Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,
Glory to Jesus Christ!
One week from today will be a First Saturday, a day when Our Lady of Fatima has asked us to do certain things that will call down the grace for the Pope to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with all the Bishops, thus obtaining the complete conversion of Russia and ushering in an era of peace throughout the world. In this newsletter, we will explore the profound connection between the First Saturday devotion and the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation.
The Sabbath Rest of the Lord
In the Jewish liturgical calendar, Saturday commemorated the Sabbath Rest of the Lord, and this commemoration constituted the axis around which the entire spiritual, social and economic life of the Jewish people revolved. In Hebrews Chapter 4, St. Paul set forth the constant teaching of the Church that with the Sabbath God’s “works were finished from the foundation of the world.” In the Church age, Saturday continued to be set aside as a commemoration of the finished work of creation in most of the Churches of the Empire, marked by the offering of the Holy Eucharist. Indeed, in the first millennium most of the Eastern Christian world and much of the West observed the Saturday Sabbath as a day of reflection and Eucharistic worship. According to the fifth century Greek historian Socrates:
The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath [Saturday], as well as on the first day of the week [Sunday].
In the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, a widely-respected document of the 3rd and 4th centuries, bishops were directed to:
observe the Sabbath, on account of Him who ceased from His work of creation, but ceased not from His work of providence: it is a rest for meditation of the law, not for idleness of the hands.
Except for St. Augustine, who preferred an instantaneous creation of all things, virtually all of the Church Fathers held that God created the heavens and the earth and all that they contain in six 24-hour days. All of the Fathers taught that God created Adam as the King of creation and Eve from his side as the Queen of the first created world. In this way, the seventh day became associated with the rest of the Lord in the perfection of the first created world, and with the creation of Eve—two types that were fulfilled on Holy, or “Great,” Saturday, when the Body of Jesus the New Adam rested in the tomb having brought forth His Bride the Church from His side while He slept on the Cross. For her part, Mary, the New Eve, exemplified the Church, holy and immaculate in God’s new creation.
Just as Eve was the Mother of all the living in the natural order, as the Second Eve, Mary became the Mother of all the living in the supernatural order. Just as there is no human being anywhere in the world who is not a physical descendant of Eve, so there is no Christian who is not a spiritual child of Mary. Indeed, from her dwelling place in the heart of the Most Holy Trinity, Mary sealed even the smallest grace-filled act of the past, present, and future with her fiat.
The Roman Catechism on the Sabbath Rest of the Lord
As the sacred liturgy underscored the link between the Sabbath rest of the Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Catechism of the Council of Trent defined the Sabbath Day as a commemoration of a literal seventh day of rest after a literal six-day creation. Under the heading "The Sabbath," the Catechism teaches that:
the seventh day was called the Sabbath, because God, having finished the creation of the world, rested on that day from all the work which He had done. Thus it is called by the Lord in Exodus.
If, according to the Catechism, God rested from creation on the seventh day and Adam and Eve were created "lastly," that is, after all other creatures and before the sabbath rest of the Lord, it follows that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day. That the days of Genesis are literal is further confirmed when the Catechism explains the Church’s reasons for changing the Lord's day to Sunday:
But the Church of God has thought it well to transfer the celebration and observance of the Sabbath to Sunday.
For, as on that day light first shone on the world, so by the Resurrection of our Redeemer on the same day, by whom was thrown open to us the gate to eternal life, we were called out of darkness into light; and hence the Apostles would have it called the Lord's day.
We also learn from the Sacred Scriptures that the first day of the week was held sacred because on that day the work of creation commenced, and on that day the Holy Ghost was given to the Apostles (emphasis added).
Here the Catechism is teaching that the first day of creation was a Sunday and that the creation of light assigned by Moses to the first day of creation took place on that first Sunday. Now if the first day of creation is a literal day (Sunday), and the seventh day is a literal day (Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath) as the Roman Catechism teaches, and if Adam and Eve are created "lastly," their creation cannot be assigned to any other day than the sixth day.
Saturday, the Sabbath and Our Lady
In the liturgical life of the Latin Church, Our Lady has long been intimately linked to Saturday; but this linkage goes back to the very beginning of the Church. The Fathers and Doctors, East and West, saw in the beauty and perfection of the first created world a foreshadowing of the beauty and perfection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus, the perfection of the first Saturday of the world found its fulfillment in the perfection of the Immaculate Conception.
