On November 28, 1981, the Virgin Mary began appearing in the tiny village of Kibeho, Rwanda. Among Our Lady’s many messages was a chilling prophecy. This prophecy of mass genocide sadly came true in the nineties when a million people were killed in Rwanda, tens of thousands close to the little school where the visions began. Our Lady made it clear, though, that this prophecy was not just for Rwanda, but for the world.
On August 19, 1982, the Blessed Mother appeared to the visibly upset and weeping seers one by one and showed each — including terrifying images of people killing each other, bodies lying abandoned with no one to bury them, trees on fire, an open abyss, a monster, “river of blood,” and decapitated heads. According to Father Gabriel Maindron — who wrote the first widely-circulated book on the apparitions (Kibeho)
the visionaries sometimes cried, their teeth chattered, they trembled. They collapsed several times with the full weight of their bodies during the apparitions, which lasted nearly eight hours without interruption. The crowd of about 20,000 present on that day was given an impression of fear — indeed, panic and sadness.
His Excellency, Bishop Augustin Misago, Bishop of Gikongoro, Rwanda, wrote a declaration published on June 29, 2001, regarding the Revelations in Kibeho. In it, he declared:
As Ordinary of the place of the revelations, I announce the following:
1. It is true that the Mother of God appeared in Kibeho on the day of November 28, 1981 and during the following months. There are more well-founded reasons to believe in this than to deny it. For this reason only three visionaries from the beginning of the revelations deserve to be recognized as authentic, namely Alphonsine Mumureke, Nathalie Mukamazimpaka, and Marie Claire Mukangano. The Virgin Mary appeared to them dedicated as “Nynia wa Jambo,” meaning “Mother of the Word,” which is a synonym for “Umubyeyi w’Imana,” which means “Mother of God,” as she explained it. The visionaries maintain that they saw her sometimes with hands folded, then other times unfolded.
(While the Archbishop has only recognised three visionaries, many sites name seven; two of whom died in the massacres. This includes one of the original three, Marie-Claire, wwho as killed in the town of Byumba in the summer of 1994 together with her husband.)
According to the visionaries, Mary’s address in Kibeho “is not directed to only one person nor does it concern only the current time; it is directed to everyone in the entire world.”
The Mother of the Word did not come to Kibeho with new teaching, but to remind us with full clarity of that which we had forgotten. She came to awaken us, to shake our consciences, to warn us, to remind us of our responsibilities as children of God, to lead us onto the right path, and to motivate us to correct our lives. She called us to repent, to pray, and to love her Son. Will we, in years to come, say with Immaculee Ilibagiza, “If only we had listened.”