FATIMA AND FIVE SATURDAYS
Heed a Mother’s Request. Reap the Reward of a Mother’s Promise.
By Rev. F. P. O’Shea, C.SS.R.
and Preface by REV. W. FREAN, C.SS.R.
Our Blessed Lady said to Lucy at Fatima, “I promise to help at the hour of death with the graces needed for salvation, whoever, on the First Saturday of Five Consecutive Months, shall confess and receive Holy Communion, recite Five Decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Father O’Shea wants to help all those who are desirous of complying with this request of our dear Mother, Mary—and this, of course, should mean—every good Catholic.
Though this little book opens with a short account of the marvels which have caused the eyes of the world to turn with wonder and with hope to the mountain village of Fatima, its one object is to help you to make the Five Saturdays as Our Lady wants you to make them. Use it and you will find Father O’Shea’s method easy, practical and fruitful.
THIS little book is written to spread the Message of Fatima, to help you to make your First Five Saturdays well. No doubt you know well the story of Fatima. On Saturday, May 13, 1917, a beautiful Lady appeared to three little children, Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, in Portugal, at a place known as the Cova da Iria, about 60 miles north of Lisbon, and asked them to come to the same place on the 13th of each month until October, when she would tell them who she was. The Lady then told them to say the Rosary well.
The news of this apparition spread through Fatima but many of the villagers did not believe their story and the children suffered much because of this unbelief. Nevertheless many of the people accompanied the little shepherds on the first Saturday of June when the Lady again appeared.
On the 13th of July the Lady appeared again, and at Lucy’s request that she should work a miracle, promised a great miracle on the 13th of October. During this apparition the Lady foretold the end of the War. Then she warned them: “I come to ask the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the first Saturdays. If they heed my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be wiped out.”
The secular press, dominated by a godless and revolutionary government, began a violent persecution of the children by stirring up a campaign of slander and contempt against them.
When 15,000 Catholics gathered at the Cova on August 15 they were filled with anger and disappointment to find that the children had been kidnapped by the anticlerical mayor of Ourem.
On the 13th of September, 30,000 people gathered at the Cova and the Lady again appeared to the three children. Many of the people saw a luminous globe coming from the East. A chance visitor to Fatima, the Vice-Consul of the United States, was able to photograph an extraordinary phenomenon. What appeared to be snowflakes or rose petals fell from the sky in great quantities, disappearing before they reached the earth,
On the 13th of October, despite heavy and incessant rain, an enormous crowd of over 70,000 people assembled from all parts of Portugal and from other parts of Europe. When the Lady appeared Lucy asked; “Who are you, and what do you seek?” The Lady replied: “I am the Lady of the Rosary and I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and to repent of their sins. They must cease to offend Our Lord Who is already so much offended. They are to say the Rosary!”
Then in the presence of that vast crowd Our Lady worked the great miracle that she had promised in July. It is thus described by eyewitnesses: “The sun began to tremble, shook and turned giddily on itself like a wheel of fire, casting great beams of light in all directions. The beams were in turn, green, red, blue, violet etc., and held the crowd breathless. It stopped and then began again, and yet again. Next the sun left its place in the heavens and falling from side to side, plunged zig-zagging upon the crowd below, sending out intense heat, and giving the impression of the end of the world as foretold in the Gospels. When it seemed that collision with the earth was inevitable the sun stopped its fall and climbed back to its place. To add to the amazement of the crowd their sodden clothing suddenly became dry and warm just as though it had not been saturated with the torrential rain of the preceding twenty four hours.”
The evidence of this great miracle is irrefutable. Thousands of people of all classes witnessed the event—unbelievers and skeptics were convinced. The anti-clerical newspaper, “O Seculo,” changed its antagonistic and skeptical attitude overnight. The usual theory of mass-hypnotism could not explain the phenomenon since reliable witnesses many miles away, saw the event. The only answer that the enemies of the Church have is to shut their eyes to the facts and say in effect, “It could not happen, miracles cannot happen, therefore it did not happen,”
The real significance of Fatima is this. Our Lady appeared to a world that is fast becoming corrupt and Godless, a world in which Satan, using the forces of atheistic Communism, is striving to turn men from Christ to Antichrist, to drag men’s souls to hell. Mary’s purpose is to make men turn back to God and His Church, to make them lead good lives by making reparation for sin, by prayer and penance. Mary, herself, gave men the means to do this in the remarkable words recorded by Lucy. It was during one of the apparitions in which she had showed the children a terrible vision of hell.
