“The Fifteen Saturdays of the Holy Rosary”by Blessed Bartolo Longo
Bartolo Longo, the apostle of the Rosary, is also the apostle of the Fifteen Saturdays, which he in his times spread throughout the world, pouring an alluring spirituality into the pages complied by himself.
What are the “Fifteen Saturdays”?
The practice of the Fifteen Saturdays consists in pledging oneself to live, for fifteen consecutive Saturdays, the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, which, in synthesis, are the story of our salvation, the Gospel we pray along with the Mother of God.
That which above all emerges in this holy practice is participation in the Eucharist, in memory of the Son of God, having become incarnate, having died, having risen; therefore, deep meditation of a mystery is reserved to each Saturday, along with the reciting of the entire Rosary.
It is understood that, should there be the need, sacramental confession is to precede participation in the Eucharist.
Each mystery is to be honored by the practicing of a virtue in imitation of our Lord and of the Holy Virgin.
Those person who receive communion once a week can in the course of seven days prolong the fruits of the mystery which they have celebrated, reliving the mystery in their prayers, in penance, in offerings. Each day they may repeat the prayer and exercise themselves in that virtue which was meditated upon on the preceding Saturday. In this way, in fifteen weeks (or even in fifteen days), they will have celebrated the principal mysteries of our holy Religion which the Church celebrates in the course of a year.
This practice wishes to be an aid in experiencing a special spiritual atmosphere, by growing in the love of God and of the Divine Mother.
In this atmosphere, the soul is easily led toward making great progress and most surely discovers new horizons in the spiritual field.
With the exercise of the Fifteen Saturdays, the soul assumes such a love for the Rosary that it becomes desirous of reciting it in its entirety every day.
When, furthermore, we are faced with difficult situations or particular needs, and there is a more pressing need to seek divine help, the Fifteen Saturdays are a means discovered by Christian spirituality for the purpose of obtaining answers from Heaven.
We shall offer evidence at the end of the meditations of each Saturday, reporting the authentic narrations of the Blessed.
The value of practicing the “Fifteen Saturdays”
The excellent practice of the Fifteen Saturdays does not only contain what is most holy and most efficacious in the Rosary, that is, the memory of Jesus’ actions; it also includes participation in the sacraments, above all, Communion done in memory of that which our Savior did on our behalf, perseverance in prayer and the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin.
Moreover, to all these things this practice joins a particular concern: that we become pleasing to God and sanctified during this period of fifteen weeks.
In which period of the year is the devotion of the “Fifteen Saturdays” practiced?
Any period of the year is suitable for this pious devotion, however, at the Shrine of Pompeii, it is custom to have it precede the two very important days of May 8th, and the first Sunday of October, when, at 12 noon, at Pompeii and simultaneously in many churches throughout the world, there is the reciting of the Petition to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary.
Those who are not able to begin on Saturday may do so on a Sunday. They would therefore be doing the Fifteen Sundays.
Finally, in special cases, the holy practice may be summed up in fifteen consecutive days.
Where to practice the “Fifteen Saturdays”?
It is better that the devotion of the Fifteen Saturdays be practiced in a church or public chapel where the image of the Virgin of Pompeii may be displayed.