This is a true story of a miraculous wooden statue of the Holy Mother Mary that shed blood from its hand.
What do you think if you hear from someone that there is a bleeding wooden statue like a living person?
I can’t believe it!
That’s not true!
That must be cheating!
It may be hard to believe in a bleeding wooden statue.
However, such an amazing wooden statue of the Holy Mother Mary actually existed in Japan.
In this post, I would like to introduce a sister who obtained stigmata in her left hand, which was a harbinger of the following supernatural phenomena, that is, a miraculous wooden statue of the Holy Mother Mary crying and bleeding.
Our Lady of Akita, a miraculous wooden statue that wept 101 times.
The Miracle of Our Lady of Akita
The following story is based on the book “Akita: The Tears and Message of Mary” written by Father Teiji Yasuda (1916 - 2013), chaplain of Convent-Marian Shrine in Akita, Japan.
Father Teiji Yasuda (1916 - 2013)
In this book, Father Yasuda introduced "Our Lady of Akita," a miraculous wooden statue of the Holy Mother Mary that wept 101 times and shed blood from its hand.
It may be hard to believe, but on March 14, 1989, the Most Rev. John Shojiro Ito (1909-1993), retired Bishop of Niigata approved this book in the following words:
I recommend this book and testify that its contents are true.
Bishop of Niigata, the Most Rev. John Shojiro Ito (1909-1993).
Actually, the weeping and bleeding statue of the Virgin Mary was so miraculous that it was broadcast on Japanese national television.
Furthermore, it gained notice with the miraculous healing of hearing loss of a sister, Sasagawa who received messages from the Blessed Virgin.
Therefore, it was a miracle happened to a convent in Akita.
Source - Own work
Sasagawa Obtained Stigmata in Her Left Hand
In the former post, I introduced the hard-knock life of Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa and her amazing experience of seeing the mysterious lights of God.
Then, on June 28, 1973, Sister Sasagawa saw a mysterious light and angels.
From the evening of the same day, another mysterious event happened.
During the prayer in the chapel, Sister Sasagawa felt as if her left palm begun to hurt.
She felt uneasy, because she had never experienced such a pain before.
The next day, her left palm still hurt.
The pain lasted during the Mass and particularly, she had severe pain during the adoration.
During the prayer, Sister Sasagawa clenched her left hand.
But when she left the chapel after the adoration, she opened her left palm tentatively.
There was a noticeable cross-like welt in the center of her palm.
What is this?
The wound was two centimeters (0.8 inch) wide and three centimeters (1.1 inches) long.
It appeared very large compared to her little palm.
Sister Sasagawa had a sharp pain in her palm.
But it looked very different from what is familiar in everyday life.
It can’t be caused with something like a blade.
Even if she had held a small cross in her hand tightly, there would have just remained a small cross-like dent into the skin.
Rather, the wound was as if a cross had been engraved in the skin.
The welt was shaped like a cross and pinkish.
Thus, it did not evoke a sense of repulsion like other common wounds and it gave people even a kind of beauty.
On July 5, Thursday, Sister Sasagawa recited the Rosary with Sister K. in adoration between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m..
When she begun to pray, the angel appeared again and recited the Rosary with her.
Then, in the middle of the prayer from 6:00 p.m. in the evening, Sister Sasagawa had a sudden intense pain in her left hand.
It was as if her palm was pierced with something like a gimlet.
She nearly screamed in agonizing pain but she tried her hardest in continuing the prayer to the end, because she was at her important devotions.
When she was left alone in the chapel after the prayer, Sister Sasagawa wanted to look at the wound, but she could not open her left hand because of the pain.
After she left the chapel and she finally opened her left hand.
Then she found a small hole in the center of the cross-like wound in her left palm and blood was oozing from the hole.
She had relentless pain in her left hand.
Particularly, when she felt an acute pain, fresh blood gushed out of the hole in her left hand.
Every time she looked at it, Sister Sasagawa thought of her sinfulness and recalled the sufferings of Christ on the cross.
Thus, she repeated a prayer enduring the pain.
Lord, have pity, forgive my offenses!
The First Message of Mary
Struck down with severe pain, Sister Sasagawa kept waking up and sleeping many times, so she could not sleep a wink.
It was well on into the night.
Then around 3:00 p.m., something mysterious happened.
Sister Sasagawa says,
I had just changed the bandage again.
Then I was praying.
Suddenly, I heard a voice talking to me from somewhere, saying:
Don’t be afraid.
Pray not only for forgiveness of your sins but also for atonement for all people’s sin.
The world today wounds the most Sacred Heart of Our Lord by its ingratitude and insults.
The wounds of Mary are much deeper and more painful than yours.
Let us go to.
With the voice appeared the beautiful woman who had recited the Rosary together with her.
The angel stood as if she snuggled against Sister Sasagawa's right shoulder.
Maybe because she has been getting used to the angel, Sister Sasagawa looked back at the angel's face for the first time.
Then she called to the angel unconsciously.
That is because the angel looked a lot like her deceased elder sister.
Sister Sasagawa's elder sister had passed away some years before after having received the grace of Baptism.
Then, the angel smiled at Sister Sasagawa gently and gave a little shake of her head saying:
I am the one who is always with you and guards you.
And with that, the angel gestured for her to go out of the room and disappeared from her eyes.
Then Sister Sasagawa made a quick change and went out the door.
She found the angel appeared in the hallway.
The angel led her along the hallway.
So, Sister Sasagawa followed the angel along the dark and long hallway quickly.
At that time, she was filled with a feeling of reassurance like a little child held by the hand.
Like a reliable lamp that shines on the darkness, the angel walked close to her.
However, the moment Sister Sasagawa stepped into the chapel, the angel disappeared from her eyes.
