23rd Week of Ordinary Time: Why Saturdays are for the Blessed Mother

23rd Week of Ordinary Time: Why Saturdays are for the Blessed Mother

By Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

4/90.1 Saturday is traditionally dedicated to honouring our Lady; a weekly opportunity to meditate on her virtues.

For hundreds of years Christians have given special attention to Mary on Saturdays. Throughout history, and in our own times as well, theologians and ecclesiastical writers have explained some of the reasons that make this devotion particularly appropriate. Thus, Saint Peter Damian writes that Saturdays commemorate the completion of God’s work of creation. God rested on the seventh day, and Mary is the one in whom, through the mystery of the Incarnation, God made for himself a holy resting-place.[5101]

Saturday, the Sabbath of the Old Law, is also an anticipation of the Lord’s Day, a symbol and sign of heaven. Christ, risen from the dead, is the gateway to eternal life in heaven; and the Blessed Virgin is our way to Jesus, just as she was his way for coming into the world.[5102]

Saint Thomas, also, points out that Saturday is dedicated to Mary because on that day she kept faith in the mystery of Christ after his death.[5103] In any case, we Christians need a special day to honour our Lady and show her our love in a special way.

And so, since ancient times, special Marian devotions have been held on Saturdays in churches, chapels and shrines throughout the world. Many Christians make a special effort to honour the Blessed Virgin in some special manner on this day. Some choose one favourite aspiration to repeat often throughout the day. Others pay a visit to a sick person, or to a poor family, or to someone who is lonely or suffering, in honour of our Lady. Still others visit a church or shrine dedicated in her honour, or simply make a special effort to be attentive in reciting the Rosary, the Angelus, or the Hail, Holy Queen.

There are many good Marian devotions. There is no need to practise every single one of them. But anyone who doesn’t live some of them, who doesn’t express his love for Mary in some way, does not possess the fullness of the faith.

Those who think that devotions to our Lady are a thing of the past seem to have lost sight of the deep Christian meaning they contain. They seem to have forgotten the source from which they spring – faith in God the Father’s saving will, love for God the Son, who really became man and was born of a woman, and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies us with his grace.[5104]

If you look for Mary, you will necessarily find Jesus; and you will learn, in greater and greater depth, what there is in the Heart of God.[5105] Let us consider how our own lives reflect this ancient Christian practice of special devotion to our Lady on Saturdays.

To read the rest of the reflection from this week pick up a copy of
"In Conversation With God."
To learn more about the "In Conversation With God," meditations, see below.


In Conversation With God

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[5101] St Peter Damian, Opusculum 33, De Bono Suffragorum, PL 145, 566

[5102] cf G. Roschini, The Mother of God, Madrid

[5103] St Thomas Aquinas, On the Commandments

[5104] St. J. Escrivá, Christ is passing by, 142

[5105] St. J. Escrivá, The Forge, 661


Francis Fernandez-Carvajal,

Rev. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Rev. Francis Fernández-Carvajal is a Priest of the Opus Dei Prelature and the author of many popular spiritual works. His seven-volume series In Conversation with God provides over 500 meditations to be used throughout the liturgical year. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into many languages.