The Chastisement Warned by Our Lady of Akita

 Editor’s Note: Given the Gospels from the Last Sunday after Pentecost (Mt 24:15-35) and the First Sunday of Advent (Luke 21:25-33) it seems appropriate to reflect upon Our Lady’s Message at Akita at this time in the liturgical year.

Our Lady of Akita Background

Our Lady of Akita is a Marian apparition that took place in Yuzawadai, a remote area in Akita, Japan. The apparitions occurred to a Japanese nun named Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa, who was deaf and had been suffering from various health problems. The apparitions began on June 12, 1973, and continued until the last one on October 13 of the same year.

During these apparitions, Sister Agnes reported receiving messages and experiencing various supernatural phenomena. The messages conveyed by our Blessed Mother Mary included calls for prayer, penance, and warnings about the state of the world and the need for conversion.

In addition to the messages, there were also mysterious events associated with the apparitions, such as a weeping statue of the Virgin Mary (which occurred 101 times).[1] These events and messages attracted the attention of the local bishop and the Catholic Church.

The apparitions at Akita received official recognition from the Catholic Church. On April 22, 1984, Bishop John Shojiro Ito of Niigata, Japan, after a thorough investigation, declared the events at Akita to be of supernatural origin and approved them as genuine. This recognition confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and the messages conveyed by Our Lady of Akita.

The Warning of Our Lady of Akita to Our Priests and Bishops

At the Church-approved apparition of Our Lady of Akita,[2] She said:

“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… 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.”

We are seeing this unfold in front of our eyes with the doctrinal crisis in the Church and the persecution of good priests and bishops[3] who teach the fullness of the Faith and who persist in offering the immemorial Tridentine Mass. This is driven not by secular rulers but from the rise of modernists in the Church’s ranks. This is also seen by the unjust cancelation of many priests in the Church today.[4]

Modernism – A Poison in the Church’s Very Veins

Some key characteristics and beliefs associated with modernism, as outlined by Pope Pius X, include:

  1. A rejection of traditional and authoritative Church teaching in favor of a subjective, individual interpretation of faith and doctrine.
  2. A tendency to adapt and reinterpret Catholic dogma in light of contemporary philosophical and scientific trends, often leading to relativism and skepticism.
  3. A focus on immanence, emphasizing the subjective experience of the divine within the individual, rather than transcendence and the objective truths of the Faith.
  4. A willingness to engage in critical biblical scholarship that questions the historical accuracy and authorship of certain Scripture texts.
  5. A tendency to downplay or even deny the supernatural elements of the Faith, such as miracles and the Resurrection, in favor of a naturalistic interpretation.
  6. A preference for ecumenism and religious relativism, often seeking common ground with other religious traditions at the expense of Catholic orthodoxy.

In response to these threats, Pope St. Pius X encouraged a robust defense of traditional Catholic teaching and the strict adherence to the Church’s dogmas and doctrines. He called on the Church to be vigilant in identifying and addressing modernist tendencies, which he believed posed a serious danger to the integrity of the Catholic Faith. The encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis was a significant effort to combat modernism[5] and clarify the Church’s teachings in the early 20th century. Sadly, the rise of modernism before and strongly after Vatican II has led to a collapse of the Faith throughout the world. It is in this context that Our Lady appeared in Akita.

Priests who are faithful to their vocation must strive to remain firm in the Faith and preach it in its fullness despite the unjust persecution they face. And they will thus earn the reward promised by Our Lord: “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:10).

Connections Between Our Lady’s Messages at Akita and Fatima

As bad as diseases, disasters and wars have been in the past few decades, these will be nothing in comparison with the divine chastisement that will come directly from God’s hand, as Our Lady warned us when She said at Akita, Japan on October 13, 1973:

“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.”

These words call to mind the Miracle of the Sun on October 13, 1917 when those present believed the world was going to be destroyed by the sun’s fire. They echo Our Lady’s conditional prophecy on July 13, 1917 regarding ‘the annihilation of nations.’ And they share a semblance with the Vision associated with the Third Secret (released in 2000) of “an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire … the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’.”

