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Lourdes Policarpio
Totus Tuus, Maria

Our Lady's Apparitions in Rwanda, Africa

By Nora V. Clemente-Arnaldo

We are quite familiar with popular Marian apparitions such as Our Lady’s approved apparitions in Rue du Bac, Lourdes, Guadalupe, Akita, and Fatima. Many other apparitions have been reported, like the ones in Garabandal, Marmora, Ecuador, and Egypt but since the Church has always been very prudent in verifying the authenticity of every reported apparition, these have not yet received approval. There are four recent apparitions however, that have been recognized and approved by the Church: Banneaux and Beauraing (Belgium, 1933), Akita (Japan, 1969), Finca Betania (Venezuela, 1974) and Kibeho (Rwanda, 1981). The recognition of the latter was approved by Msgr. Augustin Misago, Bishop of Gikongro, Kibeho’s diocese, on 29 June 2001 on the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, during a solemn Mass celebrated in the cathedral of Gikongro. On 11 July, its recognition was published by the Holy See in Rome, in the L’ Osservatore Romano and broadcast in radio news bulletins in all languages.

I take pleasure in sharing the story of the apparitions in Kibeho to all readers of Totus Tuus Maria, most especially those (I believe many) out there who may not have heard of it. My primary source is an article written by Renzo Allegri in the 2002 issue of the Messenger of St. Anthony.

According to Bishop Misago, the first apparition was on 28 November 1981 in a school in Kibeho run by nuns of a religious Rwandan congregation. Later, in March 1982, the Bishop then who was responsible for Kibeho diocese, Msgr. Jean Baptiste Gahamanyi, ordered an inquiry in order to establish if the facts were reliable. Bishop Misago was, at that time, professor of the main seminary. He was nominated by one of the members of the commission, with the task to follow the events. Every time an apparition was announced, they had to be there to check and make inquiries, and perform medical tests.

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