On the night of May 29 to 30, 1930, Sr. Lucia was praying before our Eucharistic Jesus in the chapel. The Fatima visionary spoke “heart to Heart” with our Eucharistic Lord about various questions which had been submitted to her concerning a previous message which had revealed the Five First Saturdays Devotion of Reparation (December 10, 1925).
Sr. Lucia was pondering one particular question posed to her regarding the number of first Saturdays: Why does it have to be “Five Saturdays,” and not nine or seven, in honor of the sorrows of Our Lady? The Fatima seer then directed this question to our Eucharistic Jesus, and he responded with the further revelation of the five great offenses to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Sr. Lucia records the event as follows:
I suddenly felt possessed more intimately by the Divine Presence; and if I am not mistaken, the following was revealed to me: “Daughter, the motive is simple: There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies spoken against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
First: blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
Second: against her Virginity
Third: against the Divine Maternity, refusing, at the same time, to receive her as the Mother of mankind
Fourth: those who seek publicly to implant, in the hearts of children, indifference, disrespect, and even hate for this Immaculate Mother
Fifth: those who revile her directly in her sacred images
Here, dear daughter, is the motive that led the Immaculate Heart of Mary to petition Me to ask for this small act of reparation. And, out of regard for her, to move My mercy to pardon those souls who have had the misfortune to offend her. As for you, seek endlessly, with your prayers and sacrifices, to move Me to mercy in regard to these poor souls” (Documents on Fatima and Memoirs of Sr. Lucia, p. 246).
Reparation is that privileged ability for those in the Mystical Body of Jesus to spiritually atone to God for the offenses of others, and to offer a type of spiritual balm to the wounded Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Mysteriously, these two Hearts continue to suffer mystically due to humanity’s rejection of their redemptive and coredemptive love.
The five offenses against the Immaculate Heart of Mary revealed by our Lord manifest both the importance of authentic Marian doctrine and the maternal sensitivity of the Immaculate Heart. The first three offenses constitute rejection of Marian truths: that she is the Immaculate Conception, the Perpetual Virgin, and the Mother of God and Mother of all peoples. These doctrines are not simply abstract mariological formulations, but rather reveal the person of Mary as created by the Almighty God—a person perfected in grace and stainless; a person physically, spiritually, and perpetually virginal; a person who is physical mother to the Word made flesh and spiritual mother to every other human being who has ever lived.
Since she is “mother” to the very core of her immaculately created being, her heart is indeed pierced by the indifference, disrespect, and even hatred which she tragically receives from some of her favored souls, the little children. Anima Christiana naturaliter Mariana—the Christian soul is naturally Marian, and only as a result of a contamination of heart from a misguided elder would a little child who loves Jesus not connaturally love Jesus’ mother.
Certainly, the first course of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is to fulfill the five First Saturdays devotion as requested by Our Lady, and then to continue to practice the devotion as a lifetime offering of reparation to this precious Mother’s heart. In 1930, Sr. Lucia summarized the requirements for the fulfillment of this act of reparation requested by heaven, and its salvific effects: “During five months, on the first Saturday, to receive Holy Communion, say the Rosary, keep Our Lady company for fifteen minutes, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, and going to Confession with the same intention… ‘To the souls who in this manner seek to make reparation to me’ (says Our Lady), ‘I promise to assist them, at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation'” (Documents, ibid.).
But we can also offer other forms of daily sacrifices and offerings to make amends for the five great offenses to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which sadly are so prevalent in our own day: from blasphemous art displays which revile her sacred image; to the resolute rejections of her Marian doctrines; to the religious indifference and erroneous instruction which is leading away great numbers of children in this third millennium from their true spiritual Mother.
Even the smallest child in a large family can offer reparation to a mother whose heart has been offended by the neglect, or even the malice, of some of her other children. In the same spirit, this little magazine seeks to offer at least five new articles every Saturday in reparation to the Immaculate Mother’s Heart—in filial recognition of her Marian doctrines and in joyful acceptance of her spiritual motherhood, which was paid for and given to each one of us personally at so great a cost (cf. Jn. 19:26-27).
This magazine is a small attempt to witness to the majestic beauty and sublimity of the spiritual Mother of all peoples; and to let her know that many of her little ones truly love and truly appreciate the gift of her Mother’s Heart.
-Dr. Mark Miravalle