise.”
This story was decorated all over with different-coloured flowers, with garlands hanging from flower stalks. This “Paradise” was covered by a single large stone which we had strewn with flowers. We had also hung garlands all the way round. When we had finished, we sat and looked at the “Paradise”. We began to feel sleepy and having moved a couple of feet away, we went to sleep on the grass.
When I woke up I couldn’t see the cows, so I called Maximin and climbed up the little mound. From there I could see our cows grazing peacefully and I was on my way down, with Maximin on his way up, when all at once I saw a beautiful light shining more brightly than the sun.
“Maximin, do you see what is over there? Oh! my God!” At the same moment, I dropped the stick I was holding. Something inconceivably fantastic passed through me in that moment, and I felt myself being drawn. I felt a great respect, full of love, and my heart beat faster.
I kept my eyes firmly fixed on this light, which was static, and as if it had opened up, I caught sight of another, much more brilliant light which was moving, and in this light I saw a most beautiful lady sitting on top of our Paradise, with her head in her hands.
This beautiful Lady stood up, she coolly crossed her arms while watching us, and said to us:
“Come, my children, fear not, I am here to PROCLAIM GREAT NEWS TO YOU.”
These soft and sweet words made me fly to her, and my heart desired to attach itself to her forever.
When I was up close to the Beautiful Lady, in front of her to her right, she began to speak and from her beautiful eyes tears also started to flow.
“If my people do not wish to submit themselves, I am forced to let go off the hand of my Son. It is so heavy and weighs me down so much I can no longer keep hold of it.
I have suffered all of the time for the rest of you! If I do not wish my Son to abandon you, I must take it upon myself to pray for this continually. And the rest of you think little of this. In vain you will pray, in vain you will act, you will never be able to make up for the troubles I have taken over for the rest of you.
I gave you six days to work, I kept the seventh for myself, and no one wishes to grant it to me. This is what weighs down the arm of my Son so much.
Those who drive carts cannot speak without putting the name of my Son in the middle.
These are the two things which weigh down the arm of my Son so much. If the harvest is spoiled, it is only because of the rest of you. I made you see this last year with the potatoes, you took little account of this. It was quite the opposite when you found bad potatoes, you swore oaths, and you included the name of my Son. They will continue to go bad, at Christmas there will be none left.”
At this point, I was trying to interpret the word “potatoes” (pommes de terre): I thought I understood it to be “apples” (pommes). The Beautiful and Good Lady, reading my thoughts, repeated thus:
“You do not understand, my children. I will tell it to you another way.
“If the harvest is spoiled, it does not seem to affect you. I made you see this last year with the potatoes. You took little account of this. It was quite the opposite when you found bad potatoes, you swore oaths, and you included the name of my Son. They will continue to go bad and at Christmas, there will be none left.
If you have corn, you must not sow it. The beasts will eat all that you sow. And all that grows will fall to dust when you thresh it. A great famine will come. Before the famine comes, children under the age of seven will begin to tremble and will die in the arms of those who hold them. The others will do penance through hunger. The nuts will go bad, the grapes will become rotten.”
At this point, the Beautiful Lady, who was entrancing me, for a moment did not make herself heard. I could see, however, that she was continuing, as if speaking, to move graciously her kindly lips. At this moment, Maximin was receiving his secret. Then, turning to me, the Most Holy Virgin spoke to me and gave me a secret in French. Here is this secret in its entirety as she gave it to me:
“Mélanie, what I am going to tell you now will not always be a secret; you can publish it in 1858.
“Priests, my Son’s ministers, priests, by their evil life, by their irreverences and their impiety in celebrating the holy mysteries, love of money, love of honor and pleasures, priests have become sewers of impurity. Yes, priests call forth vengeance, and vengeance is suspended over their heads. Woe to priests, and to persons consecrated to God, who by their infidelities and their evil life are crucifying my son anew! The sins of persons consecrated to God cry to heaven and call for vengeance, and now here is vengeance at their very doors, for no longer is anyone found to beg mercy and pardon for the people; there are no more generous souls, there is now no one worthy of offering the spotless Victim to the Eternal on the worlds behalf.
“God will strike in an unparalleled manner. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! God will exhaust His anger, and no one will be able to escape so many evils at once. The heads, the leaders of the people of God, have neglected prayer and penance, and the devil has darkened their minds; they have become those wandering stars which the ancient devil will drag with his tail to destruction. God will permit the ancient serpent to sow divisions among rulers, in all societies and in all families; both physical and moral punishments will be suffered. God will abandon men to themselves and will send chastisements one after the other for over 35 years.
“Society is on the very eve of most terrible scourges and greatest events; one must expect to be governed by a rod of iron and to drink the chalice of God’s wrath.
“Let not my Son’s Vicar, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX leave Rome after the year 1859; but let him be steadfast and generous, let him do battle with the weapons of faith and love; I shall be with him.
“Let him beware of Napoleon; his heart is double, and when he will want to be both Pope and emperor at the same time, God will soon withdraw from him; he is that eagle who, desiring always to rise, will fall on the sword he wanted to use to force the peoples to exalt him.
“Italy will be punished for its ambition in wanting to shake of the yoke of the Lord of lords; thus she will be handed over to war; blood will flow on all sides; Churches will be closed or desecrated; priests, religious will be driven out; they will be put to death, and to a cruel death. Many will abandon the faith, and the number of priests and religious who will separate themselves from the true religion will be great; even Bishops will be found among these persons.
