Readers of New Diretions will no doubt join together in praying for the people of Japan at this time. Many may not have heard of the statue of Our Lady of Akita. Akita is located to the northwest of Japan, and is in the Diocese of Sendai, which covers the area hardest hit by the earthquake. In 1973 a nun, Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa , began to have visions of Our Lady. These were approved in 1988 by Joseph, Cardinal Ratzinger.
The statue in the monastery church also began to weep tears. This miraculous occurrence was broadcast on Japanese television and so the entire nation was able to witness the tears. The message of Akita is a simple one: Our Lady calls us all to deeper lives of prayer and in particular to praying the Rosary for those in need and for the salvation of all humanity.
Our Lady of Akita,
Sweet Mother of Japan, Succour thy suffering children and protect us from further calamities.