Holy Mother of Akita, Akita, Tohuku, Japan
Commemorated on July 6, June 12
Holy Mother of Akita, Akita, Tohuku, Japan On the night of July 6, 1973, at the Institute of the Handmaids of the Eucharist in Akita, Sister Agnes Sasagawa couldn’t sleep because of the driving pain of a cross-shaped wound on her palm, which had formed several days previously and recently begun to bleed. Although totally deaf, she heard a voice say, “Mary’s wound is much deeper than yours. Come with me to the chapel.” Looking up, Sister Agnes saw an angel. She followed him to the chapel. There, on the right hand of a wooden statue of Our Lady of All Nations, she saw a lesion similar to the one on her left hand. Bathed in light, the statue appeared to come alive and speak, promising Sister Agnes that her deafness would be cured, and encouraging her to pray, especially for the Catholic clergy. Later that year, Sister Agnes heard two more messages, warning of global chastisement. The four other sisters in the community saw the statue’s wound bleed regularly until September. From 1975 to 1981, along with outside witnesses, they saw the statue weep 101 times. Agnes Sasagawa’s hearing returned permanently on May 30, 1982. In 1984 the Bishop of Niigata approved devotion to Our Lady of Akita; the Vatican approved his decision in 1988.