OUR LADY OF KIBEHO
PATH THAT LEADS TO THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTMAS
The period from November 28, 1981 to November 28, 1989 in Kibeho, southern Rwanda, constitutes such an important moment when the sky looked down on the world. The Virgin Mary appeared for the first time to Alphonsine Mumureke, a student at KIBEHO college. A month and a half later, 2 other students from the same school, Nathalie Mukamazimpaka and Marie Claire Mukangango, also had apparitions. Faced with these extraordinary events, the ecclesial authorities set up a medical commission and then a theological commission to closely monitor this phenomenon of apparitions. In the long list of seers, the Church only retains the three as authentic: they are the ones who respond satisfactorily to the criteria established by the Church in matters of apparitions and private revelations; there was nothing said or done by them during the apparitions that was contrary to Christian faith or morality; their message, the content of which remains coherent, relevant and orthodox, joins with satisfaction the Holy Scriptures and the living Tradition of the Church and bears spiritual fruit across the country, the region and the entire world. The Virgin Mary conversed with the young girls with the tender love of a mother, speaking to them about ordinary class life, family life, behavior in society, etc. She also spoke to them with a high theological language in which she confided to them a message so dear to the recipients that we are.
During the first apparition to Alphonsine, the Virgin Mary, in response to the seer's question, said herself: “I am the Mother of the Word” and a little later to Nathalie “Do not be afraid, It is the Mother of God who speaks to you. This is what I told you when I came for the first time, saying that I am the Mother of the Word.” This term “Mother of the Word” so rare and very little used in Marian devotion was one of the elements which confirmed the validity of Kibeho’s message. Anchored in the mystery of the Incarnation, the center of Kibeho's message, it tells us of the Divine Maternity of the Virgin Mary, her mission to correspond to God's salvific intention and to accompany its realization throughout history.
In Kibeho, the Mother of the Word showed us that she continues to fulfill her role, that of giving humanity the Word so that they participate in the divinity of Christ and thus become children of God. In Kibeho, Mary recalled that the word of her Son was not received. Her message focuses on the urgency of the conversion of hearts, warning us of the risk faced by the world which is heading towards its ruin by rebelling against God, by wanting to live without Him. “Repent, repent, repent while there is still time” she repeated.
For Father François Harerimana, Rector of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Kibeho “The message of Kibeho has a name, it is the Word of life to be welcomed through the conversion of the heart, the sincere and immediate return to God and in prayer without hypocrisy. ". In Kibeho, the Virgin Mary recommends to us the rosary and the chaplet of seven sorrows recited in former times but which was until then forgotten. The Mother of the Word is greatly distressed because of the unbelief and impenitence of people. The seers say they saw her cry on August 15, 1982. That same day, they saw a lot of blood flow in Rwanda, which would happen 12 years later with the Genocide. The Mother of the Word had warned by calling for conversion and prayer for the world and for the Church. A tender mother, she intervened at the hardest moment in Rwanda's history, she wanted to spare us from disaster but no one listened.
The Kibeho apparitions were recognized by the Church on June 29, 2001. They are thus the first officially recognized on the African continent. Speaking about the Mother of the Word during this time of Christmas celebration invites us to welcome the Word and his Word of Life into our lives and our realities and to bring this Good News of salvation to our world today.