00 8/11/2017 5:09 AM

The mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Left: At the time this photo was made, smoke billowed 20,000 feet above Hiroshima while smoke from the burst of the first atomic bomb had spread over 10,000 feet on the target at the base of the rising column. Six planes of the 509th Composite Group participated in this mission: one to carry the bomb ('Enola Gay'), one to take scientific measurements of the blast ('The Great Artiste'), the third to take photographs ('Necessary Evil'), while the others flew approximately an hour ahead to act as weather scouts (08/06/1945). Bad weather would disqualify a target as the scientists insisted on a visual delivery. The primary target was Hiroshima, the secondary was Kokura, and the tertiary was Nagasaki. Right: Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, taken by Charles Levy.

The Atomic Age literally blasted its way into human history over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan on August 6 and August 9, 1945, with the use for the first and only time so far of the most powerful single weapon of mass destruction that had yet been devised by man. A few weeks ago, I posted a brief item about the miraculous survival of a group of Jesuit priests who had been inside a church in Hiroshima not far from the epicenter of the beyond-epic explosion. Now here is yet another miraculous tale of survival, this time of someone who was not even Christian at the time, who also attributes coming through the holocaust unscathed thanks to Our Lady of Fatima...

A message of hope from Hiroshima:
Testimony from a survivor

Chiesa e Post Concilio
August 7, 2017
Translated by Francesca Romana for

Hikoka Vanamuri, former Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tokyo, was interviewed while on a recent pilgrimage in Fatima. This is what he had to say:

“I’ll never return to Japan. After years of study, after years of meditation, I have understood that life under the tainted atmosphere of Buddha is an embittered historical testimony of blatant paganism. I converted to Catholicism.

I made this decision after the explosion of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. I was in Hiroshima for historical research. I was in the library when the bomb exploded. I was busy consulting a Portuguese book and my eye happened to catch an image of Our Lady of Fatima. I had the impression that this image moved, as if to say something.

All of a sudden there was a blinding light, hurting my eyes intensely. I was terrified. The cataclysm had come about. The sky had darkened and a cloud of brown dust had covered the city. The library was burning. Men were burning. Children were burning. The air itself was burning. I didn’t even have the slightest scratch on me. The sign of the miracle was evident. Yet I wasn’t able to explain what had happened.

Can a miracle be explained? I wasn’t even able to think. Only the image of Our Lady of Fatima shone for me above all the flames, above all the fires, above all man’s acts of barbarism. There is no question that I was saved to bring the Virgin’s testimony to the entire world.

Doctor Keia Mujnuri, a friend I went to visit fifteen days later, verified through X-rays that my body had not been subjected to any burns. The barrier of mystery was shattered. I began to believe in the beauty of love. I learned the Catechism but in my heart I kept Her image, the sweet song of Fatima. I wanted to confess to the Lord, but I wanted this through His Most Holy Mother.

Meanwhile, I have found the site that originally published the site that originally published the account of the Jesuit survivors of Hiroshima... The amazing thing is that it seems four of the priests were photographed outside the ruined church in one of the first photos taken after the holocaust...


The following is taken from the booklet "The Rosary of Hiroshima": written by Father HUBERT P. SCHIFFER. S.J., published by Blue Army Washington, N. J.

At 2:45 A.M. on August 6th, 1945, a B-29 took off from the island of Tinian to drop the first atomic bomb on Japan. Over Iwo Jima it met with an instrument plane and a photography ship. Three weather planes had taken off an hour ahead to scout the sky over three Japanese cities chosen as possible targets: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Kokura. The big flight was on.

Soon the first A-bomb would explode only eight city blocks from the Jesuit Church of Our Lady's Assumption where I was stationed in Hiroshima. The bomb exploded over the city at 8:15 in the morning. It came as a complete surprise, out of a blue and sunny sky.

Suddenly, between one breath and another, in the twinkling of an eye, an unearthly, unbearable brightness was all around me; a light unimaginably brilliant, blinding, intense. I could not see, or think. For one short moment everything was at a standstill. I was left alone swimming in this ocean of light, helpless and frightened. The room seemed to catch its breath in deadly silence.

Suddenly, a terrific explosion filled the air with one bursting thunderstroke. An invisible force lifted me from the chair, hurled me through the air, shook me, battered me, whirled me 'round and 'round like a leaf in a gust of autumn wind.

(Up in the air, the B-29's co-pilot scribbled in his log:

"The flash was terrific. About 25 seconds after the flash we felt two very distinct slaps on the ship. We then turned the ship so that we could observe the results, and there in front of our eyes was without a doubt the greatest explosion man has ever witnessed: the city was nine-tenths covered with smoke of a boiling nature, which seemed to indicate buildings blowing up, and a large column of white cloud which in less than three minutes reached 30,000 and then went to at least 50 - 60,000 feet.

I am certain the entire crew felt that this experience was more terrifying than any human being had ever thought possible. It seemed impossible to comprehend. Just how many Japanese did we kill ? I honestly have the feeling of groping for words to explain this, or I might say 'My God! What have we done?' If I live a hundred years, I'll never quite get these few minutes out of my mind."

The light was suddenly gone. All was darkness, silence, nothingness. I was not unconscious, because I was trying to think what was happening. I felt with my fingers in the total blackness enveloping me. I was lying with my face down on broken and splintered pieces of wood, some heavy load pressed on my back, blood was running down my face. I could see nothing, hear no sound. I must be dead I thought.

Then I heard my own voice. That was the most frightening experience of all, because it showed me I was still alive, and convinced me that some horrible Catastrophe had occurred. An explosion? — Heavens, that was a BOMB! A direct hit!

It took only a second: a flash — fearfully frightening — and Hiroshima, home of half a million people, was wiped off the earth. What was left was only darkness, blood, burns, moans, fire and spreading terror.

Four Jesuit priests were stationed at the church of Our Lady's Assumption: Father Hugo Lassalle, Superior of the whole Jesuit Mission in Japan, and Fathers Kleinsorge, Cieslik, and Schiffer. We spent the whole day in an inferno of flames and smoke before a rescue party was able to reach us. All four were wounded but through the grace of God we survived. Nine days later peace came. It was August 15, the feast of our Blessed Mother's Assumption.

Another view of the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima.
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 8/12/2017 2:53 AM]