Mary’s Ever-Present Concern for Us

When hearing the term “Marian apparition,” how often do you think only of Fatima or of Lourdes? Would it surprise you to hear that Our Lady has appeared hundreds of times, including in recent years?

We often think of supernatural events, miracles, and Marian apparitions as occurrences that happened “long ago.” It’s not part of our world anymore, for whatever reason. But before the end of this month dedicated to Mary, I would like to remind you that our dear Mother has and continues to appear to us in recent years as well, often repeating messages, delivering warnings, and always displaying her powerful love for us.

These Marian apparitions are not imagined sightings or dreams—they are real and confirmed visions of the Blessed Mother. She expresses her motherly care and draws attention to her important words. Many apparitions are frequently associated with supernatural events, such as medical miracles, which impress her message even more powerfully onto her recipients.1

According to Adam Blai, author of The Catholic Guide to Miracles: Separating the Authentic from the Counterfeit (Sophia Institute Press, 2021),

Marian apparitions generally include four components: the visionary, the experience, the message, and the miracles. The messages are almost always centered on prayer and repentance, but sometimes they include dire warnings for the world. The accompanying miracles vary widely, from enduring images to onetime spectacles, but they are almost always testable by outside experts, so the Church and the world have some proof that something extraordinary happened.

The 20th century was replete with a reported 385 cases of Marian apparitions on every part of the globe—in big towns, farmlands, churches, monasteries, and numerous other locations. However, church authorities have validated only eight of those apparitions: Fatima (Portugal), Beauraing (Belgium), Banneux (Belgium), Akita (Japan), Syracuse (Italy), Zeitoun (Egypt), Manila (Philippines) (according to some sources), and Betania (Venezuela).

An impressive visitation happened at Our Lady of Akita, from the years 1973 to 1979, in Yuzawadai, Japan. Sister Agnes Kasuko Sasagawa moved to Yuzawadai to live with nuns when she experienced a miraculous healing of various health problems after drinking water from the holy site of Lourdes. Sister Agnes reported apparitions, stigmata, and tears flowing down the face of a wooden statue of the Blessed Mother.

Despite being completely deaf, she said that she heard the Blessed Mother offer her the following messages: “Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach,” and “Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father. I wish, with my Son, for souls who will repair by their suffering and their poverty for the sinners and ingrates.”

By June of 1982, Sister Agnes’ diagnosed “incurable deafness” was cured and her hearing completely restored. In 1984, Bishop John Shojiro sanctioned “the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita,” waiting for decisive judgment from the Holy See.2 

Joseph Pronechen, writer for the National Catholic Register, wrote these very potent words about Akita: “Remember, Akita is an update of Fatima. Akita’s solution is Fatima’s solution. Fatima’s instructions are Akita’s instructions. They are really very simple. The simple instructions are these: ‘Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. And again: Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops, and priests.'”3

Be reminded of Our Lady’s love and concern for us! She cares for us, her children, and specifies the ways our God desires our repentance and sanctification: pray the Rosary. I pray that your devotion to the Blessed Mother grows deeply this month and that we remain attentive to her messages.

Photo by Alex Gindin on Unsplash

1Marian Apparition. (2024, April 27). Retrieved from Wikipedia.

2Tighe, T. (2016, September 8). 5 Lesser-known (but totally amazing) Marian Apparitions. Retrieved from Aleteia.

3Pronechen, J. (2023, October 13). Message of Akita. Retrieved from National Catholic Register.

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A convert to Catholicism, Alexandra Greeley is a food writer, restaurant critic, and cookbook author, who is passionate about every aspect of the food world — from interviewing chefs to supporting local farmers and to making the connection between food and faith. Her latest work is Cooking with the Saints.

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