Thursday 30 March 2023

Our Lady of Kibeho - Immaculée Ilibagiza - Mary Speaks to the World from the Heart of Africa

Our Lady of Kibeho
Mary Speaks to the World from the Heart of Africa
ISBN  9781401927431
eISBN 9781401925871

Our Lady of Kibeho Cover

I picked this book up and read it because according to a list online it was the first volume Father Mark Goring recommended for his Saint Mark’s School of Reading, It was before he had formalized his School, and just did videos on different books each month. I was a little familiar with this apparition from the volume The World of Marian Apparitions by Wincenty Laszewski. But only really that brief introduction. The description of this volume is:

“Thirteen years before the bloody 1994 genocide that swept across Rwanda and left more than a million people dead, the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ appeared to eight young people in the remote village of Kibeho. Through these visionaries, Mary and Jesus warned of the looming holocaust, which they assured could be averted if Rwandans opened their hearts to God and embraced His love.

“Much like what happened at similar sites such as Fátima and Lourdes, the messengers of Kibeho were at first mocked and disbelieved. But as miracle after miracle occurred in the tiny village, tens of thousands of Rwandans journeyed to Kibeho to behold the apparitions. For years, countless onlookers watched as the Mother and Son of God spoke through the eight seers about God’s love, sending messages that they insisted were meant not only for Rwandans, but for the entire world, to hear. Mary also sent messages to government and church leaders to instruct them how to end the ethnic hatred simmering in their country. She warned them that Rwanda would become “a river of blood”—a land of unspeakable carnage—if the hatred of the people was not quickly quelled by love.

Some leaders listened, but very few believed: the prophetic and apocalyptic warnings tragically came true during 100 horrifying days of savage bloodletting and mass murder. After the genocide, and two decades of rigorous investigation, Our Lady of Kibeho became the first and only Vatican-approved Marian (that is, related to the Virgin Mary) site in all of Africa. But the story still remains largely unknown.

Now, Immaculée Ilibagiza plans to change all that. She made many pilgrimages to Kibeho both before and after the holocaust, personally witnessed true miracles, and spoke with a number of the visionaries themselves. What she’s discovered will deeply touch your heart.”

The chapters in this book are:

Foreword by Jim Caviezel
Introduction: Show Us a Miracle
   1: My Faith Was Born in Fátima
   2: Mary Arrives in Rwanda
   3: Mary Is Accepted
   4: The First Visionary: Alphonsine
   5: The Second Visionary: Anathalie
   6: And Then There Were Three: Marie-Claire
   7: My Father’s Pilgrimage
   8: Dad Sees the Visionaries
   9: Joy in the Land, and Mary’s Seven Sorrows
   10: Jesus’s Odd Choice of Visionaries
   11: Three More Visionaries
   12: Miracles in the Sky
   13: The Mystical Journeys
   14: Mary’s Tears in a River of Blood
   15: Mary, above Kibeho and Throughout History
   16: Mary, Through Happiness, Heartache, and Horror
Epilogue: The New Jerusalem.
The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows

It was fascinating to read this book. About a young girl’s love for Mary, and her desire to experience the apparitions herself. The girl who grew into a young woman and if anything, her passion for Our Lady and her messages grew even more. About her immersing herself in the messages and knowing the stories of the different visionaries completely. It is well written and as a reader you cannot help but be infected by the passion and joy Immaculée exudes. This is a very moving read. It gives a clear history of the events in Africa between the mid 1980’s and early 2000’s. It is an incredible story and one that will move readers deeply.

This was a great read. I could hardly put it down. It is available in several different languages. It is a book that I am certain will have a lasting impact on readers. I am glad Father Mark Goring recommended it, and that I am going back through the list of books he has recommended over the last few years. I believe this was the first book he highlighted as part of his his Saint Mark’s School of Reading, and I am glad he did. A great read I can easily recommend for all Catholics.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Immaculée Ilibagiza:
A Visit From Heaven
Fruits of Forgiveness: Stories of Love, Hope, and Healing After the Rwandan Genocide
Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide
Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust
The Boy Who Met Jesus: Segatashya of Kibeho
The Rosary: The Prayer That Saved My Life
The Stations of the Cross
The Story of Jesus and Mary in Kibeho

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