The Catholic Church of Rwanda celebrated Monday, November 29 the 40th anniversary of the apparitions of Kibeho in the holy land of Kibeho in the diocese of Gikongoro in the southern province.
Kibeho was declared holy land after the apparitions of Saint Mary who visited three young Rwandan women on November 28, 1981 and the months that followed.
The ceremony took place in the presence of Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of the Diocese of Kigali, Philip Rukamba, the Bishop of the Diocese of Butare and the President of the Catholic Episcopal Conference.
Members of Catholic congregations from other countries were also present, including the United States, Brazil, Portugal, Zambia, Mozambique, Angola, South Sudan, Nigeria, DRC, Uganda, Tanzania and Sierra Leone.
Addressing the congregation, Cardinal Kambanda indicated that Saint Mary’s message of repentance (brought during the apparitions) was needed because people abused God’s freedom.
âGod granted freedom to people, but they are abusing it. People destroy the environment, others rape our sisters and mothers. They are all creatures of God who should help us complete each other, not for abuse, âhe said.
Thousands of Catholic Church Members Turning to Assumption Day Mass in Kibeho (File)
Cardinal Kambanda added that this anniversary is unique because biblically 40 years has significant meaning.
âMoses spent 40 years before he began his mission to save the Israelites, and he was also their leader for a 40-year term, so this is a unique anniversary that we need to pay more attention to and think about the reasons for. which the Virgin Mary chose our country â, he asked himself.
Philip Rukamba, bishop of the diocese of Butare and president of the Catholic Episcopal Conference urged Christians to try to imitate the life of the Virgin Mary who has assumed all the burdens to become âa path through which people will see Godâ.
âWe must imitate the life of Mary, who was very humble and accepted God’s plan to give the Savior of the world through her. The trip was difficult, but she was humble and bore all the consequences to accomplish God’s plan, âhe said.
Speaking to the media, Nathalie Mukamazimpaka, who was one of the three girls who received the apparitions, reminded people of the message they received from Mary and called on Christians to support them.
âMy wish is that the Christians of the world respect the message of the Virgin Mary on us because her message is always new and she asked us to spread it. His message was to exercise true love for Good through fidelity, repentance and help to the needy and vulnerable, âhe added.
In November 1981 and the months that followed, Saint Mary appeared in a vision to three young girls from the Marie Merci School of Kibeho.
The first apparition was addressed to Alphonsine Mumureke who currently lives in Italy, a few days after the apparition of the Virgin Mary to Nathalie Mukamazimpaka while she was in a dining room serving lunch to other students. The third to see the apparition was Marie Claire Mukangango, who died during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis.
The Catholic Church later became interested and conducted investigations to prove the authenticity, which ended 20 years later in declaring the land holy.
Apart from Rwanda, other apparitions recognized by the Catholic Church have taken place in Portugal, France and Germany.