Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today is the First Saturday of December. For those unfamiliar with the devotion:
The First Saturday Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was first mentioned by Our Lady of Fatima on July 13, 1917. After showing the three children a vision of hell she said, “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace… I shall come to ask for… the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays…”
Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Mary and the Child Jesus appeared to Lucia, the sole surviving Fatima visionary, at a convent in Pontevedra, Spain. Our Lady rested her hand on Lucia's shoulder, revealing a heart encircled by thorns.
The Child Jesus said: "Have compassion on the heart of your most holy Mother, covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation..."
Our Lady spoke next, saying: "Look, my daughter, at my heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every 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 fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me."
For more, see [HERE]("http://nd.edu/~mary/classic/firstsat.html") It seems so significant to me that today is also the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, Patron of Missionaries. Our Lady longs to gather all God's children and I believe that the closer we come to her, the more God's love will kindle in us the Flame of His Love. We too are called to bring Christ to others as Mary, St. Francis Xavier, and all the saints did. In offering our love in reparation today, perhaps we can be especially mindful of those times we were ungrateful and did not share God's love with others, wounding those Two Pierced Hearts who suffered so much for us.