“Let the Pope beware of miracle workers, for the time has come for the most astonishing wonders to take place on the earth and in the air.
“In the year 1864 Lucifer, together with a great number of devils, will be loosed from hell; little by little they will abolish the faith, and that even in persons consecrated to God; they will so blind them, that without a special grace, these persons will take on the spirit of these evil angels; a number of religious houses will lose the faith entirely and cause many souls to be damned.
“Bad books will abound over the earth, and the spirits of darkness will everywhere spread universal relaxation in everything concerning God’s service: they will have very great power over nature; there will be churches to serve these spirits. People will be transported form one place to another by these evil spirits, and even priests, because they will not have lived by the good spirit of the gospel, which is a spirit of humility, charity and zeal for the glory of God. The dead and the just will be made to rise.”
[Mélanie interpolated here: “That is to say, these dead will assume the prospect of righteous souls who once lived on earth, in order to seduce men more easily; these so-called resurrected dead, who will be nothing other than the devil under these faces, will preach another Gospel contrary to that of the true Christ Jesus, denying the existence of heaven, if these be not in fact the souls of the damned. All these souls will appear joined to their bodies.”]
“There will be extraordinary wonders every place because the true faith has been extinguished and false light illumines the world. Woe to the princes of the church who will be occupied only with piling up riches upon riches, with guarding their authority and lording with pride!
“My Son’s Vicar will have much to suffer, because for a time the Church will be handed over to great persecutions: it will be the time of darkness; the Church will undergo a frightful crisis.
“With God’s holy faith forgotten, each individual will want to direct himself and rise above his peers. Civil and ecclesiastical authority will be abolished , all order and justice will be trampled underfoot. Only murders, hatred, jealousy, lying and discord will be seen, with no love of country or family.
“The Holy Father will suffer greatly. I shall be with him till the end to receive his sacrifice.
“The wicked will make a number of attempts on his life without being able to harm him; but neither he nor his successor will see the triumph of God’s Church.
“Civil governments will all have the same objective, which will be to abolish and make every religious principle disappear, to make way for materialism, atheism, spiritism and vices of all kinds.
“In the year 1865, the abomination will be seen in the holy places; in the convents the flowers of the Church will putrefy, and the devil will establish himself as king of all hearts. Let those who are at the head of religious communities be on their guard concerning the persons they are to receive, because the devil will use all his malice to introduce into religious orders persons given to sin, for disorders and love of carnal pleasures will be widespread over the whole earth.
“France, Italy, Spain and England will be at war, blood will flow in the streets; Frenchmen will fight Frenchmen, Italian with Italian; then there will be a general war which will be appalling. For some time God will no longer remember France or Italy, because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is no longer known. The wicked will unleash all their malice; even in homes there will be killing and mutual massacres.
“With the first lightning blow of His sword, the mountains and all nature will tremble with dread, because the disorders and crimes of men are piercing the vault of the heavens. Paris will be burned and Marseilles swallowed up; a number of large cities will be shattered and swallowed by earthquakes; all will seem lost; only murders will be seen, the clash of arms and blasphemies heard. The righteous will suffer greatly; their prayers, their penances and their tears will rise to heaven and all God’s people will ask pardon and mercy and will ask my help and intercession. Then Jesus Christ, by an act of His justice and His great mercy toward the righteous, will command His angels to put all His enemies to death. At one blow the persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ and all men given to sin will perish, and the earth will become like a desert.
“Then there will be peace, the reconciliation of God with men; Jesus Christ will be served, adored and glorified; charity will flourish everywhere. The new kings will be the right arm of Holy Church, which will be strong, humble, pious, poor, zealous and imitative of the virtues of Jesus Christ. The Gospel will be preached everywhere, and men will make great strides in the faith, because there will be unity among Jesus Christ’s workers and men will live in the fear of God.
“This peace among men will not last long: 25 years of abundant harvests will make them forget that the sins of men are the cause of all the woes which happen on earth.
“A precursor of the Antichrist, with his troops drawn from many nations, will wage war against the true Christ, sole Savior of the world; he will shed much blood and will seek to annihilate the cult of God so as to be regarded as a god.
“The earth will be struck with plagues of all kinds;” [Mélanie added here: “Besides pestilence and famine, which will be widespread”] “there will be wars up to the last war, which will then be waged by the ten kings of the Antichrist, kings who will all have a common design and will be the sole rulers of the world. Before this happens, there will be a sort of false peace in the world; people will think only of amusing themselves; the wicked will indulge in all kinds of sin; but the children of Holy Church, children of the true faith, my true imitators, will grow in the love of God and in the virtues dearest to me. Happy the humble souls lead by the Holy Ghost! I shall battle along with them until they reach the fullness of maturity.
“Nature begs vengeance on account of men, and she shudders with dread, awaiting what must happen to the crime-stained earth.
“Tremble, earth, and you who profess to serve Jesus Christ, while interiorly you adore yourselves, tremble; for God will hand you over to His enemy, because the holy places are in a state of corruption; many convents are no longer houses of God, but pastures for Asmodeus and his own.
“It will be at this time that the Antichrist will be born of a Hebrew nun, a false virgin who will be in communication with the ancient serpent, master of impurity; his father will be a bishop (Ev.). [We spell out the word “bishop” here. In the French text appear only the first two letters of évèque, the French word for bishop, but there is little doubt that this is the word they stand for, because in Mélanie’s first draft of the message the whole word is spelled out.]
