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Kibeho, Rwanda (1981-1989)


Traditionally Approved

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1200 - 1299 1700 - 1799
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Vatican Approved
Bishop Approved
Coptic Approved
Approved for Faith Expression
Apparitions to Saints
Unapproved Apparitions
  Our Lady of Kibeho  


The apparitions began in November 1981 when six young girls and one boy claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. But only the visions of the first three -- 17-year-old Alphonsine, 20-year-old Nathalie, and 21-year-old Marie Claire -- have received Bishop Misago's solemn approval. Because there were reservations about the other four visionaries, and the supposed visions of Jesus, Bishop Misago didn't confirm the authenticity of either those visions or visionaries.

The Virgin appeared to them with the name "Nyina wa Jambo", that is "Mother of the Word", which is synonymous to "Umubyeyl W'iamna" that is, "Mother of God", as she herself explained.



Nov 28, 1981

At 12:35 p.m. in the school dining room, Alphonsine Mumureke heard a voice calling her: "My daughter." (Alphonsine was at a boarding school run by nuns, which the girl and the other two approved visionaries were attending.)
Mumureke asked her: "Who are you?" The reply was: "Ndi Nyina Wa Jambo," that is, "I am the Mother of the Word." She continued: "I have come to calm you because I have heard your prayers. I would like your friends to have faith, because they do not believe strongly enough."

Jan 1982

Our Lady begins appearing to Nathalie Mukamazimpaka for nearly two years.

March 2, 1982

Our Lady begins appearing to Marie Claire Mukangango for 6 months.

Sept 15, 1982

The last of Marie Claire's visions


Bishop Jean Baptiste Gahamanyi appoints a medical commission, and later a theological one, to investigate the reports. He then authorized public devotion.

Dec. 3, 1983

The last of Nathalie's visions

Aug. 15, 1988

The local Bishop approved a public devotion linked to the apparitions of Kibeho.

Nov. 28, 1989

The last of Alphonsine's visions -- exactly eight years since the first.


John Paul II visits Rwanda and exhorts the faithful to turn to the Virgin as a simple and sure guide, and pray for greater commitment against local divisions, both political and ethnic.

Nov 28, 1992

Construction begins on Marian sanctuary called "Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows"


The vision is now considered a prophecy of the ethnic genocide that would take place in the country 13 years later. Tragically, in 1994, visionary Marie Claire became one of its victims.

June 29, 2001

On the solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul, during a solemn Mass concelebrated in the cathedral of Gikongoro, Bishop Augustin Misago presented his declaration on authenticity of the apparitions.

July 2, 2001

The Holy See released the declaration of Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro approving the apparitions. Declared valid were the apparitions to three visionaries: Alphonsine Mumureke, Nathalie Mukamazimpaka and Marie Claire Mukangango.


Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, consecrated the Marian shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows in the site of the apparitions in Kibeho. He expressed the hope that Kibeho would become a place in which a Rwandan people would be born renewed in faith and forgiveness. (Source:

Sept 8, 2006

Bishop Augustine Misago of Gikongoro announced that the celebrations for the 25th anniversary would begin on Nov. 28, feast of Our Lady of Kibeho.

In his message, Bishop Misago says that "to celebrate worthily the Jubilee Year we must make concrete acts in the light of the message of Kibeho."

Among them, he suggests: "praying during the year for all the intentions of the Pope; increasing participation at Mass and reception of Communion; receiving the sacrament of reconciliation."

The bishop also urges "striving for reconciliation with enemies; asking forgiveness of people we have offended; respecting others; being tolerant in the family, with neighbors, at work, in meetings and other social events."

To these gestures he adds "working with courage to promote truth and justice for all, particularly in present-day conditions of the Gacaca courts" -- peoples tribunals charged with judging persons accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide -- "which must be well managed to guarantee they do not become forums for injustice and revenge, covering the law." (Source:

Nov 13, 2006

The Diocese of Gikongoro announced a Jubilee Year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary's first apparition in Kibeho. (Source:

Nov 29. 2006

At the start of a jubilee year to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first apparition, the Catholic bishops of Rwanda and Burundi led the celebrations attended by thousands of priests, men and women religious and lay people from Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Uganda and Europe. During the Mass, apostolic nuncio Archbishop Anselmo Guido Pecorari read a letter from Pope Benedict XVI announcing that a plenary indulgence had been granted by the apostolic penitentiary to pilgrims who visit Kibeho during the jubilee year.

