I read a startling statistic the other day. ”Most Catholics under the age of fifty today have never heard of Fatima.”  Based on the number of participants at yesterday’s Five First Saturday devotion, I would have to concur with that statistic.
Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see twelve (12) souls, plus Father, present in the pews at my local parish honoring our Lady’s request to observe the First Saturday devotion. It’s a start; something we can build from. But twelve! One would think with as many Catholics as there are locally and in the world and in a world gone mad with secularism, attacks against the family, the devaluation of life in a culture that only considers ”What is in it for me?” etc., — the pews would have been filled to over-flowing with devout Catholics answering our Lady’s call to:
- Pray the Rosary
- Meditate an additional 15 minutes [apart from the Rosary] on one or more of the mysteries of the Rosary
- Go to confession
- Receive Holy Communion
All with the intention of making reparation for the blasphemies made against our heavenly Mother over five successive months.
Why five First Saturdays? Why not first Monday’s or Friday’s?
Our Lady told the children at Fatima during the July 13, 1917, apparition that … ”God wanted to establish in the world devotion to her Immaculate Heart, in order to save souls and bring about peace.” She then told the children that she would return at a future time to ask for the ”Communion of Reparation on the First Saturday’s.”
True to her word, Our Lady returned eight (8) years later, appearing to Lucia (the sole survivor of the three visionaries), who was then living in a convent [Dec. 10, 1925]. She appeared holding her Immaculate Heart in her hand, with the child Jesus standing beside her in a cloud of light 
It was during this apparition when our Lady explained how we could make reparation in order to remove the thorns from her heart, hence, the Five First Saturday devotion.
Our Lady also said [although this should not be viewed as a promise or ”get out of jail” free card on our part], that she would assist those who have fulfilled the devotion, at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation. 
Lucia wondered why the five Saturday’s were chosen. During her holy hour from 11 pm to Midnight on May 29-30, 1930, Lucia asked Jesus to explain the reason for the Five First Saturdays. Our Lord answered Lucia with the following:
”My daughter, the reason is simple. Against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, five kinds of offenses and blasphemies are committed.”
- Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception,
- Blasphemies against her Perpetual Virginity,
- Blasphemies against her Divine Maternity, refusing, at the same time to accept her as the Mother of mankind,
- Blasphemies of those who try publicly to implant in the hearts of children, indifference, contempt, and even hatred against this Immaculate Mother,
- The offenses of those who insult her directly in her sacred images. 
Since returning to the Catholic Church and reconsecrating myself to the Blessed Virgin, I began my First Five Saturday devotion in June of this year. Yesterday’s First Saturday would have been the fifth month of my devotion. I say “would have been” because I misunderstood the requirements of the devotion. What I mean to say is that I failed to spend fifteen minutes with Our Lady meditating on the mysteries separate from the Rosary between June and September.
No problem. Prayer is never wasted or goes unanswered.
When I learned the Legion of Mary at my local parish [St. Patrick’s] was sponsoring the Five First Saturday devotion at the parish beginning Saturday, October 7th, I just knew in my heart that Heaven had provided an opportunity to make a course correction and complete the Five First Saturday Devotion correctly. Isn’t God awesome? I think so, too!
Although there were only twelve of the church’s faithful present at yesterday’s First Saturday devotion, I will spend my time in prayer and fasting between now and the next First Saturday [November 4, 2017] asking Our Lady to double the faithful from 12 to 24 (or more) with the prayer of seeing the church filled to capacity by the final month (February 3, 2017).
To quote the young African-American boy in Disney’s, ”Angels In The Outfield,” (1994), ”Hey, it can happen!”
 The First Saturday Devotion. (2017). Obstacles to the practice of the devotion: Too much, too soon, p5. Retrieved October 08, 2017, from https://sites.google.com/site/pray4americannet/the-first-saturday-devotion
 Holy Heroes. (2014) The First Saturday’s Devotion. Retrieved October 08, 2017 from http://www.holyheroes.net/hhfun/First-Five-Saturdays.pdf