“My dear daughter…if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as no one has ever seen before.”
Eight years after her appearances in Spain ended, Our Lady appeared to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa, a nun living in the remote area of Yuzawadai, near the city of Akita, Japan. These extraordinary events began on June 12, 1973. Sr. Agnes noticed brilliant mysterious rays of light emanating from within the tabernacle. This sight was repeated over the next two days.
On July 6, as Sr. Agnes was praying in the chapel, she heard a voice coming from a statue of the Virgin Mary. The statue was made from a single block of wood that had been carved from a tree. Sr. Agnes reported that the first message was: “…Pray very much for the pope, bishops, and priests… Continue to pray very much…very much…” During that time, Our Lady asked her to recite a prayer of reparation adding that, eventually, her own deafness would be cured.
On August 3, she received a second message: “My daughter, my novice, do you love the Lord? If you love the Lord, listen to what I have to say to you. It is very important…You will convey it to your superior. Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father. I wish, with my Son, for souls who will repair by their suffering and their poverty for the sinners and ingrates.
”In order that the world might know His anger, the Heavenly Father is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind. With my Son I have intervened so many times to appease the wrath of the Father. I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering Him the sufferings of the Son on the Cross, His Precious Blood and beloved souls who console Him, forming a cohort of victim souls.
“Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father’s anger. I desire this also from your community…that it love poverty, that it sanctify itself and pray in reparation for the ingratitude and outrages of so many men…”
A third message was received on the following October 13: “My dear daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform your superior. As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as no one has ever seen before.
“Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only consolation which will remain for you will be the rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the rosary. With the rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.
“The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
“The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If mankind’s sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them. With courage, speak to your superior. He will know how to encourage each one of you to pray and to accomplish works of reparation. It is Bishop Ito, who directs your community. Pray very much the prayers of the rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved.”
One and a half years later, on January 4, 1975, the statue of the Blessed Virgin began to weep. It continued to weep at intervals for the next 6 years and eight months, weeping over one-hundred times. The entire nation of Japan was able to view the tears of the statue of the Virgin Mary on national television.
Following eight years of intensive investigations and consultation with the Holy See, the messages of Our Lady of Akita were approved by the Bishop of the diocese on April 22, 1984, where a statue of the Madonna, according to the testimony of more than five-hundred witnesses – including the Buddhist mayor of the town – has shed blood, sweat and tears.
On April 22, 1984, Bishop John Ito, of Niigata, Japan, who was an eyewitness to some of the events, stated: “As for the content of the messages received, it is no way contrary to Catholic doctrine or to good morals. When one thinks of the actual state of the world, the warning seems to correspond to it in many points.”
He was likely referring to the dissention of so many Catholics who to this day continue to be in error, somehow believing their conscience to be the sole judgment in overruling the true teachings of the Church. “Unfortunately, the reforms of Vatican II were being used as an excuse for innovation and modernism.
“Thousands of priests abandoned their vocation; innumerable religious abandoned their vows and were laicized. Most of the faithful were confused and totally distraught as they saw the authority of the papacy being undermined and reinterpreted by dissent and disobedience.”
Finally, in June, 1988, Bishop John Shojiro Ito of Niigata, Japan, went to the Vatican in Rome to consult with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [now, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI] who formally approved Our Lady of Akita’s appearances as worthy of belief.