Message of Akita on 50th Anniversary Is More Timely Than Ever

The 50th anniversary of Our Blessed Mother appearing at Akita, Japan, prompts us to heed her dire warnings to a sinful humanity

‘Virgin Mary Statue’
‘Virgin Mary Statue’ (photo: Tanakorn Moolsarn / Shutterstock)

Fifty years ago on Oct. 13, 1973, our Blessed Mother appeared to Sister Agnes Sasagawa in a convent in Akita, Japan. It is no coincidence that the original apparition happened on the Oct. 13 Fatima anniversary.

This anniversary is especially significant. In light of the shocking news concerning Israel, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, violence in many other places, unrest in the Church, and natural disasters, taking to heart the message Our Lady gave at Akita should be a priority — and put it into practice.

As at Fatima, our Blessed Mother’s warning at Akita was most dire. But she also gave hope by giving the solution for people to follow.

Our Lady said:

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 one will never have 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 arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son.
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 sorrow. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them.

Before seeing Our Lady’s concluding words to Sister Agnes during this apparition, consider that 50 years ago the possible events described by Our Blessed Mother would never have crossed our minds as likely to happen. But they did. Never did the thought of marriage being attacked so strongly occur. Never did anyone question the distinction between male and female. And “fire” could yet fall from the sky — from man or from heaven (Revelation 9).

It did not (and still does not) have to be, because of that big “if” — if people listen to what our Blessed Mother said to do. Her concluding words offer that hope and a promise too. She told Sister Agnes:

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.

Now is the time to relearn or learn anew, then immediately put into practice, one sure way to hurry peace in the world

Did people listen in numbers? Only nine years after Akita, in 1982 on his visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, Pope St. John Paul II said, “How many people and societies — how many Christians — have gone in the opposite direction to the one indicated in the message of Fatima.”

John Paul said he saw that “sin has thus made itself firmly at home in the world, and denial of God has become widespread in the ideologies, ideas and plans of human beings.” But “the evangelical call to repentance and conversion, uttered in the Mother’s message, remains ever relevant. It is still more relevant. ... It is still more urgent …”

During the Akita apparition preceding this anniversary one, Our Lady told Sister Agnes, in part:

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.

Bishop John Shojiro Ito, who formally approved the Akita apparitions, told a group of pilgrims: “It is the message of Fatima.”


Fast-Forward to the 50th Anniversary

Will Akita’s message from our Blessed Mother go unheeded? Despite the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, surely not enough people followed her requests, because she said if people did not follow them, a worse war would follow. Just over 20 years later, World War II began in Europe. Then, as Our Lady had warned, communism spread.

Our Lady also warned of the possibility at Fatima. She reminded us with strong words at Akita. Have we listened? Those words of Akita are a repetition and an “update" of what we were told at Fatima. If we do not respond, “several entire nations will be annihilated,” were her words at Fatima.

This week’s Mass readings cannot be coincidental. The first reading for Mass this Friday, Oct. 13, happens to be from Joel. The day before, the first reading is from Malachi. And Saturday, the day after, the first reading is from Joel again. Quite a reminder. Read them and see why. Also maybe reading Ezekiel 8 and 9 will help. At the same time, remember that preceding these the reading for Tuesday, Oct. 11, was about Jonah announcing to Nineveh that it would be destroyed, and what Nineveh’s response was, including the king’s reaction. And don’t forget what God told Abraham he would do if there were 10 just men in Sodom.


The Three “R’s”

Rosary, Repentance, Reparation.

Remember, Akita is an update of Fatima. Akita’s solution is Fatima’s solution. Fatima’s instructions are Akita’s instructions. They are really very simple. The simple instructions are these:

Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary

And again: 

Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.

At Fatima, we know she requested the Rosary at each of her apparitions:

Continue to say the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war, because only she can obtain it.

Make the First Saturday devotions, fulfilling the simple conditions.

Also, be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart and enroll in and wear the brown Scapular as a continuous sign.

Make sacrifices in reparation for sin. The sacrifices Our Lady requires are those required for fulfilling our daily duties. Start the day with the Morning Offering.

Be consecrated to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

As at Fatima, have a devotion to St. Joseph.

If enough people respond, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be hastened and a chastisement might be averted or lessened by the Blessed Mother’s intercession.

Remember her final hope-filled words at Akita:

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.

In light of these words and this anniversary reminder, can we keep ignoring our Blessed Mother’s simple requests? Surely we should not want to be like those who after major warnings like plagues continued their sinful ways (Revelation 9:20-21). That brings us to the meaning of the dire warning about forgiveness and “no longer pardoning” in the message.

John Haffert, co-founder of the World Apostolate of Fatima, Blue Army, explained it in relation to the sin against the Holy Spirit, referring to St. John Paul II, who taught in his encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem:

If Jesus says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this life or in the next, it is because this non-forgiveness is linked, as to its cause, to non-repentance, in other words to the radical refusal to be converted. … Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, then, is the sin committed by the person who claims to have a ‘right’ to persist in evil — in any sin at all — and who thus rejects Redemption.

This was written in 1986. Has the world gotten any better even after the words of Our Lady, the Mother of Divine Mercy, and in light of the unimaginable offer of mercy in the Divine Mercy devotion?

For this 50th Anniversary of her appearances at Akita, can we ignore any longer her messages there and at Fatima, and her hope-filled solutions and simple directions? Writing about Akita, Haffert also explained:

Our Lady has already told us at Fatima what we must do. We can believe that when a sufficient number are responding. there will be miracles of Grace in the world turning back the tide of evil and issuing in the ‘era of peace for mankind’ promised by Our Lady.

In True Devotion, St. Louis de Montfort wrote, “The salvation of the world began through Mary and through her it must be accomplished.” Or once again, as Our Lady of Akita said:

I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved.
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