"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." By these words St. Louis Marie de Montfort invites us to go to
Our Lady as a way leading us to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Fatima our dear Lady reminded us of a special
way to honor her: the devotion to her Immaculate Heart. Here is what she said
to the three little children:
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.
On December 10, 1925 the Blessed Virgin Mary said to
Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with
thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me 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 the fifteen mysteries
of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.
To our times has been given the Immaculate Heart of
Mary, surrounded by thorns, outraged by so many sins but seeking reparation for
them. Here is what she told the children:
Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many
times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of
You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed
against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
As we enter the month of Mary, let us remember to go
and honor Our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us practice the five first
Saturdays devotion again and again, not only once in a lifetime, but every month
of every year, so as to make reparation for the sins committed against her
Sorrowful Heart. If the first intention which has led us to the practice of the
first Saturdays is the grace of final perseverance, it is certainly more perfect
to practice this devotion in order to console Our Lady, to repair for the
offenses against her Immaculate Heart, and to offer the merits of these
reparations for poor sinners.
In a letter to Fr. Goncalves on June 12, 1930, Sister
Lucy named the reasons Our Lord had given to her for the five Saturdays,
corresponding to five kinds of offenses:
The blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;
The blasphemies against her virginity;
The blasphemies against her divine maternity,
refusing also to recognize her as Mother of men;
The blasphemies of those who intend to put in the
hearts of children indifference, spite, or hate for her Immaculate Heart;
The blasphemies against her images.
Let us remember that the consecration of Russia that
we all expect and want to be done as soon as possible and as Our Lady requested
it, has been asked of the hierarchy of the Church and therefore depends on us in
only a very remote way. Let us take care of what does depend on us first!
In the letter we quote above, Sister Lucy shows how
this consecration is in fact an expression of the same devotion to the
Immaculate Heart. She speaks about an "act of reparation and consecration of
Russia" to be made by the Pope and all the bishops of the world, with the
promise that one day the Holy Father would approve and recommend this devotion
of reparation. It is clear that God wants, by means of the consecration of
Russia and of its happy results for the Church and the world, to encourage us to
enter more generously into this practice of our Faith.
Our priests make great efforts to say Mass in some of
the mission chapels on the First Saturdays. It is sometimes sad to see how few
people attend Mass on these days. Please, continue to be generous in complying
with the request of Our Lady. Ask your pastors for the possibility of receiving
communion on the following Sunday when really kept from receiving it on the
first Saturday, as Our Lord mentioned to Sister Lucy in the apparition in Tuy
(May 29, 1930).
And a wonderful way to increase our devotion to the
Blessed Virgin Mary is also to follow a spiritual retreat. It is an occasion to
revive in us our love for Our Lord Jesus Christ and renew our strength, so as to
follow Him more faithfully. Once again, as I did a few months ago, I would like
to invite you and encourage you to follow an Ignatian retreat this year.
Finally, I wish also to express my deepest gratitude
to the many and generous benefactors who have responded so charitably to our
Easter appeal. We trust that the subscription to The Angelus magazine and
other gifts will be of great use in your homes and will be souvenirs of our
gratitude for your constant support of your chapels and priests.
With my prayers and blessing, in the Immaculate Heart
Fr. Arnaud Rostand