Traditionally in the Church, Saturday has been a day specially devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This is seen in a special way in the liturgy of Saturdays, where no other memorial or feast falls on that day. Also, various Marian devotions seem to have Saturdays as an intrinsic part – a prime example of this being the devotion of the Five First Saturdays, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima.
There is something lovely about sitting in Church on a Saturday and seeing various people come and go, all stopping at the Altar of the Blessed Virgin, many kneeling there for a few moments or lighting a candle in Her honour and to ask Her motherly help and intercession.
Saturday can be a frantic day for many people after the long and tiring working week. And so, pausing for a few moments to honour the Mother of the Lord can be a good way to stop and take stock of life and all it contains, and to remember that we are not the masters of our destiny, that there is an almighty God watching over us, Who always desires that we step ever closer to Him. These moments spent thinking of the Mother of the Lord is a good way of doing so.
Saturdays are a good day to take a little time out to attend Mass, to pray the Rosary, or to do some spiritual reading – the lives of the Saints, for example, or one of the wonderful documents written by the Holy Fathers over the years. Even a paragraph or two of such a document can provide much fuel for later meditation and prayer.
There are a great many Papal documents to choose from which have a Marian theme, beginning with those of Pope Leo XII, many of concerned the Rosary – ‘Supremi Aposotlatus Officio’ (1883), ‘Iucunda Semper Expectatione’ (1894) and ‘Adiutricem’ (1895). There are two superb documents by Pope Paul VI – ‘Signum Magnum’ (1967) and ‘Marialis Cultus’ (1974). And of course there is also the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, ‘Lumen Gentium’ (1964) – the eighth chapter of which deals specifically with the Blessed Virgin and Her role in the life and mystery of Christ and the Church; it is the longest document of it’s kind which expounds on exactly what the Church believes and teaches about the Blessed Virgin. There are also many writings by St John Paul II, not least of all ‘Redemptoris Mater’ (187) and ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’ (2002).
Whatever form our devotion to the Mother of God takes, is should be rightly ordered and in line with what the Church believes and teaches and always, always, always lead us closer to Her Divine Son – for this is precisely Her role. She is the compass that points the way – She is not the destination, but the way to it.
As we honour the Mother of God on Saturdays, may Her prayers assist us always in all the necessities of life so that one day, along with Her, we may contemplate God in Heaven.