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Apparition at a High School

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By Marc Massery (May 16, 2018)
This is the fifth article in a series on approved apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Twelve years before the infamous Rwandan genocide of the 1990s, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three teenagers at a high school in rural Kibeho, Rwanda.

On Nov. 28, 1981, 16-year-old Alphonsine Mumureke had just finished taking a geography quiz when she started to feel a strange mix of happiness and dread. She went to the dining hall where she heard a soft voice calling, "My child." Trembling, Alphonsine followed the voice out into the corridor. From a cloud appeared a beautiful woman floating in mid-air. She wore a white dress with a veil on her head, holding her hands together in prayer. The heavenly woman said to her, "I am the Mother of the Word" — that is to say, the Mother of God. Realizing that she was in the presence of Mary, Alphosine knelt down in reverence.

As soon as Mary departed, Alphonsine fainted from her emotional state. When she regained consciousness, she told the other students about her experience, but no one believed her. To everyone else around, it looked like Alphonsine had been speaking to no one. Many of the students ridiculed her, believing she was playing a prank. The director of the school demanded that she recant her claims about seeing the Mother of God, but Alphonsine refused.

Over the next several months, the Blessed Virgin Mary continued appearing to Alphonsine. As soon as the Blessed Mother would come to her, Alphonsine would fall to her knees and stare transfixed with tears streaming down her face. Soon, thousands of people started coming to the school in the hopes of witnessing this spectacle.

One student named Marie-Claire Mukangango led several of her peers in ridiculing Alphonsine. During the apparitions, these students threw Rosaries at her, pulled her hair, screamed in her ears, and pricked her with a needle. Alphonsine prayed for the Blessed Mother to appear to other students so that more might believe.

In January, the Blessed Mother started appearing to another student, 17-year-old Anathalie Mukamazimpaka. Mary told Anathalie that she would experience much suffering in her life, but that it would be necessary to save souls. The two seers' biggest opponent, Marie-Claire, complained to the local bishop about these visionaries, accusing them of causing scandal. But in March, the Blessed Mother started appearing to Marie-Claire, too. She showed Marie-Claire the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows and asked her to reintroduce this devotion to the world. After Marie-Claire started talking about her own visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, more people than ever started to believe.

The most harrowing message Mary gave to these three girls was a prophesy of the ethnic violence that would take the lives of 10 percent of the country's population. The visionaries reported seeing "rivers of blood." Unfortunately, in the spring and summer of 1994, 800,000 Rwandans were killed in a mass genocide.

In 2001, Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro, Rwanda, approved the apparitions at Kibeho as authentic. The Marian Fathers have had a presence in Rwanda since 1984, and have since established a formation center in Kibeho. They help to spread the central message of Our Lady of Kibeho, which is a call to repentance, sacrifice, and prayer.

View the next article in this series.

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PhyllisAnn - May 17, 2018

I have witnessed Immaculee Ilibagiza share her story on two occasions. She exudes her faith and the NECESSITY of FORGIVENESS .
She suffered great loss of family, in the Rowandan Genocide, but through the Power of the Rosary, she survived and thrived.