So, she bowed in the direction of the altar and then walked towards the statue of the Holy Virgin.
The words of the angel were stuck in her head as if it rumbled in her ear.
Therefore, Sister Sasagawa thought that she had to see the hand of the statue.
At that time, the statue was placed on the right side of the altar.
Then she set her foot on the raised altar from the tatami (Japanese straw mat) covered floor.
Suddenly, Sister Sasagawa felt that the wooden statue came to life and was about to speak to her about something.
She looked the statue.
It was bathed in a blindingly bright light.
So, Sister Sasagawa prostrated herself on the spot unconsciously.
At the moment, an infinitely beautiful voice rumbled in her totally deaf ears.
My daughter, my novice, you have obeyed me well in abandoning all to follow me.
Do you suffer from your hearing loss?
Your hearing loss will be healed, be sure.
It is the last trial.
Do you feel painful in the wound of your hand?
Pray for atonement for the sins of all people.
Each person in this community is my irreplaceable daughter.
Do you recite devoutly the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist?
Then, let us pray it together.
When the beautiful voice began to recite the prayer, the guiding angel reappeared at her side and joined in the prayer.
When the prayer was finished, the beautiful voice said:
Pray very much for the Pope, Bishops and Priests.
Since your Baptism, you have always prayed faithfully for them.
Continue to pray very much... very much.
Tell your superior all that passed today and obey him in everything that he will tell you.
He has asked that you pray with fervor.
After a short moment of silence, the angel began a familiar prayer.
So, Sister Sasagawa recited it with the angel.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father.
After the prayer was over, the silence came.
Sister Sasagawa raised her head slowly and tentatively.
All of the luminousness had already disappeared.
The angel also disappeared.
Sister Sasagawa did not recognize any changes in the statue of the Virgin Mary.
Amazing Wooden Statue of the Virgin Mary Bleeding from its Hand
When she came to her senses, Sister Sasagawa remembered that she was going to check the hands of the statue.
So, she was half getting up and at that moment, she noticed that a sister was praying beside her.
It was already 5:10 a.m.
She remembered that she left her room around 3:30 a.m.
But the hour of Lauds was approaching and the other sisters were coming into the chapel one after another.
After Lauds, Sister Sasagawa decided to ask her superioress to look at the statue for her.
Could you go to see if something has changed on the statue of the Blessed Virgin?
I was told something this morning about this and I am concerned.
She asked her superior, Sister K. to see whether or not there was a wound in the hand of the statue.
Then, Sister Sasagawa waited some time in her room, but sister K. did not come back.
She could wait any more.
So, she decided to go to the chapel to see what had happened.
In the chapel, Sister K. knelt down putting her hands together alone before the statue of the Holy Mary.
When she recognized Sister Sasagawa, she turned toward her with tearful eyes.
Sister K. gestured her to come and pointed her finger at the right hand of the statue.
So, Sister Sasagawa approached to look into the right hand of the statue.
As soon as she saw it, as if she received an electrical shock, Sister Sasagawa prostrated herself on the spot.
Oh, it was true!
There was a wound in the middle of the little palm made of wood!
It was the same cross-like wound as hers and blood oozed painfully from the central hole.
What on earth is that?
Because she suffered from a sense of awe, Sister Sasagawa could not even cry.
Sister K. said to her.
This is, after all, a visible and indisputable evidence.
So, I think we should tell the other sisters about it to reform them.
And with that, Sister K. left the chapel.
Soon Sister T-K. appeared.
Sister T-K. took a look at the wound of the statue and immediately prostrated herself.
She must have been very amazed at the wound.
That evening, the amazing event was reported to the other sisters as they returned to the convent from their works.
The Miracle of Our Lady of Akita
It seemed a miracle happened to the little wooden statue of the Holy Mother Mary.
However, some people were skeptical about the bleeding phenomena of the wooden statue.
They thought that it must be a trick or a fake fabricated by someone.
Sister I. was one of such skeptical people.
She was the deputy manager of Bishop Ito and the eldest member of the Institute.
She had a lot of experience in life and thus she was plentiful in common sense.
When she received a report from other sisters, she got an up-close look at the hand of the statue.
Sister I. was not a bit upset about the bleeding hand of the statue.
Actually, she viewed it with skeptic eyes.
Someone made marks with a marker pen out of sheer devilment anyway.
There is no such thing as a miracle!
At that moment she thought so, blood began to gush out of the little central hole in the right hand of the statue right in front of her eyes.
Sister I. opened her eyes with amazement.
Then suddenly, she raised her hands in the air and got down on her knees to prostrate herself saying with a loud voice.
My Lord and my God!
The sisters beside her were quite surprised at her sudden reaction.
Later, Sister I. explained her reaction.
When she sent a doubtful look at the bleeding hand of the statue, she had a sudden image of herself as behaving like Doubting Thomas.
Thomas the Apostle (1-72) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament.
Saint Thomas the Apostle, Diego Velázquez 1619-2019
Thomas doubted the Jesus’ resurrection when first told of it.
Later, he confessed his faith, “My Load and my God,” on seeing Jesus’ crucifixion wounds.
Thus, Sister I. was struck with awe and she found herself repeating the cry of Thomas.
Interestingly, not only Sister I. but other sisters had a similar experience.
Therefore, it is unreasonable to consider the bleeding of the statue as hallucination or optical illusion, because it was witnessed by several persons including skeptic ones like Sister I. simultaneously.
It was not an instantaneous and passing event, because it was able to be verified several times over during the same day.
Furthermore, one could observe various changes of the wound in the hand of the statue as if it were alive.
In this way, the wooden statue of Our Lady of Akita was indeed a living miracle.
Published on September 22, 2019
Written by OTAKUPAPA