“You have just seen hell,” said the Mother of God, “where will end the souls of poor sinners. To save them the Lord wishes to establish in the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I tell you is done, many souls shall be saved and there will be peace.
“The war will end; but if men do not cease to offend the Lord, not much time will elapse before another and more terrible one will commence: It will occur during the next Pontificate. When a night illuminated by an unknown light is seen, know that it is the signal which God gives you that the castigation of the world for its many transgressions is at hand, through war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and the Holy Father. To prevent this I ask the consecration of the world to My Immaculate Heart, and Communion of Reparation on the First Saturday of each month.
“If My requests are heard, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. Otherwise great errors will be spread throughout the world, giving rise to wars and persecutions of the Church: The good will suffer martyrdom, and the Holy Father will have to suffer much; different nations will be destroyed; but in the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.
“The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me. It will be converted, and an era of peace will be conceded to humanity.”
It is many years since these events took place and still the message of Fatima is for the most part, unheeded. Much good has been done, but much has been left undone. Dear reader make it your business to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Make the Five First Saturdays fervently yourself: If you have already made them, make them again for those tepid Catholics who, not realizing the terrible alternative, have not the generosity to heed Our Lady’s requests.
You can be an Apostle of Our Lady by spreading the message of Fatima. Give this little book to your friends; ask them to use it and make the Five First Saturdays properly.
HOW TO MAKE THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS
What must we do to make the Five First Saturdays? Our Lady herself tells us in those words recorded for us by Lucy.
“My child, behold My Heart surrounded with the thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment, by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me and tell them that I promise to help at the hour of death with the graces needed for salvation, whoever, on the First Saturday of Five consecutive months, shall confess and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Therefore, to make the Five First Saturdays we must, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months:
- Go to Confession and Communion.
- Say five decades of the Rosary.
- Keep Mary company for 15 minutes whilst meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.
- Do all this with the intention of making reparation to Our Lady.
NOTE: The confession may be made within a week, before or after, the Communion. Your First Friday confession would suffice.
YOUR FIRST SATURDAY ROSARY
The Rosary of five decades may be said at any time of the day. You may say the decades one at a time. For example, you might say one decade in the morning, another at lunch time, another after supper and the remaining two before you go to bed,
In saying the Rosary it is well for us to remember that the meditation on the mysteries is an essential part of it. See the following pages for meditations on the various mysteries which deal with the First Saturday meditation.
It has become customary to say after each decade, after the “Glory be to the Father etc.,” the short prayer prescribed by Our Lady at Fatima, “O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell, bring all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.”
When you have said the five decades say the “Hail Holy Queen” for the grace to persevere in a good life until death.
Then “Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”
Then say, “Let us pray, O God Whose only Begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection hath purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating on the mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
YOUR FIRST SATURDAY MEDITATION
“Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.” (Our Lady of Fatima)
The First Saturday Meditation of fifteen minutes may be made any time during the day. You may meditate on one mystery or on all the mysteries. To hear a sermon on the mysteries of the Rosary would suffice for your meditation.
It is permissible to combine your Rosary and meditation. To do this you could say your Rosary as usual and after each decade spend three minutes in prayerfully thinking over some mystery or mysteries of the Rosary.
THE NECESSITY OF MEDITATION
“With desolation is all the land made desolate, because there is none that considereth in the heart,” says the Holy Ghost. That is the cause of all the unhappiness in the world today. People do not give themselves time to think upon the things of eternity, upon the things of God, upon death and judgment, heaven and hell.
Meditation (or thinking about our salvation) in some form or another is necessary for everyone who wishes to save his soul. A person who does not meditate is like one who goes on a journey without light or strength. Resolve then to put aside a few minutes every day to read some good religious book and think about the great work of your salvation. Then you will learn how to know and love and serve God in this life and to see and enjoy Him forever in Heaven. What is a practical method of meditation? Saint Alphonsus, the Doctor of Prayer, gives us a simple method of meditation.
- Ask God to help you to make your meditation well, saying a short prayer to the Holy Ghost.
- Remember that you are always in the presence of God. He is with you now as you pray, knowing your most secret thoughts and actions.
- Make the preparatory acts:
“My God, I believe that Thou art truly present to me, I should now be in hell on account of my sins. Do not send me to hell for there I could not love Thee. Mary, my Mother help me to make this meditation well.”
- Read about the mysteries of the Rosary upon which you are going to meditate. When you have read it once, read it again more slowly until you have absorbed its meaning, or until some point appeals to you: Then ask yourself the following questions:
- a) What have I read?
