When Our Lady appeared to three little shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, she gave them explicit instructions to pray the Rosary daily in order to obtain peace. They had also been visited by an angel, who taught them how to pray and to offer their sufferings for the Lord. These innocent young ones received other visions to increase their faith and intensify their devotions, and were directed generally and specifically to pray and make sacrifices in reparation of sins and offences against Mary's Immaculate Heart. The First Five Saturdays are marked as special times of devotion to the Immaculate Heart, on which days we are asked to recite the Rosary, additionally meditate upon its mysteries for fifteen minutes, make a good confession and receive the Holy Eucharist. In these simple ways Our Merciful Father opens the way for us and makes our paths straight, if only we are inclined to heed His call. We are all called, like little Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco, no less than as Our Savior has always called us, to be like children in the practice of our faith. Into Our Lady's arms we run in distress, for she can ask Her Son to intercede for us in our need when our piety is pure and our contrition is real. The First Saturday devotion has become such a fruitful way to enjoy God's gifts and graces, and we are grateful for the way Our Lady of Fatima has inspired our family over the years and has helped to create an atmosphere of joy - really a taste of the joys of heaven here on earth - with friends and family who wish to join us when we make such effort to honor her.
In 2016 a friend introduced the concept that would organically evolve into our own current devotional practices. He told a story: During his days in college, some boys from a boys boarding school initiated a "Friday Nights" devotion by which they ventured into the woods, prayed a Rosary, sang folk and sacred songs around a bonfire, and closed by chanting the Salve Regina. It was a kind of thing uncommon in today's world, and we were drawn to the idea immediately, not only for the recognition of the honor due Our Lord and His Holy Mother - not something you always find on the minds of a young men these days - but for its ring of enjoyment. The order of the evening provided a wonderful formula for anyone to imitate, including Catholic families. Thus, in October of 2017, during the centennial celebration of Our Lady of Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun, we hosted our first First Saturday for families. We added a "potluck dinner" component, but otherwise, our First Saturdays have maintained the same basic, loose structure as the "Friday Nights." Recently we have changed the day and gathering time from First Saturday evenings to First Sunday afternoons, in order to better host more families and to enhance both the pious nature of the devotion and the feasting character of Sundays. We welcome families of good will to Fatima Farm where children and adults play, converse, pray the holy Rosary, feast, make music and sing old songs around the bonfire. We wrap up the day with a Salve Regina, thanking God for His blessings and hoping for our guests to make a happy return!
Want to visit? We welcome visitors of goodwill to join us for a First Sunday gathering or otherwise. Visit the Contact page to arrange a visit. Godspeed!