“At birth he will vomit blasphemies, he will have teeth; in a word, this will be the devil incarnate; he will utter terrifying cries, he will work wonders, he will live only on impurities. He will have brothers who, although not incarnate devils like himself, will be children of evil; at the age of twelve, they will be noted for the valiant victories they will win; soon they will each be at the head of armies, assisted by legions from hell.
“The seasons will be changed, the earth will produce only bad fruits, the heavenly bodies will lose the regularity of their movements, the moon will reflect only a feeble reddish light; water and fire will lend convulsive motions to the earth’s sphere, causing mountains , cities, etc., to be swallowed up.
“Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.
“The demons of the air, together with the Antichrist, will work great wonders on the earth and in the air, and men will become ever more perverted. God will take care of His faithful servants and mend of good will; the Gospel will be preached everywhere, all peoples and all nations will have knowledge of the Truth.
“I address a pressing appeal to the earth: I call upon the true disciples of the God living and reigning in the heavens; I call upon the true imitators of Christ made man, the one true Savior of men; I call upon my children, my true devotees, those who have given themselves o me so that I may lead them to my Divine Son, those whom I bear as it were in my arms, those who have lived in my spirit; finally, I call upon the Apostles of the Latter Times, the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ who have lived in contempt of the world and of themselves, in poverty and humility, in contempt and silence, in prayer and mortification, in chastity and in union with God, in suffering, and unknown to the world. It is time for them to emerge and come enlighten the earth. Go, show yourselves to be my dear children; I am with you and in you, provided your faith is the light enlightening you in these evil times. May your zeal make your famished for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ. Do battle, children of light, you, the few who see thereby; fir the time of times, the end of ends, is at hand.
“The Church will be eclipsed, the world will be in consternation. But there are Enoch and Elias, they will preach with the power of God, and men of good will will believe in God, and many souls will be comforted; they will make great progress by virtue of the Holy Ghost and will condemn the diabolical errors of the Antichrist.
“Woe to the inhabitants of the earth. There will be bloody wars, and famines; plagues and contagious diseases; there will be frightful showers of animals; thunders which will demolish cities; earthquakes which will engulf countries; voices will be heard in the air; men will beat their heads against the walls; they will call on death, yet death will constitute their torment; blood will flow on all sides. Who could overcome, if God doesn’t shorten the time of trial? At the blood, tears and prayers of the righteous, God will relent; Enoch and Elias will be put to death; pagan Rome will disappear; the fire of Heaven will fall and consume three cities; the whole universe will be struck with terror, and many will allow themselves to be seduced because they didn’t adore the true Christ living in their midst. It is time; the sun is darkening; Faith alone will survive.
“The time is at hand; the abyss is opening. Here is the king of the kings of darkness. Here is the beast with its subjects, calling itself the savior of the world. In pride he will rise skyward to go up to Heaven; he will be stifled by the breath of St. Michael the Archangel. He will fall and the earth -which for three days will be in constant change- will open its fiery bosom; he will be plunged forever with all his followers into hell’s eternal chasms. Then water and fire will purify the earth and consume all the works of men’s pride, and everything will be renewed; God will be served and glorified.”
Saint Gertrude Sees How Even the Most Vilest of Sinners Are Saved When They Come to Mary
St. Gertrude one day saw Mary with her mantle extended, beneath which many wild beasts, lions, bears, and tigers had sheltered themselves; and Mary not only did not cast them from her, but received them with pity and caressed them. And by this the saint understood, that the vilest sinners, when they flee to Mary, are not cast out, but welcomed and saved from eternal death. Let us enter, then, into this ark, and seek refuge under the mantle of Mary; for she certainly will not reject us, and will surely save us.
Tomorrow is First Saturday and if you start this devotion tomorrow (June 3rd)you will end in October the 100th Anniversary of the last apparition of Fatima and the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun!Join the movement and honor Our Lady’s requests at Fatima and offer it for her intentions,for our country and for mercy for our depraved world!
FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS DEVOTION
In December of 1925, Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucia, giving her the following guaranty of salvation for those who complete the First Five Saturdays Devotion:
“I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls.”
Why Five Saturdays?
The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1) Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
2) Blasphemies against her virginity.
3) Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men.
4) Instilling indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children.
How to complete the Five First Saturdays Devotion:
On the first Saturday of five consecutive months:
1. Go to confession;
2. Receive Holy Communion;
3. Say five decades of the Rosary;
4. Keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary;
5. Have the intention of making reparation to Our Lady for the offenses listed above.
“I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the first Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last moment.” — Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary
How to complete the First Friday’s Devotion:
Receive Holy Communion on each First Friday;
The nine Fridays must be consecutive;
They must be made in honor and in reparation to His Sacred Heart.
ACT OF REPARATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy, and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee!
The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!
The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hopes of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole hope of mankind!
The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!
The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most liberal Heart of Jesus!
The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart of Jesus, model of every virtue!
The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of souls!
The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, O Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more we will honor him as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!
O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
12 Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.
If there is an age whose sole hope lies in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it is our own. The evils committed by mankind today can scarcely be exaggerated. To mention just a few, these include blasphemy, the destruction of the family through abortion, divorce, euthanasia, widespread pornography, immoral fashions and lifestyles, homosexuality and so on.
