Kibeho, a place of pilgrimages and appointments for God's searchers
The Shrine Our Lady of the Sorrows in Kibeho
Since the apparitions that took place in 1830 in “Rue du Bac” (France) to Catherine Labouré, the Virgin Mary is preparing a legion throughout the whole world against the evil forces. The apparitions of Kibeho are part of the network that the Virgin Mary is weaving in order to launch a last offensive against the Malignant forces and to lock him, and then to prepare the way of her divine Son Jesus Christ final victory (Cardinal Ivan DIAS, Kibeho, 28.11.2007).
May therefore Kibeho become, without delay, a place of pilgrimages and appointments for God's searchers, who go there to pray; a high place of conversions, reparation of the sin of the world and reconciliation; a point of rallying for "those that were scattered", as for those that are attached to values of compassion and fraternity without borders; a high place that reminds the Gospel of the Cross (Bishop of Gikongoro Declaration, 29.06.2001, nr. 14.)
A humble locality chosen by the Heaven to announce his message to the world
Kibeho is a locality situated to the south of Rwanda, at 162 km from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. With the Virgin's apparitions, from November 28, 1981, this locality, then unknown by most Rwandese people, has fast become a place of prayers and pilgrimages.
The apparitions of Kibeho: prophetic facts
The apparitions of Kibeho (from 1981 to 1989) have been noticed by ecstasies that often came with supernatural facts of tears, impressive falls, and even of coma. This is in particular the case of the apparition of August 15, 1982 that, contrary to joy that people were waiting (it was the Feast of the Assumption), it was rather a terrifying day for the seers: The Mother of the Word appeared to them pouring a lot of tears, while the seers cried, slapped the teeth and trembled at the sight of horrifying visions: a river of blood, people killing ones others, cadavers abandoned without anyone to bury them, a tree all in fire, a wild abyss, headless bodies. Ten years later, the world learned with horror the drama of Rwanda that Mary had prophesied during these apparitions and that is considered like a consequence of the obduracy of the hearts.
The content of the revelations: a message to the whole world
The message delivered by the Virgin Mary during her apparitions in Kibeho includes among others focal points:
• An urgent call to the repentance and to the conversion of hearts: "Repent, repent, repent!" "Convert your heart when it is yet time ".
• A diagnosis of the moral state of the world: "The world is very unwell"; ”The world races to its loss, it risks to fall in abyss, which means to be immersed in innumerable and unceasing tragedies; The world is in rebellion against God, too many sins are committed in it. There is nor love neither peace". If you don't repent and don't convert your hearts, you will all of you fall into abyss".
• The Virgin's deep sadness: The seers say to have been really surprised to see her weeping on August 15th, 1982. The Mother of the Word is strong afflicted because of the incredulity and the impenitence of the human beings. She complains about our bad behavior characterized by dissolution of morality, dissensions, complaisance in the evil, continual disobedience to the commandments of God.
• Salvific sufferings: this theme is one of the most important in the history of the apparitions of Kibeho. . The Virgin said to her seers, notably to Nathalie on May 15th, 1982: "No one gets to heaven without suffering". Or "Mary's child doesn't separate with the suffering". But the suffering has also a mean of expiating for the sin of the world and to participate in the sufferings of Jesus and Mary for the salvation of the world.
Kibeho: a place for those who are attached to values of compassion and brotherhood without borders
If the Virgin Mary, who has presented herself under the name of "Nyina wa Jambo” (Mother of the Word in Rwandan tongue) appeared to Kibeho, it was not only for some particular individuals, nor for Rwanda only, but for the whole world (The Apparitions of Kibeho, brief presentation - Diocese of Gikongoro).
Kibeho: a place of conversion,
Where people go sad and come back happy
Tens of thousands of pilgrims come from all corners of Rwanda, neighboring countries and from all over the world come in Kibeho to listen to the Virgin Mary who has appeared in this place situated in the heart of the Africa. The source of the River Nile is in the immediate neighborhood of Kibeho.
Kibeho: a joining place of rallying for "those who were dispersed"
The Rwandan tragedy dispersed thousands of Rwandans throughout the world. In Kibeho, they recover their brotherhood.
