October 3, 2020

Our Weapon is Prayer

Excitement rose as we set up to welcome friends and family back to Casa Maria for a beautiful First Saturday Mass in the Breezeway!

Dear Family & Friends,

Our foundress Mother Mary Gabriel always emphasized, echoing St. Paul, that in all of our community’s apostolic work, “we teach spiritual things spiritually.” As many of you know, for years we have been teaching about the meaning and importance of the First Saturday devotions and the Rosary at parishes, youth conferences, schools, and college campuses.

Many thoughtful preparations went into making the breezeway beautiful and conducive to the Holy Mass.

Why? Well, because as St. Thomas Aquinas would say, how can you love what you don’t know? How can you freely pick up a devotion when you don’t have a deep knowledge of it so that it can take root in your heart? How can it help shape your life into Christ’s likeness?

We are all distressed seeing the sad circumstances in which we are living both here in the United States and throughout the world. The pandemic and the violence in the streets have both, in many ways, changed our way of living, but if you look at the history of Portugal around the time of the apparition at Fatima, you will see that history repeats itself. When Our Lady appeared in Fatima in 1917, the world was dealing with war, widespread anarchy and violence, a pandemic, and the rise of communism.

Our Lord has entrusted the peace of the world to His Mother’s Immaculate Heart. All of these problems can be averted by Our Lady of Fatima’s peace plan from Heaven: the First Saturdays.

Many Churches have been closed because of this pandemic–no Mass, no sacraments, and no First Saturdays. What are we to do? Shall we sit back, shrug our shoulders and wait until everything gets back to normal?

Our country was built by courageous pilgrims united in a noble cause. Our ancestors knew what it meant to sacrifice themselves for God and country. Above all, we have the witness of the martyrs who shed their blood for Christ, and our faith is the fruit of their sacrificial love.

In Japan, the Catholic Church was outlawed in 1632. The priests were expelled or martyred and the Churches were destroyed, but the Catholic faith was kept alive through the faithful who prayed the Rosary. When the ban was lifted and the missionaries returned to Japan, they were surprised to see how the people kept and passed on the Faith from generation to generation through the Rosary.

Let us courageously do all it takes to effectively practice this devotion. If First Saturday devotions are not held publicly in your parish, you can easily do them on your own. You can attend Mass or a Communion service at a local parish, pray the Rosary as a family, keep Our Lady company by meditating on one of the mysteries of the Rosary for 15 minutes, and go to Confession within 8 days before or after the First Saturday.

Sister Ave Maria gave a last-minute touch-up to the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

We have joyfully reopened our First Saturday devotions at Casa Maria, with Mass currently celebrated outdoors due to the pandemic recommendations. We invite you to visit this page on our website with resources for making the First Saturdays and encourage you to be creative in making this a part of your family’s spiritual life.

In the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

Sr. Ave Maria, SsEW