In one of the longest running performances in history, Sholem Aleichem’s epic, “Fiddler on the Roof,” we hear “Traditions!” In that musical, we hear the father, Tevye, question the origins of traditions. For instance, he even wonders why the Jewish men always wear their hats. Dear Reader, All good traditions come from our Triune God! For a good example, the Sacred Tradition of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass comes from Jesus.
The Traditional Sacrament of Marriage comes from God. Jesus teaches, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh?” Dear Reader, good traditions are not things of the past to be discarded, but they are for the future. Good Traditions are meant to be handed forward to our children because they are God-Sent!
Dear Reader, In our Catholic Missals, we read the phrase (First Friday) and (First Saturday) for each and every month of the year. These Sacred Traditions are not expressed in vain or written in the missal haphazardly, but they have Supernatural Purposes! The First Friday devotion originated in the 17th century when Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary and spoke to her about the offenses committed against His Most Sacred Heart, especially among wayward, lukewarm priests. There are twelve promises from Sweet Jesus grants to those Catholics who honor the First Friday Devotion.
First, I (Jesus) will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life. Second, I will establish peace in their homes. Third, I will comfort them in their afflictions. Fourth, I will be their Secure Refuge during life, and above all in death. Fifth, I will bless all their undertakings. Sixth, sinners shall find in My Heart the Source and the Infinite Ocean of Mercy.
Continuing, seventh, tepid souls shall grow fervent. Eighth, fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection. Ninth, I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored. Tenth, I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts. Eleventh, those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
And twelfth, I promise you in the Excessive Mercy of My Heart that My All-Powerful Love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the Grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My Disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their Safe Refuge in this last moment.
Dear Reader, During her July 13, 1917 Apparition at Fatima, Our Lady said to Lucia, “I shall come to ask… that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.”
Although Mary made no further mention of this First Saturday devotion at Fatima in 1917, on December 10, 1925, our Blessed Mother again appeared to Lucia at Pentevedra, Spain, where Lucia had been sent to learn to read and write. It was there that Our Lady completed her request for the Five First Saturday devotion.
Appearing with the Queen of Heaven in that apparition was My Jesus, Who said to Lucia: “Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother. It is covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.”
The criteria of the First Saturday devotion consist of the following four points. First, one must go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This confession can be made before the First Saturday or afterward, provided that Holy Communion be received in the State of Grace. This confession could be made a week before of even more, and that it should be offered in reparation.
Second, one must receive the Most Blessed Sacrament. Before receiving Holy Communion, it is likewise necessary to offer it in reparation to Our Lady. This Communion will be accepted on the following Sunday for just reasons, if my priests allow it so. So if work or school, sickness, or another just reason prevents the Communion on a First Saturday, then with this permission it may be received the following Sunday. If Communion is transferred, then any or all of the other acts of the devotion may also be performed on Sunday if the person so desires.
Third, one prays the Holy Rosary as a vocal prayer or while meditating upon the Mysteries of Our Lord’s Life and Passion and Our Lady’s Life. To comply with the request of our Blessed Mother, it must be offered in reparation and prayed properly while meditating.
And finally, one must meditate for fifteen minutes in reparation; the meditation may embrace one or more Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary; it may include all, taken together or separately. This meditation should be the richest of any meditation, because Our Lady promises to be present with those who keep her company.
To all those who, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months fulfill all the conditions requested, Mary promises to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their soul.
In consideration of this little devotion, Jesus and Mary wish to give the Grace of pardon to souls who have had the misfortune of offending the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Finally and profoundly, whether the world has war or has peace depends on the practice of this devotion, along with the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
PPS: Dear Reader, Seven hundred and sixty-one years ago, the Sacred Tradition of wearing the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a sacramental that prepares one to receive grace properly from the Holy Sacraments, and to dispose us to cooperate with those Sacramental Graces, was handed-on to us by St. Simon of Stock (1251). “Whosoever dies wearing the Brown Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace.”
The Brown Scapular consists of two small pieces of brown wool connected by string and worn over the shoulders. The Scapular must be brown, rectangular, and made of 100 percent lamb’s wool. This is symbolic of Jesus, the Lamb of God!
The pious wearing of the Brown Scapular brings the promise of Eternal Salvation. It is a constant reminder in times of danger and temptation that Mary is watching over you and cares very much about you and what might happen to you. It helps us understand the Truths of Catholicism.
Continuing, the Brown Scapular excites good thoughts and increases devotion. It obtains favors from God through the prayers of the Church offered for those who make use of them, and through the devotion that they inspire. It brings many actual graces upon the wearer. It helps bring forgiveness of venial sins, by being a true aid to true contrition.
Continuing, the Brown Scapular excites good thoughts, inspiring devotion, and greater love of God. It provokes greater sorrow for our sins. This devotion and sorrow bring grace, and grace-forgiveness of venial sins. The Brown Scapular helps bring remission of temporal punishment from our forgiven-sins. Every pope from Leo XIII to the present Pope Benedict XVI wears the Brown Scapular!
Finally, the Brown Scapular helps bring health of body and material blessings. It does not confer sanctifying grace immediately, but helps dispose one to its reception. It brings protection from evil spirits. We can wear the Habit of Our Lady with great hope that it will preserve us from evil, it will provide protection against the devil, who goes about seeking souls to devour. The Brown Scapular is a badge of courage, and it provides protection against the evil one.
PPPS: Dear Reader, Good Tradition holds that we do not take God’s Name in vain. Words such as, “Oh my God” and “Jesus Christ” should always be uttered in prayer or good reflection. Jesus Christ, have Mercy on us! O My Jesus, help me! O My God, I love you!
PPPPS: Dear Reader, Tevye related that maybe the tradition of always wearing a hat was because the Jewish people were always leaving their homeland for one reason or another. In addition, in our daily lives, we could all be considered like a fiddler on a roof. We are all trying to play a sweet song for others while trying not to fall down on our face!
PPPPPS: Dear Reader, Adorable Jesus inquired of Sister Lucia and of us today, “What have you done today to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of My Mother?”
St. Joseph, pray for us!
St. Margaret Mary, pray for us!
Servant of God, Lucia, pray for us!
St. Simon of Stock, pray for us!
Blessed Alan, pray for us!
St. Vincent dePaul, pray for us!
St. John of the Cross, pray for us!
St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!
St. Theresa, the little flower, pray for us!
St. Teresa of the Andes, pray for us!
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the Promises of Jesus Christ!
Stay-tuned for my first echo of Volume V, “San Jose” on Thursday, September 27.