With ties to Fatima, Our Lady of Akita relayed a similar message of repentance and prayer to a Japanese religious sister.
On June 12, 1973, Sr. Agnes Sasagawa of the Handmaids of the Eucharist began receiving heavenly visions in a convent located in Akita, Japan. At first she saw angelic beings worshiping the Eucharist, but then on July 6, 1973, Sasagawa saw a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary speak to her, relaying a powerful message similar to what the three shepherd children received in Fatima, Portugal.
The statue soon after began to bleed and tears started to flow down her cheeks. Around 2,000 people witnessed the tears coming from the statue and the liquid was gathered and sent to a laboratory for testing. A professor from the Akita University Department of Biochemistry studied the liquid, as well as a non-Christian forensic specialist, Dr. Kaoru Sagisaka. The blood was confirmed to be of human origin, as were the tears.
After a lengthy investigation, the local bishop, John Shoojiroo Ito of Niigata, approved the apparition to be of supernatural origin and “worthy of belief.” The Vatican has not made an official statement, leaving it up to the local bishop’s discretion.
The primary message of Our Lady, given to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa, was similar in content to the apparitions at Fatima. The messages focused on praying the Rosary and doing penance for the sins of humanity in order to secure peace for the world. The Rosary was seen as the key to prevent any future calamities from happening.
She also revealed a troubling message similar to Our Lady of Fatima, explaining a period of trial that the Church would endure.
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 … 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.
Our Lady of Akita, as at Fatima, warns the world of a life divorced from God and what harm that can do even in the Church. Yet, even through a great crisis of faith, it is prayer, penance and trust that will save humanity.
While these revelations are technically “private revelations” and we are not bound to believe in them, the message is not much different than any other prophetic message throughout history. God desires that we turn back to him and is ready to receive us.
However, we must make the effort to turn away from our lives of sin, run towards God and bring with us as many people as possible.