Letter from Sister du St. Cœur de Marie, Superior of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception at Naze Japan, to her Mother-House

Naze, Japan, October 3, 1929


On Sunday, the feast of St. Michael, a terrible typhoon shook Naze, causing great damage especially to our boarding-school. Let me first tell you that we are all safe and sound. How can we ever thank Divine Providence for the visible protection shown us. It is true that the damages amount to 3,000 yen, but, after all, what is that compared to the loss of lives, and there were none.

About 4 o’clock in the morning a first blast of wind made us quiver in our beds. As a matter of fact, it was not the first time that we had seen the ceilings raised by the mighty wind, but they were now shaken more than ever and the rain fell in torrents. Shortly after 7 o’clock the storm seemed to calm down, but in the meantime the wind had changed direction and was now blowing more violently than before. Outside it was impossible to keep on our feet, and the kurumas (Japanese carriages) were rocked as playthings by the wind.

Towards 8 o’clock I heard a tremendous crash and plaintive voices calling to me. I hastened to the chapal and ascertained that a complete section of the roof had been torn off by a violent gush of wind and thrown with a loud crash into the yard. At once the five of us fell on our knees at the foot of the altar praying aloud to the One Who controls the thunder and to Whom the winds obey but the time of trial had come and God seemed to remain deaf to our entreaties. The wind became more furious and the slates were torn from the roofs and twirled into the air, sometimes falling against the window panes shattering them into a thousand pieces. My companions urged me to take the ciborium to a place of safety, but I stood paralysed at the thought of my unworthiness. It was impossible to notify the priest at the Mission for the telephone was out of order and there was nobody to take the message to him […]


(The Precursor, January-February 1930, p.40-43)