- b) What lesson is contained in this mystery? What virtues are practiced by Our Divine Savior? By Our Blessed Lady?
- c) What have I done in the past in this matter? What must I do for the future?
Then, thinking upon what you have read, make acts of Faith, Hope, Love, Contrition, Humility, and Resignation to the Will of God. When you have made these acts, renew your resolution to practice the virtue upon which you have been meditating. For example I will make many pacts of love during the day. “Mary help me to keep this resolution.”
You will find that meditation will not be a burden, but a source of charm and pleasure, a means of making your life holy and very happy.
MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY
First Meditation. The Annunciation.
“In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
“And the angel being come in, said unto her: “Fear not Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a Son and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father: and He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end.”
Mary said to the angel: “How shall this be done, because I know not man?”
The angel answering said to her: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall over-shadow thee. And therefore also the Holy One Who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
Mary said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.”
HOW TO MEDITATE ON THIS MYSTERY AND THOSE THAT FOLLOW
Say the introductory prayers, as on page 3.
Read the passage on the Annunciation, as above. When you have read it once read it again more slowly. Then ask yourself the following questions:
What have I read? I have read of God’s love for men, and for me personally. To save my soul from the terrible effects of sin He left His starry Heaven and became a child on earth—became one of us—that He might take our sins upon Himself by a life of most bitter suffering, and by a terrible death on the Cross. I must try to realize the tremendous importance of the Incarnation. God became man, because He loved me.
WHAT IS THE LESSON CONTAINED IN THIS MYSTERY?
In this mystery we see God’s great love for men, and Mary’s love for God and men. Our Blessed Lady loved God so much that she merited to become His Mother, to co-operate with her Son in the Redemption of mankind. I must learn to love God as Mary loved Him—especially by resolving never to sin again, by avoiding the dangers of sin.
WHAT HAVE I DONE IN THE PAST?
I have so often sinned against the love of God by my venial sins. Perhaps I have even driven Him from my heart by mortal sin. I have certainly been cold in my love for Jesus Christ Why has loved me so much.
WHAT MUST I DO IN THE FUTURE?
I will grow more and more to love God each day. I will never again offend Him by sin. I will tell Him frequently during the day that I love Him: “Lord Thou knowest all things—Thou knowest that I love Thee.”
MAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTS OF:
Faith: My Jesus I believe that You became man out of love for me. I believe all that the Holy Church believes and teaches because You have said it and Your word is true, I believe Lord, help Thou my unbelief.
Hope: Sacred Heart of Jesus I place my trust in Thee.
Love: My Jesus because of my sins You became man, You were born in a cold stable at Bethlehem and suffered all the days of Your life. My Jesus I love Thee.
Humility: For my sake dear Jesus You became despised and the most abject of men. Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
Resignation to the Will of God: For love of me my Jesus You were resigned to the Will of God even to death. Teach me O Lord to do Thy Will for Thou art my God. Lord, always Thy Will be done.
(Repeat these little aspirations over and over—they are very pleasing to Our Lord, being as it were, darts of love that wound the Heart of Christ with wounds of love.)
When you have made these acts renew your resolution and ask Our Blessed Lady to help you to be faithful to it. Let your resolution be small but make sure you keep it. For example, during the day I will frequently tell God that I love Him: “My God I love You.” Ask Jesus and Mary to help you to keep your resolution: “Jesus and Mary help me to keep this resolution.”
Next say the “Hail Holy Queen” for the grace to lead a good life and to be always faithful in loving and serving God.
Second Meditation. The Visitation.
“And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. And she entered into the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the Infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. And she cried out with a loud voice and said: “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed because the things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.”
“And Mary said: “My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because he hath regarded the humility of His handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is His Name.””
Fruitful Reflections: Humility, charity, devotion to Mary.
Third Meditations. The Nativity.
“It came to pass that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. And all went to be enrolled, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child, And it came to pass that when they were there, her days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger: because there was no room for them in the inn.
“And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night-watches over their flock. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them and the brightness of God shone around about them: and they feared with great fear.
“And the angel said to them: “Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people: For this day is born to you a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David, And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.”
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of goodwill.””
“And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one to another: “Let us go over to Bethlehem and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath showed to us. “And they came with haste: and they found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant lying in the manger.””
Fruitful Reflections: Faith, love of God, obedience, horror of sin.
Fourth Meditation. The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
“After the days of the Purification, according to the Law of Moses were accomplished they carried Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord. And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon: and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Ghost was in him. And he received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when His parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he also took Him into His arms end blessed God and said: “Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace: Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: a light to the revelation of the gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel. “And His father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning Him.”
