In 1973, Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa in Akita, Japan had visions of the Virgin Mary. On June 28, 1973, a cross-shaped wound appeared on the inside left hand of Sr. Agnes. It bled profusely and caused her much pain. On July 6, Sr. Agnes heard a voice coming from the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the chapel where she was praying.
The statue was carved from a single block of wood from a Katsura tree and is three feet tall. On the same day, a few of the sisters noticed drops of blood flowing from the statue’s right hand. The wound in the statue’s hand remained until September 29, when it disappeared. On September 29, the day the wound on the statue disappeared, the sisters noticed the statue had now begun to “sweat”, especially on the forehead and neck.
Two years later on January 4, 1975, the statue of the Blessed Virgin began to weep. It continued to weep at intervals for the next 6 years and eight months. It wept on 101 occasions. Scientific analysis of blood and tears from the statute provided by Professor Sagisaka of the faculty of Legal Medicine of the University of Akita confirmed that the blood, tears, and perspiration are real human tears, sweat, and blood.
They come from three blood groups: O, B, and AB. Sr. Agnes was also completely cured of total deafness. In June 1988, Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) – head of the Office of Inquisition – judged the Akita events and messages as reliable and worthy of belief.