OUR LADY OF AKITA:
The Blessing and Opening of the Chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Akita
Marian Valley, GoldCoast Hinterland, Australia
There was great excitement and interest at the Marian Valley Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians on 15th September 2019 at the Gold Coast Hinterland on the occasion of the Blessing and dedication of the newly built Chapel of Our Lady of Akita.
The Chapel is built by the The Confraternity of Our Lady of Akita and is the first chapel dedicated to the Japanese Marian Devotion at the Marian valley. This Chapel built with Japanese Architecture sits pretty among the other Chapels at the Valley - each promoting the Message to which Devotion or Saint the Chapel is dedicated to. These structures stand as a witness and a stark reminder to the faithful to pause and recount that Divine Message given in that period of history.
The chapel of Our Lady of Akita at Marian Valley is octagonal in shape, representing the eighth sorrow of the Blessed Mother - for the souls that reject her Son - causing her present day tears. Today, 15th September is also the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Marian title associated with the miraculous and supernatural events that occurred in Akita, Japan.
The Pauline Fathers Anthony David and the Rector of the Marian Shrine, Fr Albert Wasniowski assisted the main celebrant Rev Fr. Thomas Casanova CCS at Mass. Fr Casanova also presided over the Blessing and dedication of the Chapel of Our Lady of Akita.
So what is the history of the Message of Our Lady of Akita and why is it important to us now ?
In his homily, Fr Casanova reiterated that the Message of Our Lady of Akita is basically the message of Fatima. He spoke of "the Victim soul - which a priest becomes when offering Mass - uniting his oblation with that of Christ's. Likewise he requested those present to bring in their joys, works and suffering and offer it all to God along with the gifts brought for the Offertory during Mass". Victim souls, through their suffering, embraced in joy offer themselves to God. This has merit when offered in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and has reparative value in mitigating Divine Justice.
A Victim soul is what Sr Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa was when Our Lady appeared to this humble novice in Akita, Japan. At that time she was stricken with paralysis and was diagnosed with incurable deafness. Soon after, Sr Sasagawa received the stigmata on the palm of her left hand. In June the deaf sister received a visit from her guardian angel, who told her that Mary’s wounds were deeper than her agonising stigmata and implored her to pray in the chapel. As she knelt down to pray before a wooden statue of Our Lady it came to life. Our Lady promised that Sr Agnes’ deafness would be healed and asked her to “pray very much for the pope, bishops and priests”.
Our Lady appeared to Sr Sasagawa three times in 1973, making her final appearance on October 13, the 56th anniversary of the miraculous dancing of the sun in Fatima, Portugal. Our Lady repeated her Fatima plea for Catholics to pray for sinners. At Akita Our Lady also warned that the devil would infiltrate the Church “in such a way that one will see cardinals against cardinals, bishops against other bishops”, priests with Marian devotions persecuted and altars sacked and destroyed.
This is also the message of the third secret of Fatima revealed to the Fatima children on 13 July 1917. At Akita, Our Lady has come to warn us again in 1973. At Fatima and at Akita, Our Lady speaks of a Chastisement that is to come if we do not repent. "Our Lady can no longer uphold the arm of Her Divine Son which will strike the world. If people amend their lives, Our Lord will even now save the world, but if they do not, punishment will come. " "People must renounce sin and not persist in it, as has been done until now. It is essential to repent greatly. " - Message to Sr Lucia of Fatima
All these events at Akita were recorded in a diary written by Sr Sasagawa, which she confided to Bishop Ito. Following the apparitions, a group of sisters including Sr Sasagawa and a priest saw the wooden statue in the sisters’ convent begin to weep. Bishop Ito also witnessed the miraculous event, and personally wiped away the tears from the statue.The lachrymation occurred 101 times between 1975 and 1981, ending on September 15, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. After rigorous scientific investigations the tears were proven to be human bodily fluid.Sr Agnes’ hearing was restored in full on May 30, 1982. Bishop Ito, was given authority by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate the matter and in his final pastoral letter penned in 1984 he authorised the veneration of Our Lady of Akita throughout his diocese.