As Pope Pius XI once said, the contemporary world is so morally depraved that at any moment it could be plunged into a deeper spiritual misery than that reigning in the world when Our Blessed Redeemer was born. In consideration of so many crimes, the idea of divine vengeance naturally comes to mind. When we view this sinful world, groaning beneath the weight of a thousand crises and a thousand afflictions but nevertheless unrepentant; when we consider the alarming progress of neo-paganism, which is on the verge of conquering humanity; and when, on the other hand, we consider the lack of resolve, foresight, and unity among the so-called remnant, we are understandably terrified at the grim prospects of catastrophes that this generation may be calling upon itself.
There is something liberal or Lutheran in imagining that so many crimes do not deserve punishment, that such a widespread apostasy of humanity is merely the fruit of some intellectual error without moral guilt. The reality is otherwise, for God does not abandon His creatures. Rather, He continuously assists and supports them with sufficient grace to aid them in choosing the right path. If they choose to follow a way other than His, the responsibility is theirs.
Were God to act solely according to His justice, there is no doubt what we should expect. Indeed, could we even have made it as far as this twentieth century? Nevertheless, since God is not only just but also merciful, the gates of salvation have not yet been shut against us. A people unrelenting in its impiety has every reason to expect God’s rigor. However, He Who is infinitely merciful, does not want the death of this sinful generation but that it “be converted…and live” (Ezech.18:23). His grace thus insistently pursues all men, inviting them to abandon their evil ways and return to the fold of the Good Shepherd.
The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart by Holy Mother Church.
The Church, governed and taught by the Holy Ghost, has approved and recommended devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In our age of religious indifference, when fervor and charity have grown cold, Jesus exhibits to the world His Sacred Heart as the symbol of God’s infinite love – the symbol of His own generous self-sacrificing love for men. Jesus shows His Divine Heart as a furnace whose burning rays of love are able to reanimate faith and rekindle love in hearts grown cold and ungrateful.
But why His Heart? Because in every language, in every age, the heart is regarded as the natural symbol of love and affection. What more natural and expressive symbol is there, then, of the excessive love of Jesus than His Sacred Heart? The direct and material object of devotion to the Sacred Heart is the real, physical Heart of Jesus – the Heart of flesh, the living and loving Heart of our Blessed Lord; the Heart that beat in His Divine breast at the moment of the Incarnation; the Heart that loved us during the life of Jesus on earth, that poured forth its blood to the last drop on Mount Calvary; the beatified Heart now glorious in Heaven and still dwelling among us in the Blessed Sacrament; the Heart ever united to the Person of the Divine Word, to whom is due supreme homage and adoration.
We the Christians are the true Israel which springs from Christ, for we are carved out of His heart as from a rock. – St. Justin Martyr (d. 165)
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. – Matthew 11:29
There is in the Sacred Heart the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return. – Pope Leo XIII
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is devotion to Jesus Christ Himself, but in the particular ways of meditating on His interior life and on His threefold love – His divine love, His burning love that fed His human will, and His sensible love that affects His interior life. Pope Pius XII of blessed memory writes on this topic in his 1956 encyclical, Haurietis Aquas (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart). Below are a few excerpts which help explain the devotion:
~The Heart of the Incarnate Word is deservedly and rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine Redeemer unceasingly loves His eternal Father and all mankind.
~It is a symbol of that divine love which He shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit but which He, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak and perishable body, since “in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
~It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into His soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused.
~And finally – and this in a more natural and direct way – it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Jesus Christ, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, possesses full powers of feelings and perception, in fact, more so than any other human body.
~Since, therefore, Sacred Scripture and the official teaching of the Catholic faith instruct us that all things find their complete harmony and order in the most holy soul of Jesus Christ and that He has manifestly directed His threefold love for the securing of our redemption, it unquestionably follows that we can contemplate and honor the Heart of the divine Redeemer as a symbolic image of His love and a witness of our redemption and, at the same time, as a sort of mystical ladder by which we mount to the embrace of “God our Savior.” sacred heart
~Hence His words, actions, commands, miracles, and especially those works which manifest more clearly His love for us – such as the divine institution of the Eucharist, His most bitter sufferings and death, the loving gift of His holy Mother to us, the founding of the Church for us, and finally, the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and upon us – all these, we say, ought to be looked upon as proofs of His threefold love.
~Likewise we ought to meditate most lovingly on the beating of His Sacred Heart by which He seemed, as it were, to measure the time of His sojourn on earth until that final moment when, as the Evangelists testify, “crying out with a loud voice ‘It is finished’ and bowing His Head, He yielded up the ghost.” Then it was that His heart ceased to beat and His sensible love was interrupted until the time when, triumphing over death, He rose from the tomb.
~But after His glorified body had been re-united to the soul of the divine Redeemer, conqueror of death, His most Sacred Heart never ceased, and never will cease, to beat with calm and imperturbable pulsations. Likewise, it will never cease to symbolize the threefold love with which He is bound to His heavenly Father and the entire human race, of which He has every claim to be the mystical Head.
The Two Elements of Devotion to the Sacred Heart: Consecration & Reparation
We consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart by acknowledging Him as Creator and Redeemer and as having full rights over us as King of Kings, by repenting, and by resolving to serve Him.
We make reparation for the indifference and ingratitude with which He is treated and for leaving Him abandoned by humanity.
To carry out these general goals of consecration and reparation, there are quite specific devotions authorized by the Church.