Kibeho: a goal of pilgrimages
The Place of the Apparitions in Kibeho
The apparitions of Kibeho are located in the context of the permanent struggle that exists from the beginning of the history of the humanity between the good and the evil forces. Nowadays, the field of battle is Rwanda and its surrounding region where christian countries that are proud of their history and their culture and called to live their unit of the christian faith without any distinction of ethnic group. But the adversary of God and of the humanity has played his cards by changing the diversity into division: the diversity is indeed a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit and give beauty and joy to the whole nation, while the division that is the work of the devil carries on to hate, fratricidal war, destruction and to the death and even to people's genocide (Cardinal Ivan DIAS, Kibeho, 28.11.2007).
Tragic events that occurred in Rwanda in 1994 and particularly in Kibeho (the Tutsis genocide in 1994 and the massacre of the displaced people in 1995) make this blessed site a place of contrasts that calls on an urgent manner to the repentance, conversion and to the deep reconciliation of the heart.
Kibeho: a place of appointment for searchers of God
Till the eve of the apparitions whose Kibeho has been honored, this locality was not only an unknown by most of the people inside Rwanda, but also and more by the foreigners. Like Nazareth was uplifted on the top of the world scene because it has seen the Son of God living here almost his life on earth, Kibeho has also been forever uplifted by the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the rank of the main marial shrines in the world. Today, its star has begun to shine its full light. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims come to this holy place.
Kibeho: a place that dives us deeply into the Gospel of the Cross
The "Calvarium" of Kibeho
In Kibeho, the Virgin Mary asked, as sign of our active involvement to her offensive against Satan, for the concrete actions: the conversion of the heart, the daily recitation of the rosary, the prayer said constantly and without hypocrisy, the acceptance of the suffering for the salute of the world. This seems small things, but they are powerful in hands of the Almighty God to which nothing is impossible (Cardinal Ivan DIAS, Kibeho, 28.11.2007).
In addition on the daily Mass and others that can be celebrated on the pilgrims’ demand, Our Lady Shrine of Kibeho offers other spiritual contemplation possibilities on different sites arranged to this effect, notably to the Church Our Lady of Sorrows), the Place of the Apparitions, Chapel of the Apparitions, and the various paths of prayers (path of the Cross, path of the Rosary and path of the Rosary of the Sorrows).
Kibeho: a place of high intense prayer
The path of the Rosary of Kibeho
With the small beads of the rosary, we will be able to destroy the obstacles, to face the Satan's assaults and to carry our daily crosses with patience (Cardinal Ivan DIAS, Kibeho, 28.11.2007).
“Grant us always light and strength to keep worthy in us your message of conversion and repentance, and to live according to the Gospel of your Son. Teach us how to pray without hypocrisy and to love one another as He loved us, so that, as you willed, we may always be beautiful flowers that produce nice flavor to everyone and everywhere”. (Prayer to Our Lady of Kibeho).
Kibeho: a place of repair of the sin of the world and reconciliation
The Marial Shrine of Kibeho must become a privileged place for the new evangelism of Africa. I encourage you to come numerous there and often in well prepared and accompanied pilgrimages (Cardinal Ivan DIAS, Kibeho, 28.11.2009).
Welcoming in Kibeho
The official recognition of the apparitions of Kibeho took place on June 29, 2001. Gradually, the site is getting welcome infrastructures, of course modest, but that didn't exist before. Among these we note the Welcoming Centre "Regina Pacis" of the Benebikira Sisters and the Centre for Marial Formation of the Marian Fathers in Nyarushishi (2 km from Kibeho)
The Welcoming Centre "Regina Pacis" in Kibeho
Centre for Marial Formation of the Marian Fathers in Nyarushishi
CANA Nyarushishi, a Marial Formation Centre
The history of the giant statue of Merciful Jesus of Nyarushishi started in February 2000, in Chicago, United States. Fr. Anthony, the vicar of the parish of St. Stanislas Kostka, planned to build a chapel that would be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and in which would have place a perpetual worship. The vicar took contact with one of his parishioners, Mr. Oscar Delgado, who was particularly zealous in the propagation of this Divine Mercy worship. After having done several visits of places dedicated to the perpetual worship, together they got involved in this project.
In addition, having noticed that their parochial church was situated nearby a very frequented freeway, Mr. Oscar thought that, if the Merciful Jesus' giant statue could be built close to this way, it could be seen by millions drivers passing by here. The work has been given to a well-known Mexican artist, Gogy FARIAS, working in Mexico City in Central America. A statue made of bronze has been built; it weighs 2 tons and measures 5,20 m height. The statue has been blessed May 18, 2000 in Puebla in Mexico by a Vatican special messenger, the same day of the birth of the pope Jean Paul II anniversary.