Fruitful Reflections: Obedience to authority, the Will of God, happiness in suffering,
Fifth Meditation. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
“And His parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the solemn day of the pasch. And when He was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast and having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the Child Jesus remained in Jerusalem. And His parents knew it not. And thinking He was in the company they came a day’s journey and sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances. And not finding Him they returned to Jerusalem seeking Him.
“And it came to pass that after three days, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His wisdom and His answers.
“And seeing Him they wondered. And His Mother said to Him: “Son why hast Thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing?” And He said to them: “How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
“And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them. And His Mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace with God and man.”
Fruitful Reflections. Obedience to parents and those in authority, zeal for the salvation of souls, following one’s vocation, love of parents, love of one’s children,
THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
First Meditation. The Agony of Our Lord in the Garden
“It was night. Then Jesus came with them into a country-place which is called Gethsemani. And He said to His disciples: “Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. “And He taketh Peter and James and John with Him; and He began to fear and to be heavy. Then He said to them: “My soul is sorrowful even unto death. Stay you here and watch with Me. “And going a little further, He fell upon His face saying: “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as Thou wilt. “And He cometh to His disciples and findeth them asleep. And He said to Peter: “What? Could you not watch one hour with Me? Watch ye: and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh weak.”
“Again He went and prayed saying: “My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done. “And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”
Fruitful Reflection. Necessity of prayer in temptation. The malice of sin. Doing the will of God.
Second Meditation. The Scourging at the Pillar.
“And Pilate calling together the chief priests, and the magistrates and the people, said to them: “You have presented unto me this Man, as one that perverteth the people, and behold I having examined Him before you find no cause in this Man in those things wherein you accuse Him. No, neither Herod. For I sent you to him, and behold nothing worthy of death has been done by Him. I will chastise Him therefore and release Him.”
“The Holy Shroud of Turin shows that the whole Body of Our Divine Savior, front and back, was scourged with a whip made of flexible thongs to which were attached metal balls. The Face, Hands and Feet were the only parts spared.
“We read that strong men sometimes died under a Roman scourging and we can easily understand why Pilate should have hoped to move the rabble to pity when he led Christ out on to the balcony after the scourging and cried out, “Behold the Man!” “
Fruitful Reflections-. Love of the suffering Christ, hatred for sin, reparation for sin, penance.
Third Meditation. The Crowning with Thorns
“And the soldiers of the governor taking Jesus, led Him away into the court of the palace and they call together unto Him the whole band. And stripping Him, they put a scarlet cloak about Him. And plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it upon His Head, and a reed in His right hand. And they came to Him, and bowing the knee before Him, they mocked Him. And they began to salute Him saying: “Hail, King of the Jews. “And they struck Him with their hands. And, spitting upon Him, they took the reed, and they smote Him with the reed on the Head.”
Fruitful Reflections: Avoid evil desires, think kindly of others, hatred of vanity.
Fourth Meditation. Jesus Carries His Cross
“And after they had mocked Him, they took off the cloak from Him and put on Him His own garments, and led Him away to crucify Him. And bearing His own cross He went forth to that place which is called Calvary. And going out they found a man of Cyrene named Simon. Him they forced to take up His cross. And they laid the cross on him to carry after Jesus.
“And there followed Him a great multitude of people and of women who bewailed and lamented Him, But Jesus turning to them said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over Me but weep for yourselves, and for your children . . . . for if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?””
Fruitful Reflections: Compassion for Our Divine Savior, penance, bearing our own trials patiently, helping others, punishment for sin.
Fifth Meditation. The Crucifixion
“And they bring Him to the place Golgotha. There they crucified Him, And with Him they crucified two thieves, the one on His right hand and the other on His left and Jesus in the midst. And the Scripture was fulfilled which said: “And with the wicked He was reputed,”
“And Jesus said: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
“Now they stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother. When Jesus therefore had seen His Mother and the disciple standing, whom He loved, He said to His Mother: “Woman, behold thy son. “After that He said to the disciple: “Behold thy Mother. “And from that hour the disciple took her to his own.
“And it was almost the sixth hour; and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: “My God, My God, why hast Thou foresaken Me?”
“Afterwards Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst.”
“Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And immediately one of them running, took a sponge and filled it with vinegar and put it on a reed and gave Him to drink. Jesus therefore, when He had taken the vinegar, said, “It is consummated.” And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit.” And bowing His Head, He gave up the Ghost.