History of the Devotion
From the earliest days of the Church, “Christ’s open side and the mystery of blood and water were meditated upon, and the Church was beheld issuing from the side of Jesus as Eve came forth from the side of Adam. It is in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that we find the first unmistakable indications of devotion to the Sacred Heart. Through the wound in the side, the wounded Heart was gradually reached, and the wound in the Heart symbolized the wound of love.” (Catholic Encyclopedia)
General devotion to the Sacred Heart, the birthplace of the Church and the font of Love, were popular in Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries, especially in response to the devotion of St. Gertrude the Great (b. 1256), but specific devotions became even more popularized when St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a Visitation nun, had a personal revelation involving a series of visions of Christ as she prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote, “He disclosed to me the marvels of his Love and the inexplicable secrets of his Sacred Heart.” Christ emphasized to her His love and His woundedness caused by Man’s indifference to this love.
He promised that, in response to those who consecrate themselves and make reparations to His Sacred Heart:
He will establish peace in their homes.
He will comfort them in all their afflictions.
He will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
He will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
Sinners will find in His Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
He will bless every place in which an image of His Heart is exposed and honored.
He will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in His Heart.
In the excessive mercy of His Heart, His all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in His disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. His divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
The devotions attached to these promises are:
Receiving Communion frequently
First Fridays: going to Confession and receiving the Eucharist on the first Friday of each month for nine consecutive months. Many parishes will offer public First Friday devotions; if they do, you must perform First Fridays publicly. If it isn’t so offered in your parish, you can do this privately, going to Confession, receiving the Eucharist, and offering your prayers for the intention of the Holy Father.
Holy Hour: Eucharistic Adoration for one hour on Thursdays. (“Could you not watch one hour with me?”) Holy Hour can be made alone or as part of a group with formal prayers.
Celebrating of the Feast of the Sacred Heart
Feast of the Sacred Heart
The Friday that follows the Second Sunday after Pentecost is the Feast of the Sacred Heart which brings to mind all the attributes of His Divine Heart mentioned above. Many Catholics prepare for this Feast by beginning a Novena to the Sacred Heart on the Feast of Corpus Christi, which is the Thursday of the week before. On the Feast of the Sacred Heart itself, we can gain a plenary indulgence by making an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart.
Enthronement of the Sacred Heart
Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, a South American priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, was inspired by God, after his instantaneous cure at Paray-le-Monial, to preach everywhere the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart to verify this promise of the Savior given to St. Margaret Mary: “I will bless every dwelling where an image of My Heart is both exposed and honored.”
According to Father Mateo: The Enthronement is the Official and Social Recognition of the loving Kingship of the Heart of Jesus in a Christian family. This recognition is made manifest by giving the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus a place of honor in the home which is thus solemnly offered Him by an act of consecration. The God of infinite mercy said in Paray-le-Monial: “Being Myself the fount of all blessings, I will distribute these abundantly wherever the image of My Heart has found a place, to the end that it may be loved and honored.” And further: “I shall reign in spite of My enemies and all those who attempt to oppose Me.”
The Enthronement then is simply the realization, not of this or that one of the requests made by Our Savior to St. Margaret Mary, but the complete and integral realization of all of them, calling forth the fulfilment of the splendid promises with which the King of Love has enriched them. Note that we say “integral realization of all the requests made in Paray, for the supreme end of the Enthronement is not, and ought not to be, to further a new pious practice, but to sanctify the home, and convert it into a living and social throne for the divine King.”
During the Enthronement ceremony, a blessed image of the Sacred Heart is hung in the most prominent place in the home, and Sacred Scripture is placed before it. Formal prayers are prayed and then each member signs a certificate of the Consecration.
Prayers For the Month of June
Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart
Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thee, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.
Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation, not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.
We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are now determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holydays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.
Would that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy divine honor, the satisfaction Thou once made to Thy Eternal Father on the Cross and which Thou continuest to renew daily on our Altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth, we will live a life of unswerving faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.
O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit Thou livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.
THE BLESSING OF THE SACRED HEART
May the grace and blessing of the Sacred Heart be with you, the peace of the Sacred Heart encompass you! May the merits of the Sacred Heart plead for you, the love of the Sacred Heart inflame you! May the sorrows of the Sacred Heart console you, the zeal of the Sacred Heart animate you, the virtues of the Sacred Heart shine forth in your every word and work! And may the joys of the Beatific Vision be your eternal recompense!
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
I, __________, give myself and consecrate to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ my person and my life, my actions, pains, and sufferings, so that I may be unwilling to make use of any part of my being save to honor, love,and glorify the Sacred Heart.
This is my unchanging purpose, namely, to be all His, and to do all things for the love of Him, at the same time renouncing with all my heart whatever is displeasing to Him.
I therefore take Thee, O Sacred Heart, to be the only object of my love, the guardian of my life, my assurance of salvation, the remedy of my weakness and inconstancy, the atonement for all the faults of my life and my sure refuge at the hour of death.
Be then, O Heart of goodness, my justification before God Thy Father, and turn away from me the strokes of His righteous anger. O Heart of love, I put all my confidence in Thee, for I fear everything from my own wickedness and frailty; but I hope for all things from Thy goodness and bounty.
Do Thou consume in me all that can displease Thee or resist Thy holy will. Let Thy pure love imprint Thee so deeply upon my heart that I shall nevermore be able to forget Thee or to be separated from Thee. May I obtain from all Thy loving kindness the grace of having my name written in Thee, for in Thee I desire to place all my happiness and all my glory, living and dying in true bondage to Thee.
CONSECRATION OF THE HUMAN RACE TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Your altar. We are Yours, and Yours we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with You, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known You; many too, despising Your precepts, have rejected You. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Your Sacred Heart.