"Our Lady of Kibeho is a beacon of hope, a light for all Africa and the world. This was demonstrated by the fact that ten-thousand people braved torrential rain to take part in the ceremony to open the Kibeho jubilee year," Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro, told the FIDES news service. "I was deeply moved at the devotion of the people taking part in the procession and the Mass which followed," Bishop Misago said. (Source: Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA), 12/4/2006)

April 4, 2014

Meeting with the Rwandan bishops for their ad limina visit Thursday, Pope Francis urged them to be be agents of reconciliation, commending them to the Marian apparition at Kibeho. "I commend you all to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary," Pope Francis told the nation's bishops. "I sincerely hope that the Shrine of Kibeho might radiate even more the love of Mary for her children, especially the poorest and most injured, and be for the Church in Rwanda, and beyond, a call to turn with confidence to Our Lady of Sorrows, who accompanies each of us on our way that we might receive the gift of reconciliation and peace." (Source: "ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS TO THE BISHOPS OF THE EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF RWANDA ON THEIR AD LIMINA VISIT" 4/3/2014

Photo Gallery

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Our Lady of Kibeho - Rwanda (1981-1989)
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Kibeho visionary Alphonsine Mumureke (17)
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Kibeho visionary Alphonsine Mumureke (17)
kibeho 04
Kibeho visionary Alphonsine Mumureke (17)
kibeho 05
Kibeho visionary Emanuel Segatashya

kibeho 06
Kibeho visionary Emanuel Segatashya
kibeho 07
Kibeho visionary Marie-Claire Mukangang (21)
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Kibeho visionary Agnes Kamagaju
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Kibeho visionary Marie-Claire Mukangang (21)
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Kibeho visionary Nathalie Mukamazimpaka (20)

Messages and Visions

In the visions, Mary emphasized the call to pray the rosary. She also asked for penance and fasting. A dreadful vision all three girls received became a key apparition leading to the official acceptance and approval of Kibeho.

These girls reported seeing a gruesome picture: a river of blood, people who killed one another, abandoned bodies with no one to bury them, a tree on fire, an open chasm, a monster, and severed heads. The vision is now considered a prophecy of the ethnic genocide that would take place in the country 13 years later. Tragically, in 1994, visionary Marie Claire became one of its victims.

Click here to read the messages of Kibeho.

Signs and Miracles

From the beginning in Kibeho, in southern Rwanda, there were conversions, prayer meetings, pilgrimages, healings and abnormal phenomena during those public apparitions. Also, the sun appeared to pulsate, spin, or split in two -- a miracle reminiscent of Fatima.

Description of the Virgin

"She had a seamless white dress and also a white veil on her head. Her hands were clasped together on her breast, and her fingers pointed to the sky... I could not determine the color of her skin," said Alphonsine, "but she was of incomparable beauty."


"Yes, the Virgin Mary did appear in Kibeho on Nov. 28, 1981," and then over "the course of the following six months," proclaimed Bishop Augustine Misago of Gikongoro, Rwanda, Africa, when he announced his official approval of the apparitions on June 29, 2001. "There are more reasons to believe this than to deny it."

He could not confirm the veracity of all the people who reported apparitions, however. Moreover, the document does not consider the alleged visions of Jesus, reported from 1982.

On July 2, 2001, the Holy See released the declaration of Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro approving the apparitions.

The visions in Kibeho, Rwanda, are the most recently occurring Marian apparitions to receive official recognition by the Church. As early as 1982, an earlier bishop of the diocese, Bishop Jean Baptiste Gahamanyi, already authorized public devotion.

The feast of Our Lady of Kibeho is Nov. 28.


Kibeho, Rwanda.


Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Word,
Mother of all those who believe in Him,
and who welcome Him into their life,
we are here before you to contemplate You.
We believe that you are among us,
like a mother in the midst of her children,
even though we do not see You with our bodily eyes.

We bless you, The Sure Way that leads us to Jesus the Savior,
for all the favors which You endlessly pour out upon us,
especially, that, in your meekness, You were gracious
enough to appear miraculously in Kibeho, just when our
world needed it most.

Grant us always the light and the strength necessary to
accept, with all seriousness, Your call to us to be converted,
to repent, and to live according to your Son's Gospel.
Teach us how to pray with sincerity, and to love one
another as He loved us, so that, just as You have requested,
we may always be beautiful flowers diffusing their pleasant
fragrance everywhere and upon everyone.

Holy Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows,
teach us to undestand the value of the cross in our lives,
so that whatever is still lacking to the sufferings of Christ
we may fill up in our own bodies for His mystical Body,
which is the Church.

And when our pilgrimage on this earth comes to an end,
may we live eternally with You in the kingdom of Heaven.

Imprimatur: Gikongoro, the 25th of March, 2006
Augustin Misago-Bishop of Gikongoro

Books and Videos

Daniel, Ange. Kibeho, le ciel à fleur de terre: des apparitions de Marie au Rwanda. Nouan le Fuzelier [France]: Editions du Lion de Juda, 1985.

Maindron, Gabriel. Apparizioni a Kibeho: annuncio di Maria nel cuore dell'Africa. Brescia: Queriniana, 1985.

Ilibagiza, Immaculée. Our Lady of Kibeho. 2008

Kibeho: Mary Speaks to the World. 50 minutes.


National Shrine of Kibeho, Rwanda; Entrusted to the Congregation of the Pallotines.

For more information contact the Rector of the Shrine Fr. Zbigniew Pawlowski, SAC:

Centre de Formation Mariale a Kibeho
Directeur du CFM
P.Leszek Czelusniak, mic
BP 4541 Kigali, RWANDA
Tel. mobil 08308864
Email :

Links -National Shrine of Kibeho, Rwanda

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