“And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked; and the rocks were rent.”
Fruitful Reflections: Love of God, love of Mary, love of neighbor, forgiving our enemies, thinking of death.
THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES
First Meditation. The Resurrection of Our Lord.
“But He rising early the first day of the week, appeared first to Mary Magdalen. But Mary stood at the sepulcher without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher. And she saw two angels in white, sitting one at the head and one at the feet, where the Body of Jesus had been laid. They say to her, “Woman, why weepest thou?” she said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him,” When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing and she knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?” She, thinking that it was the gardener said to Him, “Sir, if thou hast taken Him hence, tell me where thou has laid Him and I will take Him away. “Jesus saith to her, “Mary.” turning saith to Him, “Rabboni” (Master). Jesus saith to her: “Do not touch Me, for I am not yet ascended to My Father, but go to My brethren and say to them: “I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My God and your God.”
Fruitful Reflections: Personal love for Jesus, never lose Jesus by sin, thought of our resurrection, faith, devotion to our guardian angel.
Second Meditation. The Ascension
“He led them out as far as Bethania, and lifting up His hands He blessed them. And it came to pass, whilst He blessed them and while they looked on, He departed from them and He was raised up, and was carried up to heaven. And a cloud received Him out of their sight. And the Lord Jesus was taken up to heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God.”
While they were beholding Him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments, who also said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus Who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen Him going into heaven.”
Fruitful Reflections: Prayer, work and prayer, zeal for the salvation of souls, hope.
Third Meditation. The Descent of the Holy Ghost.
“And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished they were all together in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind coming; and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues, as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with diverse tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak.
“And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke to them. They themselves that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls,”
Fruitful Reflections: Faith, love of the church, obedience to the Holy Father, propagation of the faith.
Fourth Meditation. The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven.
“The prophet Elias was carried to heaven in a fiery chariot, which according to interpreters was no other than a group of angels who bore him off from the earth. “But to conduct thee to Heaven, O Mother of God,” says the Abbot Rupert, “a fiery chariot was not enough; the whole court of Heaven headed by its King, thy Son, went forth to meet thee.”
“On first meeting her, Jesus said, “Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come, for winter is now past.”
“Behold Mary already enters that blessed country. But on her entrance the citizens of Heaven, seeing her so beautiful and glorious ask the angels without the gates, as Origen supposes it, with united voices of exultation: “Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her Beloved?”
“Then all the angels and saints begin to bless and praise her; singing with far more reason than the Hebrews did to Judith: “Thou art the glory of Jerusalem; thou art the joy of Israel; thou art the honor of our people.”“ (St. Alphonsus Liguori.)
Fruitful Reflections: The grace of a happy death and a glorious resurrection, honoring Our Lady, the joys of heaven.
Fifth Meditation. The Crowning of Our Lady Queen of Heaven.
“All the saints then in Paradise welcomed Holy Mary on her entrance into heaven and saluted her as their Queen. All the holy Virgins, all the holy Confessors, the Martyrs, the Apostles and Prophets, the holy Patriarchs, and Adam and Eve. Who can ever form an idea of the affection with which her dear spouse St. Joseph came to salute her? All the angels then came to salute her; and she, the great Queen, thanked all for the assistance they had given her on earth, and more especially she thanked the Archangel Gabriel, who was the happy ambassador, the bearer of all her glories, when he came to announce to her that she was the chosen Mother of God.
The humble and holy Virgin then kneeling adored the Divine Majesty, and all absorbed in the consciousness of her own nothingness, thanked God for all the graces bestowed upon her by His pure Goodness, and especially for having made her the Mother of the Eternal Word. And then let him who can, imagine with what love the Most Holy Trinity blessed her! Let him imagine the welcome given to His Daughter by the Eternal Father; to His Mother by the Son; to His Spouse by the Holy Ghost. The Father crowned her by imparting His power to her; the Son His Wisdom; the Holy Ghost, His love. And the three Divine Persons, placing her throne at the right of that of Jesus, declared her Sovereign of Heaven and earth; and commanded the angels and all creatures to acknowledge her as their Queen, and as such to serve and obey her.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori.)
Fruitful Reflections: Love of Our Blessed Mother, imitation of her virtues, devotion to her, the joys of heaven, confidence in the power and mercy of Mary.
Remember to do all with the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
- O’CONNELL, C.SS.R., Prov. Superior.
- M. COLLINS, Diocesan Censor.
X D. MANNIX, Archiepiscopus Melbournensis. 4 July, 1955