Our Lady of Kibeho
“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 (three of the visionaries have already been approved by the Church, unheard of given the length of time it normally takes to approve visions-my words). 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.” (Our Lady of Kibeho, Immaculee Ilibagiza, Hay House, 2008). Although tens of thousands of pilgrims came to Kibeho, the sight of the apparitions, many did not take the messages seriously and did not repent, give up hatred and pride, and turn their lives over to God. As a result, many of these same pilgrims participated in the killings. Mary left many messages at Kibeho which, she said at the time, were not just warnings and pleadings for Rwanda, but for the world. I give you today Mary’s plea for us to change the way we pray and live, to humble ourselves before God and beg for His forgiveness and then to show that same mercy and forgiveness to others. Mary told us at Kibeho that the tragedy which would befall Rwanda would only happen there and to the rest of the world if men choose to ignore God’s ways and keep themselves as their own Gods. Sadly, the title of Immaculee’s latest documentary on Kibeho, Rwanda, says it all: “If Only We Had Listened.” For more information on Our Lady of Kibeho, and on Immaculee Ilibagiza, a young woman who survived the holocaust and has written several books on her experiences, go to www.ourladyofkibeho.com or www.immaculee.com. If you make any resolutions this year, resolve to read Imaculee’s books and take the messages to heart.
Here is what Mary said in Kibeho:
My children, there are many who want to pray, who try to pray, but do not know how to pray. You must ask for the strength and knowledge to understand what is expected of you. My love goes out to you all, for there are many here who want to reach the road to heaven, but do not have the strength or knowledge to ask for God’s help. My dear children, listen to my words, for I will teach you how to pray from the bottom of your hearts.
You must begin your prayers by offering God all you conceal in your soul. God sees your every action and knows your every thought; you can hide nothing from Him. But you must tell Him yourself – you must be willing and strong enough to confess all of your transgressions of body, mind and spirit to Him. Hold back nothing; admit all your bad deeds and thoughts. Then, you must ask for God’s forgiveness from the bottom of your heart. Rest assured that if you confess and seek forgiveness sincerely, He will forgive you. By beginning this way, the sins you carried will not distract you from praying sincerely. You can then speak to Him knowing that your heart is clean and your conscience is clear. Pray to Him fervently, make a petition, beg His favor, ask for His blessing; God sees into your soul and knows you seek His help with a repentant heart.
Then, my children, you too must offer forgiveness by asking God to forgive all those who have trespassed against you, all who have caused you suffering or given you insult or injury. Forgive them in prayer and ask God to bless and help them.
Then pray for the spiritual and physical welfare of your relatives, for all of your brothers and sisters, that God may bless them. Then give thanks to Him for having received and answered your prayers. Most important, you must ask God for the strength you need to do His will; ask for the strength not to stray from his light, Pray for the courage and wisdom to walk only the road leading to heaven.
And never forget, my children, to pray for the strength to be humble. Your prayers have no meaning if they do not come from the depths of your heart, and you cannot open your heart to the Lord without humility. I love you, my children. When you lack the strength to pray, ask for my help. Pray for my intercession, and I will strengthen you and bring you to my Son and to the Father through your prayer.
My friends: Will We Listen?