MANILA, June 22, 2013—Those who missed the national consecration last June 8, may still do the individual act of consecration every first Saturday, according to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
According to CBCP Secretary General Msgr. Joselito Asis, in a sense, the June 8 national consecration was a kick off for people to start doing the individual consecration as part of the First Saturday devotion.
The First Saturday devotion
“It does not end with June 8…Our call is for the first Saturday devotion and for the renewal of hearts,” he explained in an interview.
The first Saturday devotion, which Our Lady specifically asked for in Fatima, Portugal, consists of attending holy mass, going to confession, praying the 15 decades of the rosary and 15-minute meditation every first Saturday.
As it were, this devotion also properly predisposes a person for the individual act of consecration; accordingly, the CBCP prepares to circulate a shorter version of the consecration prayer for this purpose.
The First Saturday devotion is meant to make reparations for the offenses committed by people who do not believe in Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virgnity, her being the Mother of God, the desecration of her images and by publicly and actively instilling in others indifference and hatred for her.
Aside from encouraging the faithful to make the individual act of consecration every First Saturday, the CBCP ad hoc committee for the national consecration also recommends that the rest renew their consecration.
9-year preparation to 2021
The recent June 8 consecration to Mary further concretizes her special, maternal role to the Filipino faithful — something that the CBCP perceives to be a spiritual ‘powerhouse’, so to speak.
Asis said, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will continue to be invoked as a source of grace for the Philippine Church as the faithful start its 9-year preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Catholic faith in the country in 2021.
To put this into practice, the country will renew its collective consecration to the Immaculate Heart every year.
In tandem with the First Saturday devotion, Asis also called on Filipinos to continue reading the CBCP catechetical primer on the consecration to the Immaculate Heart to better understand what consecration means and why the Philippines specifically looks to Mary for help.
Materials on the consecration are available on http://cbcpnews.net/ncihm/. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]