St. Bonaventure sums up the teaching of all of the Fathers and Doctors when he writes that God stopped creating new kinds of creatures on the seventh day:
...[O]n the seventh day God desisted not from toil or work, for He still worked, but from the creation of new forms because He had done all things either in likeness, as in the case with those things which are propagated, or in a seminal reason, as is the case with those things which are brought into existence in other ways.
In the Bridgetine Office, the daughters of St. Bridget make her prayers their own as they pray:
All things, then, foreseen by God,
and present to him eternally, though as yet uncreated, had already that design and perfection which they would possess
when his creating brought them to be.
One thing excelled all others,
designed and perfected by God with a special joy.
This was Mary, the Virgin who was a Mother, the Mother who was ever a Virgin.
A second link between Saturday and Our Lady connects the Sabbath “rest” of Our Lord in the tomb on Holy (or “Great”) Saturday with the sorrows of the Mother of God on that day. From this linkage flowed a variety of liturgical practices on Saturday in honor of Our Lady, culminating in the message of Fatima and a request by Our Lord for First Saturday devotions in reparation for sins committed against His Mother’s Immaculate Heart.
Our Lady of Fatima and the First Saturday Devotions
In an apparition of December 10, 1925, in Tuy, Spain, Our Lady told Sister Lucy of Fatima:
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.
The purpose of this practice was to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and to make reparation for:
- Attacks upon the reality of Mary's Immaculate Conception
- Attacks against the reality of Mary's Perpetual Virginity
- Attacks upon Mary's Divine Maternity and the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all mankind
- Those who try to publicly implant in children's hearts indifference, contempt and hatred for Immaculate Mary
- For those who insult Mary directly in her sacred images
The devotion involves the following practices on five consecutive first Saturdays with the specific intention of making reparation for the offenses (above) against the Blessed Virgin:
- Go to Confession (within 8 days before or after the first Saturday)
- Receive Holy Communion
- Recite five decades of the Rosary*
- "Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary" (separate from the Rosary itself)*
(*Preferably done in the presence of the Lord in the Tabernacle or at Exposition)
The more souls believe in Mary’s supernatural maternity and universal advocacy for souls, the more they will join in confidently invoking her intercession not only for their fellow Catholics, but for all souls, past, present, and future—without any limits. Imagine the effect if millions of Catholics prayed confidently for poor sinners in this way! It is this kind of boundless faith that will bring the entire Mystical Body of Christ to its ultimate fulfillment. In the Mystical Body of Christ, the sanctity of Our Lady reveals the fullness to which all Christians are called--a fullness which was first revealed in the humanity of Jesus Christ and which will be achieved by the whole Church when her members attain what St. Paul calls, “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
Thus, the commemoration of the first Saturday of the month in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a reminder of the forgotten meaning of the Sabbath rest of Creation and a foretaste of the future rest of the Lord in His saints during the coming “era of peace” promised by Our Lady of Fatima.
Yours in Christ through the Immaculata in union with St. Joseph,
P.S. Since many of our readers have asked us to make our publications available as audiobooks, we are currently recording a number of our books in audio format. We are happy to announce the publication in audiobook format of Genesis through the Eyes of the Saints which demonstrates that the great mystical saints and doctors of the Church have consistently confirmed the literal historical truth of the sacred history of Genesis in their Church-approved private revelations. In contrast, the apologists for progressive creation and theistic evolution cannot point to a single Church-approved private revelation from the entire two thousand year history of the Church in support of their novel interpretations of the Book of Genesis.
 The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7, p. 413. From "Constitutions of the Holy Apostles."
 Roman Catechism, Ten Commandments, p. 244. http://www.catholicsociety.com/documents/Catechism_of_the_Council%20of_Trent.pdf (10-08-14)
 Roman Catechism, Ten Commandments, p. 246. http://www.catholicsociety.com/documents/Catechism_of_the_Council%20of_Trent.pdf (10-08-14)
 St. Bonaventure, Breviloquium, “The Creation of the World,” Chapter Two, Part I (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Company, 1947) p. 51.