You are King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken You, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned You; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
You are King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
You are King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism; refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Your eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Your chosen people. Of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry:Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and Honor forever. Amen.
PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus help me.
Merciful Jesus, I consecrate myself today and always to Thy Most Sacred Heart.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus I implore, that I may ever love Thee more and more.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Thy love for me.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, deliver the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of Infinite Majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Sacred Temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, loaded down with opprobrium, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offenses, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, obedient to death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and our reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the Saints, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.
Let us pray: Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Thy most beloved Son and upon the praises and satisfaction which He offers Thee in the name of sinners; and to those who implore Thy mercy, in Thy great goodness, grant forgiveness in the name of the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who livest and reignest with Thee forever and ever. Amen
“It is related in the life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Order of the Visitation, that our Saviour revealed to this his servant his wish that in our times the devotion and feast of His Sacred Heart should be established and propagated in the Church, in order that devout souls should by their adoration and prayer make reparation for the injuries his heart constantly receives from ungrateful men when he is exposed in the Sacrament upon the Altar . . . .
“While this devout virgin was one day praying before the Most Holy Sacrament, Jesus Christ showed her his heart surrounded by thorns, with a cross on the top and in a throne of flames; and then He said thus to her: ‘Behold the heart that has so much loved men, and has spared nothing for love of them, even to consuming itself to give them pledges of its love, but which receives from the majority of men no other recompense but ingratitude, and insults towards the Sacrament of love; and what grieves Me most is, that these hearts are consecrated to Me.’
“And then He desired her to use her utmost endeavors in order that a particular feast should be celebrated in honor of His divine heart on the first Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi.
And this for three reasons:
1. In order that the faithful should return thanks to Him for the great gift which He has left them in the adorable Eucharist;
2. In order that loving souls should make amends by their prayers and pious affections for the irreverences and insults which He has received and still receives from sinners in this Most Holy Sacrament;
3. In order that they might make up also for the honor which He does not receive in so many churches where He is so little adored and reverenced. And He promised that He would make the riches of His Sacred Heart abound towards those who should render Him this honor, both on the day of this feast, and on every other day when they should visit Him in the Most Holy Sacrament.”
Sources:America Needs Fatima and sistersofcarmel.com
~The Vision of Blessed Alan De La Roche~
Blessed Alan De La Roche was chosen by God to be the GREAT propogator of the Rosary in the fifteenth century,a time when it had very much gone out of use amongst the faithful.In a moment of deep discouragement,he was greatly animated in his work by the following vision which Our Lord granted him.This vision was accorded to him during the time that he was saying mass;Our Lord appeared to him hanging on the cross and addressed to him these words of reproach:”Behold Me nailed to the cross;it is you who have crucified me anew”.Blessed Alan answered,”How Lord could I be so miserable as to commit such a deed?”Our Lord said,”It is your sins that have crucified Me;not your deeds,but your omissions;for having the knowledge and the power to preach,you are guilty of all the sins that would have been prevented by the preaching of My Rosary.THE WORLD IS FULL OF RAVENOUS WOLVES AND YOU UNFAITHFUL DOG KNOW NOT HOW TO BARK”.Blessed Alan adds that the future punishment reserved for unfaithful guardians of Our Lord’s flock was then revealed to him,and these words were said to him:”If you remain silent any longer,there is your place.GO AND PREACH MY PSALTER,fearing nothing.I will defend you against all who desire to attack you”.Our Blessed Lady also made known to him her displeasure at his silence.She reproved him severely by having,like a slothful labourer,forsaken his work and showed him in spirit a large and beautiful city,like the Heavenly Jerusalem described by St.John in the Apocalypse,with its walls of jasper and its gates of pearl and its streets of transparent gold,glittering with the glory of God.And she promised to him,and to all those who should faithfully practice the devotion of the Rosary,that a dwelling should be theirs for all eternity.Encouraged by these warnings and promises,Blessed Alan published the Rosary with burning zeal,according to the voice of Our Lord and His Holy Mother.No longer depressed by opposition,he turned all his energy to the accomplishment of the glorious mission which had been confided to him.From that day forward he went from town to town,and from village to village,preaching everywhere,and carrying with him the knowledge and the love of Jesus and Mary by the Rosary.
After her death, she appeared to him and said she had been condemned to seven hundred years in purgatory because of her own sins and those she had caused others to commit by her worldly ways.
So she implored him to ease her pains by his prayers and to ask the Confraternity members to pray for the same end. St. Dominic did as she had asked.
Two weeks later she appeared to him, more radiant than the sun, having been quickly delivered from purgatory by the prayers of the Confraternity members.
She also told St. Dominic that she had come on behalf of the souls in purgatory to beg him to go on preaching the Rosary and to ask their relations to offer their Rosaries for them, and that they would reward them abundantly when they entered into glory.
The Five First Saturdays devotion is one of the principal points of the Fatima message. It centers on the urgent need for mankind to offer reparation and expiate for the many injuries that the Immaculate Heart of Mary suffers from the hands of both impious and indifferent men.
On the First Saturday during 5 Consecutive Months, the Devotion consists of:
1. Going to Confession
2. Receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion
3. Saying five decades of the Rosary
4. Meditating for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary
All this offered in REPARATION for the sins of blasphemy and ingratitude committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary
During the third apparition on July 13, 1917, Our Lady revealed that she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and for the Communion of Reparation of the Five First Saturdays. Consequently, she asked for the devotion in 1925 and the consecration in 1929.
