According to the habits of Catholic piety, Friday is dedicated to the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This fact is very explicable because He died on a Friday.
Sunday is dedicated to the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. That is also explicable: He resurrected on a Sunday.
Between Friday and Sunday there is Saturday. That day brings with it a sad rather than cheerful connotation because the Sabbath was the day consecrated to the Lord in the old synagogue. It was God’s day, the day when creation had been completed.
The Sabbath ceased being a holy day from the time the synagogue was extinguished and relegated to a situation of disgrace in which it lost its covenant with God.
How should Catholic piety fill Saturday, a day placed between two other exalted days?
As we all know, Saturday is dedicated to Our Lady.
Why is Saturday dedicated to Our Lady? Why, for example, were the first Saturdays of the month chosen for the communion of reparation? What are the profound reasons for this Catholic custom of dedicating Saturday to Our Lady?
The reason has been found in documentation from the Abbey of Cluny:
“Devotion to Our Lady received a great impulse in the beginning of the tenth century with the monastic reform led by Cluny, the Order that built medieval civilisation. It was then that the habit of dedicating Saturday especially to her became widespread.”
Order of Cluny Propagates Devotion to Our Lady
“For example, Saint Hugh (Abbot of Cluny) determined that when no unmovable feast occurred on a Saturday, the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary should be sung in all monasteries of Cluny, and the Mass “De Beata Virgine,” that is, the liturgy especially composed in her praise, should be celebrated. Pope Urban II ordered that the Little Office of Our Lady be added to the Office of the Church on Saturdays.”
This shows the impulse that the Order of Cluny gave to devotion to Our Lady, and particularly on Saturdays.
It continues: “While there are several explanations for this custom of dedicating Saturday to Mary Most Holy, the one most widespread in Christendom that moved souls with special veneration to the Blessed Virgin was a result of the great importance the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ enjoyed in medieval spirituality.”
“The Gospels tell us that after the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostles, disciples and holy women did not believe in the Resurrection even though Our Lord had often foretold it to them.”
“Thus, from the time Our Lord died on the Cross on Good Friday until Resurrection Sunday, only Our Lady believed in His divinity. Therefore, she alone had perfect faith, for as Saint Paul says, “Without the Resurrection our Faith would be in vain.” Therefore, on that Saturday, only Our Lady personified the Catholic Church throughout the Earth and medieval men praised her especially on that day.”
Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday only Our Lady Believes in the Resurrection
This explanation could not be more beautiful. As every Catholic knows, this fact is real. It would be exaggerated to say that the holy women and the Apostle Saint John the Evangelist, had lost their Faith, but they had no faith in the Resurrection. They had not realised it would take place even though Our Lord had repeatedly spoken of it.
The Resurrection is such a violent fact, one so contrary to the natural order of things that the human spirit is not prone to grasp it. And though Our Lord raised Lazarus from the dead and they had seen that resurrection, because of their hardened souls they failed to realise that He who had raised Lazarus would also raise Himself. They did not realise that Our Lord was going to accept the challenge that blasphemers threw at the foot of the Cross when they said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross and heal Thyself.”
He did much more than come down from the Cross and heal Himself: He allowed Himself to die and then raised Himself, something even more extraordinary!
It is more extraordinary to resurrect oneself than to resurrect Lazarus. For, while it is extraordinary and impossible in the order of nature for a living person to resurrect a dead one, here you still have a living person that raised a dead one. But for a dead man to resurrect himself, rise from the depths of death on his own strength by telling his soul: “A