In June 2000, on the Christ's Body and Blood Day , the statue has been transported in the diocese of Chicago, in the state of Illinois. It remained there during 3 years, visited by several parishes.
On September 8, 2003, on the Mary’s Nativity Day, Mr. Oscar offered this statue to the Virgin Mary, asking Her to lead in knowing where this statue representing her Merciful Son would be placed.
During this period, an International Convention of the Marian Fathers on the Divine Mercy took place in Poland during which they decided that the best place of welcoming this statue would be Kibeho,in Rwanda where the Marian Fathers were building a Marial Formation Centre, on a hill facing the place of the apparitions.
After a period of prayer and discernment, Mr. Oscar and the commission charged of the statue gave their agreement to give it to the Marian Fathers and to send it to Rwanda, also known as the country of One thousand Hills.
The statue arrived in Rwanda in August 2004, has been installed as decided on the hill called Nyarushishi in Kibeho on November 13, 2004, facing the place of the apparitions. The official enthronement has been celebrated on December 8, 2004, on the day closing the jubilee of the 150 years of the Declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Since then, Nyarushishi became an inescapable step for pilgrims coming in Kibeho.
Kibeho, an obliged step in discovering of the deep Rwanda
The pilgrimage in Kibeho can be a happy opportunity to discover the deep Rwanda and the evolution of Christianity in this country where the first Catholic mission was implanted in 1900.
For the pilgrim landing to the international airport of Kigali, it is proposed a rest and accommodation at Rebero Home of Charity situated on a hill overhanging the city of Kigali, on the heights of which one feels more close to the stars, in a heavenly universe where one breathes the pure air, far from the noises of the city and the pollution.
From Kigali to Kibeho, the pilgrim is invited to visit the Minor Basilica of Kabgayi, the first cathedral of Rwanda that remained without equal, in spite of the wonderful conquests of the Gospel in the country (more than 50% of the Rwandan population are Catholic).
Almost 20 kilometers from Kabgayi, the Center Jesus Merciful in Ruhango is also a step that every pilgrim cannot abstain to visit in Rwanda. Here has been initiated the divine Mercy worship from the beginning of the 1990 years, that from all countries of the region, thousands of believers and patients come, without discontinuity, every first Sundays of every month searching for their relief. Many miraculous recoveries have been recorded there. For this reason, Ruhango became, ipso facto, a shrine of the perpetual adoration of the Holy Sacrament.
Before arriving to Kibeho, a detour in Save is an obliged passage, because the first Catholic mission of Rwanda that has been erected on February 2, 1900 keeps there its vestiges.
Comes then Butare, the main city after Kigali, with its cathedral in Gothic art, built under the Queen Astrid of the Belgians cares.
Kibeho is without doubt a marvel. This site leads indeed thinking about Nazareth during the Jesus' period. As well as the Mother of the Word who has appeared here, Kibeho sings continuously the marvels that the Almighty has done for this locality without history before the memorable date of the 28.11.1981.
From Kibeho, any pilgrim wanting to pursue his discovery of Rwanda, can cross the National Park of Nyungwe, this temple of nature, always luxuriant, that gives to Rwanda its third name of "The Country in the perpetual Spring ".
After this natural forest, the pilgrim has in front of him the lake Kivu and, on the other side, mountains in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The accommodation is then proposed in the Carmelitan Centre of Cyangugu.
The lake Kivu is by itself an exceptional beauty. Its hundreds bays that offer themselves as beads of rosary from Cyangugu to Gisenyi in the far North of the lake, make it a unique marvel.
From Gisenyi, the pilgrim who becomes unconditionally tourist contemplates the parade of the Volcanoes that have become famous because of their unique habitat to the world for the mountain gorillas whose species is only on this minuscule area.
After this picturesque trek, the pilgrim-tourist can now visit Our Lady of Fatima shrine in Ruhengeri and finally enjoy a providential rest in the Remera Home of Charity where he can contemplate the beauty of the nature that offers itself with the volcanoes before him that stand like invincible guards of Rwanda and the lakes of the North on his feet.
But, with the nature, the diversity of Rwanda is far from being exhaustive. The wealth of the culture of this country is also a marvel to discover.
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