The Apparitions of Our Lady of Kibeho, Rwanda
Our Lady of Kibeho is the name given to Marian apparitions concerning several adolescents in the 1980s in Kibeho, southwestern Rwanda. The apparitions communicated various messages to the school children, including an apocalyptic vision of Rwanda descending into violence and hatred, possibly foretelling the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The Virgin Mary first appeared to Alphonsine Mumureke on 28th November 1981. The Virgin Mary then appeared to Anathalie Mukamazimpaka on 12th January 1982 and Marie Claire Mukangango on 2nd March 1982. The Virgin Mary said: “I am the Mother of the World”. (“Ndi Nyina Wa Jambo” – in Kinyarwanda – the local language).
In 2001, the Catholic Church’s local bishop officially recognised three school children’s visions as authentic.
The apparitions’ messages could be summarised as follows:
- An urgent appeal to the repentance and conversion of souls
She said unless people repented, that horror would soon be upon them.
- An assessment of the moral state of the world
“The world conducts itself very badly. (“Ngo isi imeze nabi cyane” – in Kinyarwanda)
“The world hastens to its ruin, it will fall into the abyss”, in other words, “it is plunged into innumerable and unrelenting disasters”.
- The deep sorrows of the Mother of God
The visionaries said to have seen the Virgin Mary crying on 15th August 1982. The Mother of God was saddened because of people’s unbelief and lack of repentance.
- Faith and unbelief will come unseen.
“Nga ukwemera n’ubuhakanyi bizaza mu mayeri” in Kinyarwanda
- The suffering that saves
This is one of the most important messages during the apparitions in Kibeho, particularly with Natalie Mukamazimpaka. The unavoidable suffering in this life is necessary for Christians to attain Eternal Glory. On the 15th May 1982, the Virgin Mary said to her visionaries, especially Natalie: “No one will reach heaven without suffering” or “A child of Mary does not reject suffering”.
- Pray always and wholeheartedly.
- Marian devotion – expressed through the sincere and regular praying of the Rosary.
- The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary
The visionary Marie Claire Mukangango is said to have received revelations about the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary. The blessed Virgin loves this Rosary.
- Mary desires that a Chapel be built for Her as a sign of remembrance of her apparitions in Kibeho.
- Pray always for the Church when many troubles are upon it in the times to come.
There are also non-approved visionaries. Others who claimed to have similar visions were Valentina Nyiramukiza, Stephanie Mukamurenzi, Agnes Kamagaju, Vestine Salima, and Emmanuel Segastashya, the last of whom was previously a pagan and became a Christian Evangelist. Segastashya’s alleged visions included first meeting Christ in a beanfield.