On June 12, 1973, Sr. Agnes Sasagawa was praying in her convent in Akita, Japan, when she saw brilliant rays of light that emanated from the tabernacle. The same miracle happened again over the next two days. On June 28, a cross-shaped wound appeared on the palm of Sr. Agnes’ left hand. It bled profusely and caused her much pain.
On July 6, while she was praying, Sr. Agnes heard a voice come from the statue of the Virgin Mary that was in the chapel. It was the first message. The same day, some sisters discovered drops of blood that were flowing from the right hand of the statue. This flow of blood occurred four times. The wound on the hand of the statue remained until September 29. But that same day, the statue began to “sweat”, especially from her forhead and neck.
On August 3, 1973, Sr. Agnes received a second message and on October 13 of the same year, the third and final message. On January 4, 1975, the statue of Our Lady began to cry and continued crying on different occasions for 6 years and 8 months. The last time was on September 15, 1981, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. There were a total of 101 lacrimations.
The name of the visionary, Sister “Agnes”, means lamb. She was healed of deafness, which was verified with no medical explanation. This miracle was a sign of the authenticity of the visits of Our Lady.
On April 22, 1984, after eight years of investigation and having consulted with the Holy See, the messages of Our Lady of Akita were approved by the bishop of the Diocese of Niigata, Japan, Bishop John Shojiro Ito. He declared that the events of Akita are of supernatural origin and authorized the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita in the whole diocese. In the Japanese town of Akita, a statue of the Madonna has shed blood, sweat and tears according to the testimony of more than 500 Christians and non-Christians, including the Buddhist mayor of the town. A religious, Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa has received the stigmata and messages from Our Lady.
In June of 1988, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, imparted the definitive judgment regarding the events and messages of Akita, judging them to be trustworthy and worthy of faith. The Cardinal observed taht Akita is a continuation of the messages of Fatima.
July 6, 1973
At three in the morning, Sr. Agnes’ guardian angel appeared to her and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the one who is at your side and guards you. Come and follow me. Do not pray only for your sins, but in reparation for the sins of humanity. The contemporary world wounds the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus with its ingratitude and offenses. The wound in the hand of the Blessed Virgin Mary is much deeper than yours. Now let us go to the chapel.