While staying at the House of the Dorothean Sister in Pontevedra, Portugal, Sister Lucia received a vision on December 10, 1925 where the Blessed Mother appeared alongside a Boy who stood over a luminous cloud. Our Lady rested one hand on the Boy’s shoulder while she held on the other hand a heart pierced with thorns around it.
Sister Lucia heard the Boy say, “Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother which is covered with thorns with which ingrate men pierce it at every moment with no one to make an act of reparation to pull them out.”
Our Lady expressed her request in the following words,
“See, my daughter, My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ingrates pierce me at every moment with blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, make sure to console me and announce that all those who for five months, on the first Saturdays, go to confession, receive Communion, say five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the purpose of making reparation to Me, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls.”
A few days afterward, Sister Lucia detailed this vision in a letter addressed to Monsignor Manuel Pereira Lopes, her confessor when she resided in the Asylum of Vilar in the city of Oporto, Portugal.
Why Five Saturdays?
Sister Lucia’s confessor questioned her about the reason for the five Saturdays asking why not seven or nine. She answered him in a letter dated June 12, 1930. In it she related about a vision she had of Our Lord while staying in the convent chapel part of the night of the twenty-ninth to the thirtieth of the month of May, 1930. The reasons Our Lord gave were as follows:
The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are:
a. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
b. Blasphemies against her virginity
c. Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men
d. Instilling , indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children
e. Direct insults against Her sacred images
Let us keep the above reasons firmly in our minds. Devotions have intentions attached to them and knowing them adds merit and weight to the practice.
Modifications to the Five First Saturdays Devotion to facilitate its observation:
The original request of Our Lady asks one to confess and receive Communion on five consecutive first Saturdays; to say five decades of the Rosary; to meditate during 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary for the purpose of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation for the sins of men.
In subsequent private visions and apparitions however, Sister Lucia presented to Our Lord the difficulties that devotees encountered in fulfilling some conditions. With loving condescension and solicitude, Our Lord deigned to relax the rules to make this devotion easy to observe:
Confession may be done on other days other than the First Saturdays so long as one receives Our Lord worthily and has the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Even if one forgets to make the intention, it may be done on the next confession, taking advantage of the first occasion to go to confession.
Sister Lucia also clarified that it is not necessary to meditate on ALL mysteries of the Rosary on each First Saturdays. One or several suffice.
With much latitude granted by Our Lord Himself, there is no reason for the faithful to hesitate or delay this pious practice in the spirit of reparation which the Immaculate Heart of Mary urgently asks.
This devotion is so necessary in our days.The culture of vice and sin remains unabated even as one reads this. Abortion, blasphemy, drug abuse, pornography, divorce and bad marriages, religious indifference, the advances of the homosexual agenda and others are just some of society’s many plagues that cut deeply into the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We must console Our Lady amidst all these insults and injuries to her and her Divine Son. She asks for reparation, she pleads for our prayers, she hopes for our amendment of life. Let us listen to her maternal pleas and atone for the ingratitude of men.
The First Five Saturdays devotion stimulates the spirit of reparation; it instills a tender love for the Holy Sacraments of Confession and the Blessed Eucharist. It nurtures a holy affection for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Rosary. Above all, it is an excellent means to maintain one in the state of grace while immersed in the daily spiritual battles and prosaic existence in the neo-pagan world that we live in.
Let us not delay in observing this devotion for it too gives us hope for eternal salvation.
The plague in Tlaxcala, Mexico, 1631: St Michael appears during the the April 25th “Greater Litanies” Procession
More than a millennium after ending the plague in Rome, and exactly 100 years after Our Lady’s apparitions to Blessed Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill (Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1531) we come to the year 1631 with another Mexican apparition, which like the Romans finds the native people of Nativitas, Tlaxcala, Mexico also ravaged by a merciless plague. The illness, called “cocolixtli” by the locals, was a horrible form of smallpox that was devastating the people with immense sufferings and numerous deaths. As had been done on April 25th throughout the Catholic world since the time of Pope St Gregory, the people of Tlaxcala took part in the procession of the Greater Litanies, praying for an end to the plague that was mercilessly afflicting them. It was once again at time of great suffering that God chose to send Saint Michael to mitigate the plague.
On this occasion, instead of appearing to a saintly Pope, this time the great Archangel was sent by God to manifest himself to a lowly native Indian named Diego Lázaro de San Francisco (sometimes called Diego de San Lazaro), who was only seventeen years old at the time. Towards the conclusion of the Greater Litanies procession, Diego Lázaro suddenly saw Saint Michael in a vision, and the great Archangel spoke to him in his own native language (Náhuatl) stating:
“You are to know that I am Saint Michael the Archangel, and I have come to tell you that it is the will of God and mine that you tell the inhabitants of this place, and everywhere abroad, that near a valley between two mountain ridges you will find a miraculous spring of water that will cure the people of their ills. You will find it beneath a great boulder. Do not doubt what I have told you and do not neglect what I have sent you to do.”
As soon as St. Michael disappeared, Diego Lázaro was initially filled with holy joy. Astounded by the heavenly vision, he immediately asked others in the procession if they too had seen Saint Michael. The puzzled looks and replies of those around him made it clear he was the only one who had seen the Prince of the heavenly host. Confused, Diego Lázaro thought perhaps he imagined the whole encounter, and he decided not to tell anyone about his experience.
