The Nine First Fridays and Five First Saturdays
By Author Susan Tassonee

On July 2, 1674, while St. Margaret Mary was praying before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, she saw a vision of Jesus in glory, with his five wounds shining like suns, and he then showed her his heart on fire with love for mankind, a love that unfortunately was often ignored or treated with contempt.

He asked her to make up for this coldness and ingratitude by receiving Holy Communion as often as she was allowed, and particularly on the First Friday of each month.  This idea of making reparation for the sins of others is also prominent in the messages given by Mary to the children at Fatima in 1917.

The “Great Promise” associated with this devotion applied to those who went to Communion on nine consecutive Fridays:  “I promise you, in the excess of the mercy of My Heart,, that Its all-powerful love will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure nor without receiving the Sacraments, My Divine Heart becoming their assured refuge at that hour.”

An analysis of this promise was done by Father Gnarocas, author of Seemingly Impossible...But True!  The Nine First Fridays.  He shares some incredible and fascinating insight that should prompt everyone to circle their calendars on every First Friday of the month!

Here is was he says.  First, the solemn words of Jesus, “I promise you” is telling us that Jesus wants to make us understand that, dealing with such an extraordinary grace, He intends to commit His Divine Word on which we can put our surest trust.

Secondly, he adds, “in the excessive mercy of My Heart,” in order to reflect to us that the promise Jesus is making to us is so extraordinary that with it the treasury of His mercy are almost exhausted and it is up to us to profit from this grace.

Jesus explains His promise with the words:  They will not die in My disgrace, nor without having received the Holy Sacraments, and in those last moments My Heart will be a safe refuge for them.

The question is asked:  Will whoever shall have made well the nine First Fridays be certain of not dying without first having confessed and received Holy Viaticum and the Annointing of the Sick?  The answer is:  Whoever, at the moment of death is already in the grace of God, per se has no need of the Sacraments to be eternally saved.

Whoever, on the other hand, in the last moments of life is in mortal sin, ordinarily, to regain God’s sanctifying grace, needs at least the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  However, (a) in case of the impossibility of confessing; or even (b) in case of sudden death, before the soul is separated from the body, God can supply for the lack of reception of the Sacraments with interior graces and inspirations which could induce the dying person to make an act of perfect contrition, to regain sanctifying grace and be saved eternally.

What the Sacred Heart does promise in an absolute way and without restrictions is that no one of those who have made well the Nine First Fridays will die in mortal sin granting him:  final perseverance in the state of grace if he is just; forgiveness of every mortal sin, either by means of Confession or be means of perfect sorrowful contrition if he is a sinner.

So much suffices for Paradise is to be truly assured because--without any exception-His amiable Heart will serve for all as a safe refuge in that extreme hour.

In the Middle ages the churches, cemeteries and convents enjoyed such a privilege, called the right of refuge.  Thus, refuge means safe and inviolable shelter.  Jesus will be in the extreme hours of our death our safe and inviolable refuge against the devil.

Our death in God’s will be a consoling triumph of the of the excessive infinite mercy and omnipotent love of this Divine Heart.

The next question is asked:  What must be said after having made well the First Fridays one begins to lead a sinful life?

The answer is very consoling!  Jesus has not excepted anyone who has fulfilled well the conditions of the First Fridays.  He will accomplish this “excess” of the mercy of His omnipotent love giving them the grace to change their ways before dying and granting them pardon, He will save them.  This pious practice assures us the victory over our enemy:  sin.  Not just any kind of victory, but the last and decisive victory:

the victory of on one’s deathbed.  What a sublime grace of Divine Mercy!

Another question is posed:  Does this practice favor presumption, a sin against the Holy Spirit?

The unconditional promise of Jesus wants to induce us to put all our trust in Him, making Him the guarantor of our salvation by the merits of His most loving Heart, and the authority of the Church invites us to profit by such an easy means of reaching eternal life.

Do we think about whether we will be saved?  If we die suddenly where would we go?  This thought made the Saints tremble?

Now sweet Jesus comes with His Great Promise to take us out of this fear and consoling promise of final perseverance by making well the Communion of the First Fridays of the month for nine consecutive months.  Jesus gives us the golden key to open Paradise.  It is up to us to profit from this truly extraordinary grace which His most merciful Heart offer us!

St. Margaret Mary gives a privileged place to devotion to the souls in Purgatory.  She herself had an extraordinary devotion to these souls and called them her good suffering friends.  The revelations which she received about the sufferings of these souls, about our Divine Lord’s tender love for them and His eager desire for their deliverance, of the great efficacy of the devotion to the Sacred Heart for their early release,  and that her compassion for these suffering souls may be said to be a share of the compassion of the Divine Heart for them;  she called the devotion to the Sacred Heart the sovereign remedy for their relief.  The Holy Souls asked of her particularly for Masses in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It is also a very good practice to have a Mass celebrated for obtaining the grace of a happy death for yourself and loved ones.

If we are unable to make the Nine First Fridays, Our dear Holy Mother Mary has given us a shortcut through her First Five Saturdays.

On December 10, 1925, Our Blessed Mother appeared with the Christ Child to Sister Lucia.  (She died last February.)  The Blessed Mother spoke.  “Look, my daughter, at my heart encircled with thorns, with which ungrateful men wound it every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude.  Give me consolation, you, at least; and announce for me that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all who on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, confess, receive holy Communion, recite 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.”

You have read it correctly!  Our Lady herself assures that those who make this devotion will receive from her the graces necessary for salvation at the moment of their death!

The National Catholic Register, in an article, 5 Saturdays, 1 Salvation, cites Franciscan Friar of the Renewal, Father Andrew Apostoli, adding this reminder.

The Christ Child said to Sister Lucia not to make this devotion just once,” he says,

“but to repeat it over and over again because it is necessary for the coming of the era of peace in the world.”  The First Five Saturdays devotion is an extremely important part of Our Lady’s request at Fatima for peace in the world and for the spread of devotion to her Immaculate Heart.”

Marie Ostermann, a national board member of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima, tells us God has a bigger plan.  “Because of the obedience of those who do what Our Lady requested, whether or not we realize it, the effect is far reaching in bringing about peace.  God applies the graces to sinners so they may be converted and be added to the number of those who will bring about peace in the world.”

Make well and SOON the Nine First Fridays and Five First Saturdays.  Begin next month...January 6, 2006.  Start the new year with this resolution. Circle your calendars to make yourself safe under the protection of the Heart of Jesus and Mary.  Include your family and trust our Lord and Our Lady will give them the grace even if they are unable to do them.  These are AWESOME graces from Our Lord and His Mother too good to pass up!  PASS IT ON!

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