Both the Angel at Fatima (1916) and Our Lady at Akita spoke of the need to have greater reverence for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and to make reparation for the many offenses against Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Yet this has largely been neglected by Catholics, and instead Eucharistic sacrileges – among Catholics – have dramatically increased.[6]

Despite these warnings, so few priests preach on modesty, on the importance of observing all the Commandments, and on how to grow in virtue and truly reject sin. So few pray for the souls in Purgatory now. Few know how to gain indulgences; and even those who do, neglect their obligation to do so for the Poor Souls. Sadly, the daily Rosary, the Brown Scapular, and the First Saturday devotion have been ignored by so many Catholics today.

At every one of Her six apparitions at Fatima, Our Lady asked us to pray the Rosary every day. The Blessed Virgin Mary repeated this request at Akita when She said:

“The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary.”

At Fatima, Our Lady stated that only She can help us (July 13, 1917), and at Akita She again emphasized: “I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach.” Let us place our confidence in Our Lady, knowing it is never too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!


[1] It is unfortunate that some false apparitions, especially false claims about statues crying or bleeding, have caused many to doubt the validity of true apparitions. As Catholics, we should only venerate those apparitions deemed authentic by proper Church authority. These provide miracles and inspirational testaments demonstrating the existence of the true God and of the Catholic Faith.

[2] One of the best resources on this Marian apparition is The Tears and Message of Mary by Father Teiji Yasuda. He was Sister Agnes’s spiritual director, and his work was recommended by Bishop Ito. A translation into English was made by John Haffert (1989). A PDF version of the text can be found online.

[3] The removal of Bishop Joseph Strickland (Tyler, Texas) on November 2023 has caused a great deal of publicity. Yet this was not the first faithful bishop Francis removed without cause. In March 2022, he dismissed Bishop Daniel Fernández from the Diocese of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Francis has taken other unusual actions against faithful bishops which some consider draconian. In June 2022, Francis ordered Bishop Dominique Rey of Toulon, France to suspend all his ordinations. Bishop Rey is favorable towards the Latin Mass and considered one of the most orthodox bishops in France. In November 2023, Francis then appointed a coadjutor bishop to the diocese to take over much of the diocesan governance even though Rey is only 71. In July 2017, Francis dismissed Cardinal Muller as Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, and in 2022 he dismissed Archbishop Giacomo Morandi from that same congregation for having opposed same-sex blessings. In 2014 he removed Cardinal Burke from his post as head of the Apostolic Signatura, and then in 2017 Francis suspended him from his post as patron to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. These are but some examples, there are more.

[4] Supporters of The Fatima Center have been familiar with the concept of good faithful priests being persecuted for years, as Father Nicholas Gruner suffered much unjust persecution and malicious calumny. Those who lived through the 1970s and 1980s saw nearly every priest who remained faithful to the Traditional Mass suffer greatly at the hands of other priests, bishops, and the Vatican. Today there has certainly been an increase in aggressive action even against priests who simply support the Church’s basic teachings on marriage, abortion, and contraception. Fr. John Lovell addressed the attack upon the priesthood [video] [audio only] at The Fatima Center’s conference in New Hampshire (October 2022). He was also interviewed by David Rodríguez on the subject of cancelled priests [video] [audio only]

[5] Paragraphs 44-57 of the encyclical deal specifically with the means by which modernism is to be detected and punitive measures to uproot it out of the Church.

[6] There are many similarities between the prophecies Our Lady made at Fatima and at Akita. Cardinal Ratzinger is reported to have stated the message of Akita is essentially that of Fatima. However, an important difference is that Our Lady did not provide the solution for our times at Akita. Four essential and interrelated aspects of the Fatima Message not mentioned at Akita are: (1) God wills worldwide devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, (2) the First Saturdays devotion, (3) the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, and (4) Our Lady’s definitive promise that in the end Her Immaculate Heart shall triumph.

The video Akita and the Fatima Secret (produced by the Teach Peace Foundation, 2015) narrates the events at Akita and can be viewed at the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation website.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, SSPX, also touched upon the connections between Fatima and Akita at the Angelus Press Conference on October 12, 2013.