News Analysis

The Communal First Saturdays devotion is spreading

A map of the 19 parishes taking part so far in the Communal First Saturdays (rosaryonthecoast.co.uk)

A new movement dedicated to fulfilling a request made by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima has arrived in Britain.

The Communal First Saturdays Apostolate has taken root in 19 parishes in England, three in Scotland and three in Wales, a decade after it was founded in a St Anthony of Padua Church in Woodlands, Texas. It seeks to honour the request of Our Lady for the “First Saturdays Devotion” – a reparation for offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary – by promoting the practice in a communal rather than a private setting.

This devotion promises consolations and graces, especially at the hour of death, for anyone who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, goes to Confession, receives Holy Communion, says five decades of the rosary and meditates on one of the mysteries for 15 minutes. It has been approved by the Church.

Katrina Leyden, the president and co-founder, established the movement after she studied two central demands made by Our Lady to Fatima visionaries in 1925 in the context of saving souls from hell.

One was the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, which was fulfilled by Pope St John Paul II in 1984, and the other was the practice of the First Saturdays Devotion.

Miss Leyden has since sought to mobilise the laity in the belief that the second request of Our Lady was directed to them and is yet to be fulfilled. In 2017, Communal First Saturdays, the handbook produced by the apostolate, was granted an imprimatur by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, and the movement started to spread throughout the world.

In the UK and Ireland it is being promoted with the assistance of the Rosary Movement of Reparation for Sins Against Faith, Life and Love, the group behind the Rosary on the Coast and the Rosary Under the Cross initiatives.

The Rosary Movement’s website (rosaryonthecoast.co.uk) invites parishes to register as a Communal First Saturdays location and informs visitors of those parishes already offering the devotion.