Home NewsNational In Kibeho “to Fetch Blessings”

In Kibeho “to Fetch Blessings”

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
8:21 pm

At Kibeho sanctuary

Kibeho, a hill from Nyaruguru district, southern province of Rwanda is not just another hill; rather, it is a place that went down in history as ‘Holy Land’ as Fatima in Portugal and Lourdes in France.

The home to Notre Dames de Kibeho-Our Lady of Kibeho, the hill was as remote as the neighboring Giseke, Mata, Nyarushishi, Gorwe and others until early 1980s when the narrative changed.

Since 1981, Virgin Mary Mother of Jesus is believed to have appeared to three girls including Mumureke Alphonsine, Marie Claire Mukangango and Nathalie Mukamazimpaka who were high school students at GS. Notre Dames du Verbe, Kibeho.

Those who were able to meet the girls as they “spoke” to the Lady whom the world owes respect for accepting to be a channel the saviour-Jesus went through, tell numerous stories of her love and beauty.

Some journalists recorded the apparition messages, which, allegedly wanted people to love each other on one side, and concern of the Virgin Mary on the potential bloodshed in Rwanda on the other side.

The church news in Rwanda was dominated by Kibeho apparitions until early 1990s, but were interrupted by the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi which claimed over one million Tutsi in Rwanda.

Kibeho itself became subject of discussions because the same hill where the “Our Lady of Kibeho” and “Our Lady of Peace” appeared, scores of Tutsi were massacred, including in the same school where the three girls said to have met her.

From 1994, Rwandan community pays tribute to the victims. In Kibeho, their mass graves and memorial is at Kibeho parish inside which most of them were burnt alive.

Kibeho however maintained its status of a “Holy Land” owing to the history of the three girls. Pope John Paul II confirmed the apparitions of Kibeho in 2001, thus giving the event a greater heights. Thus, one month after national commemoration of the Genocide-Kwibuka, pilgrims meet in scores, once again from different parts of the world for Assumption on August 15.

They also flock to Kibeho on November 28 to celebrate the anniversary of apparitions. Today they have come again from across the world; some from the region and from different provinces of the country either by bus or walking, others coming from as far as Europe.

They also keep coming through the year.

Taking home the water from Marial fountain of Kibeho is part of business

On either day, pilgrims have a lot of expectations. In front of the Kibeho sanctuary, in the middle of the mass reading, some can be seen staring in the sun where they claim to see Virgin Mary and they humble in front of that sign.

In Kibeho, the Marial fountain has become famous with pilgrims believing that the water from it has power to cure. On Tuesday, owing to the big number of pilgrims heading to the fountain, they had to queue for several hours to access the three taps of water that were built by the church.

Pilgrims queue to fetch from the source

Recently, the clay in the vicinity of the fountain also started selling like hot cake because it is also believed to be a source of cure and blessing.

“Last year, my brother injured himself on the toe while on our way to Kibeho. We came straight to this fountain and applied the clay on the toe which got well right away,” said one pilgrim who ever since decided to take clay provisions from Kibeho.

Some will carry the clay from Kibeho

To make Kibeho a more touristic attraction, the local government work with the church to build infrastructure. Since last year, a-66 kilometer road that connects Kibeho to Huye secondary city and all the way to Kigali was built in this partnership.

The private sector is also encouraged to build hospitality facilities in the area to bridge the existing huge gap.

Since 2021, the church started fundraising for a mega church, that would be barely two times bigger than the 60,000 sitting capacity St. Peter Basilica-Rome. Kibeho church will have a covered area of 10,000 sitting capacity and an open space of 100,000 capacity, according to the then Mayor Francois Habitegeko, currently governor, Western Province.

Kibeho, the water, the clay is big deal

Related Posts