The messages of Fatima and Akita are prophetic and apocalyptical and because of this it doesn't sit well with many people. It speaks of the messages regarding the last things - Heaven, Hell, Death and Judgement.
The Warning of Akita.
A Warning is an advance notice of something that is going to happen. A few weeks ago, parts of Queensland including the Goldcoast Hinterland were bracing for Fires which this year came upon us unusually early. The beautiful Marian Valley lies nestled among the greenery and bushland of beautiful Mt. Canungra. On September 7th at around 2 am, Fr Albert Wasniowski noted that the Vallery was lit up by flying embers and he could see eerie thick smoke. There were about 25 visitors that slept in the cabins at the Shrine that night. The residents were preparing for evacuation. “I was on my knees with the rosary beads in the chapel and praying for protection from Heaven,” Pauline Father Albert Wasniowski said. “The road was closed, and police were standing there". While Marian Valley was engulfed in smoke, it was miraculously spared from flames on the ground. “Our Lady did protect us. I believe we are in good hands", said Fr Wasniowski.
The warning embers and smoke of a devastating fire to come did not unfaze Fr. Wasniowski who called upon his faith reserves and entrusted himself and the Marian Valley to Our Blessed Mother in their moment of need. The Message of Akita is a prophetic warning to Humanity that if 'humanity does not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity'. Just as Fr Wasniowski ' deflected the fires that was to devastate' through his intercessory prayers to Our Lady, so can we 'deflect the chastisement' that is to come by fulfilling Our Blessed mother's wishes: "God wishes to establish devotion to My Immaculate Heart in the world. If what I say is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace" (Message at Fatima, July 13, 1917). At Akita, Our Lady tells us: "...I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach." As a concerned and sorrowful Mother at Akita, She comes to warn us and urges us on along the path of conversion and return to the Lord.
So can you protect yourself? Is there a Fire or Chastisement Insurance that one can take?
The answer to both those questions is yes ? Our Salvation has been purchased for us by Christ's death on the cross. But how do we claim this deed or act of salvation purchased for us by Our Saviour ? If you repent of your sins and confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. –Romans 10:9. Having done this, we need to take up our daily cross, laying aside the old self that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind and walk in this newness of life with the sacraments of the Church to sanctify us on our journey.
At Fatima, Our Lady predicted a period of Apostasy (2 Thes 2-3) - or falling away from the faith. Many Christians are now becoming 'de-Christianised' and are pursuing an atheistic lifestyle. There is a general justification of sin which is no longer looked upon as a moral evil and even promoted through social media as a positive value and a good. The prophecies of Akita and Fatima speak of the fall of consecrated souls and a general atheistic way of life - forgetting one's personal duty to live in the grace of God and to walk along the road of sanctity. So having 'fought the good fight' in these precarious time how sure are we of our salvation and that we will not be tempted by the evil one. God himself provides this guarantee - though the Devotion and Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for these times.
What Do I Have to Do?
The devotion of First Saturdays requested by Our Lady of Fatima and promoted at the Marian Valley carries with it the assurance of salvation. However, to derive profit from such a great promise of Our Lady, the devotion must be properly understood and duly performed. The requirements as stipulated by Our Lady are as follows: Confession, Communion, Five decades of the Rosary, Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Consecration of oneself the Immaculate Heart of Mary. All this to be done in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Our Lady has assured us that She will obtain salvation for all those who observe the First Saturdays for five consecutive months in accordance with Her conditions. At Fatima, Our Lady tells Sr. Lucia: "Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me know and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it and these souls will be loved by God, like flowers placed by me to adorn His throne" In making and act of Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart, as requested in Fatima, we dedicate our heart to God in answer to God's call to spiritual consecration. By reflecting on our motives, repenting and being baptised we stay apart or separate ourselves from the evils of the world. In committing ourselves to God, through Mary, we draw closer to God and get to know His Will for us.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary be Our refuge and the way that will lead us to God.
-By Dr. Christopher Dias