Hello Sister Mary Martha, I love your blog! It's opened my eyes to a lot about the Catholic faith, especially how practical it really is, even wrapped in the richness of mysticism (a la Teresa of Avila, not a seance) and holy mysteries. I have a question about a practice I've heard about, but only in bits and pieces. It has to do with saying a rosary on the first Saturday of five consecutive months. Of course a daily rosary helps everyone, but from what I've heard this is something additional. Can you tell me more about what this practice is for, if there are special graces obtained, and what may be involved other than just saying the rosary on these five Saturdays? Thanks for your help! A faithful reader
Yes! How lovely! I don't think anyone has ever asked me about this, even in the non-cyber world.
Here's the thinking behind this one. We like to honor Mary. So Saturday has traditionally been the day of choice because of Mary's vigil on Holy Saturday, while Jesus was in the tomb.
We really leave no stone unturned in the Catholic Church. What's the best day of the week to honor Mary? Who would even think to ask that question? Why not just honor Mary any day of the week? No, someone had to sit down and figure out which day would be best. Of course we did.
So that was already going on. But in 1925, the Virgin Mary appeared to Sister Lucia at her convent in Portugal. You remember Sister Lucia! She was one of the three children of Fatima, who lived to a ripe old age as a Dorothean sister. Mary revealed a heart encircled in thorns, explaining the Jesus' heart is constantly pierced by "ungrateful men". (I'm sure she meant women, too, and children over the age of seven....)
Mary said there was no one to make reparation.
The Golden Prayer is a little more complicated than just saying a rosary on the first Saturday for five consequetive months. First of all, you have to say a whole rosary. That means you go through your beads four times and all four sets of mysteries: Glorious, Joyful, Sorrowful, Luminous.
And that's not all! You have to go to Confession and Holy Communion and you have to keep company with Mary for fifteen minutes. Because this devotion is all about comforting Mary and defending her.
I'm not sure why Mary picked fifteen minutes. But Sister Lucia has confirmed that it does not count the time you've spent saying the full rosary (all four sets of mysteries). You pick one mystery and meditate on that for fifteen minutes.
I don't know why she picked fifteen minutes. But I do now why there are five first Saturdays as opposed to nine (like a novena) or any other number. Jesus appeared to Sister Lucia in 1930 and told her it was because there were five ways in which Mary was particularly offended: blasphemies against her Immaculate Conception, against her perpetual virginity, against the divine and spiritual maternity of Mary, blasphemies involving the rejection and dishonoring of her images, and the neglect of implanting in the hearts of children a knowledge and love of this Immaculate Mother.
Also keep in mind that no one has to pay any attention to anything that is a private revelation, which includes Fatima, anything Sister Lucia has to say or that Mary appeared to Sister Lucia and asked for this. Your feeling about private revelations are entirely up to you. The Church does give some of them Her blessing, and this is one of those.
It would be good to keep these things in mind during your time spent with Mary.
And here's a little Christmas bonus for you! Since I missed St. Nicholas day here on the blog, let's pretend there is a loud knock coming through your computer.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
CLICK THIS LINK! (it's not a virus, I promise)