St Michael issues a grave warning
After a few days, the great archangel appeared to Diego Lázaro once again, and this time he was very displeased. He thundered:
“Why did you doubt what I have told you? Because you have not done as I requested, you too will be stricken with the plague that is devastating your people.”
Immediately Diego became severely ill with the “cocolixtli”. He remained in this grave state for about a week, until the Archangel’s next appearance. During this time thinking that his life was coming to an end, his family called for a priest, and he received the Sacrament of the sick.
St Michael makes another appearance to Diego Lázaro, leading him to the miraculous spring, and cures him
Just when those around Diego were convinced that he was passing from this life, St Michael intervened once again. This time, everyone present saw a dazzling light, which scared them tremendously, causing them all to flee from the hut. Describing afterwards what had happened, Diego states that St Michael took him by the hand:
“Saint Michael transported me to the place he had told me about before. With Saint Michael going before me through the night, everything was illuminated as the great prince passed, as if it were midday. Rocks and branches split apart as he passed, clearing a path for us. As we reached a certain spot, I saw Saint Michael holding a golden staff topped with a cross.
‘From the place I touch with this staff you will see flowing the miraculous spring I told you about during the procession. Make it clear to everyone that the illness you have suffered is a fruit of your disobedience.’
“Having said this, a great whirlwind of deafening screams, wailing and moaning, as if a great crowd were being driven from the place. I shook with fear. It seemed to me that the entire mountain ridge would tumble down on top of me during the turmoil.
‘Do not fear; these are the sounds made by the demons, thine enemies, because they know the great benefits that through my intercession the faithful will receive in this place from Our Lord. Many, seeing the marvels worked here, will convert and do penance for their sins, and all will give thanks to God for His mercies. Those who approach this spring with lively faith and sorrow for their faults will, with the water from this spring, obtain relief in their sufferings and needs, and those at the point of death will find a comfort in these waters.’
‘This light that you have seen descend from heaven is the virtue that God in His Divine Providence gives in this spring for the health and relief of the sick and needy. Make this known at once to everyone. That they may believe your testimony, I promise to work a great prodigy through you.’
With that, Saint Michael disappeared, and I found myself here in this hut once again, completely cured.”
Doubts and miracles- News spreads and a great boulder is miraculously moved
Diego’s family and friends were of course astounded by not only the great flash of light that drove them in fear out of the hut, his story afterwards, and most of all his sudden cure which completely amazed them. Keeping in mind St Michael’s command to spread the devotion, Diego went at once to the local superior of the Franciscans, Friar Hernando García Rendón, Guardian of the convent of Natívitas. Seeing the obvious sincerity and firm resolve of the 17 year old, the priest listened attentively as Diego Lázaro recounted the story, yet he was unsure what to make of it. He decided to send Diego to the Governor of Tlaxcala, Don Gregório de Nazienzen, who was known for his learning.
Diego recounted to the governor the entire story of Saint Michael’s appearance to him. Sadly, Don Gregório concluded that the tale was false and he commanded Diego to return home at once, warning that he did not want to hear any more about apparitions, and threatening to punish him if he did. Diego returned home as he was told, deeply disappointed but undaunted in his mission to spread word of the miraculous spring water.
Diego then met with his family and a few friends and he led them to the place where Saint Michael had revealed the spring. As they approached, they saw a great boulder blocking the spot. Together the men tried to move the boulder, but it would not budge. It was at this moment that Diego remembered Saint Michael’s words: “I promise to work a great prodigy through you.”
Asking everyone to stand back, he said a prayer for Saint Michael’s assistance. He then walked up and moved aside the massive boulder. The spring that was beneath gushed forth with crystalline water. Seeing him move the boulder and then the water coming forth, no one there doubted the truth of Diego’s words, and word quickly began to spread throughout the countryside of the miraculous spring.
Soon afterwards, a young girl stricken with the dreaded smallpox saw a vision of Saint Michael in a dream, instructing her to drink some of the miraculous water. A relative brought her the water, and she was restored to health. Hearing this, Diego asked her to give testimony to the governor, however she refused fearing harsh treatment from the skeptical leader. In a neighboring village, another miracle followed soon after, this time a young lady cured of the same dreaded disease by the miraculous water. Again, Diego failed to convince this woman also to speak to the governor.
Months went by and Diego felt understandably discouraged in his efforts to convince the governor. On November 13, St Michael once more appeared to him and said,
“Why do you act cowardly, and are negligent in what two times now I have commanded you? Do you want to be punished once again for your disobedience? Arise, and have diligence in making known what I have commanded to you.”
Cures abound through “San Miguel del Milagro”
Diego at once went to the spring, and filled a jug with water. This time bypassing the hostile governor, he went to the Bishop of Puebla, Don Gutierre Bernardo Quiroz. The kind Bishop listened attentively to the remarkable story of the apparition and its aftermath up to this point. Calling to mind how the Heavenly Father often had revealed the mysteries of his kingdom to simple people, he came to the conclusion that the young Indian man before him was sincere. He promised that he would make an investigation, ordering that the holy water be distributed among the sick in the area. All those who drank it afterwards greatly improved or completely recovered their health. The news of these cures were immediately reported to the Bishop, and were spread amongst the people in Puebla, Tlaxcala and other regions, and people began to arrive at “St Michael’s well” from many places.
“This light that you have seen descend from heaven is the virtue that God in His Divine Providence gives in this spring for the health and relief of the sick and needy.” -St Michael to the visionary Diego de San Lazaro
-St Michael the Archangel, pray for us!