Predictions from the Church-approved apparitions at Kibeho in Rwanda may constitute the most accurate known prophecies in the modern history of Mariology, which is the study of the Blessed Mother and her appearances.
They are at the least among the very most predictive. Indeed, so stark was the truth of what the seers pronounced that the prophecies were mentioned in the first news report on the “definitive judgment” constituting approval by Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro. “One of the events that influenced the declaration was the anticipated vision of the Rwanda genocide that occurred 13 years later,” reported Zenit News Service on July 2, 2001, from Vatican City, where the declaration was released several days after the official pronouncement in the Rwandan capital of Kigali on June 29, 2001.
In fact, the history of the Blessed Mother’s apparitions includes many instances of true prophecy. At Guadalupe in 1531, Mary foresaw the healing of seer Juan Diego’s uncle; at the “Miraculous Medal” apparitions in Paris in 1830, the Blessed Mother correctly indicated civil upheaval; at Champion, Wisconsin, in 1859, Our Lady of Good Help, as she is now known, saw a chastisement coming that seemed to stunningly anticipate a massive wildfire twelve years later; at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, meanwhile, the Lady of the Rosary accurately predicted the end of World War One, the rise of Communism, a great sign, and a second world war; meanwhile, at Betania in Venezuela, Mary correctly predicted an appearance in 1984 and a Eucharistic miracle in 1991, while at Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina she predicted her next appearances on many occasions and in the case of one seer repeatedly described trials of illness the visionary would suffer and then their cures and even the dates of these happenings. There are other examples.
Moreover, no one knows what is contained in current “secrets” from such sites — nor what was in secrets granted to historic seers like Bernadette at Lourdes.
But thus far, none exceed and may not match the detailed prophecies at Kibeho.
It was on August 19, 1982, at Kibeho, near a Catholic girl’s school, in the mountainous farm terrain of deepest Africa, that the Blessed Mother appeared to the visibly upset and weeping seers one by one and showed each visions of a terrible event in the near future — including terrifying images of people killing each other, bodies lying abandoned with no one to bury them, trees on fire, an open abyss, a monster, “river of blood,” and decapitated heads. According to Father Gabriel Maindron — who wrote the first widely-circulated book on the apparitions (entitled simply Kibeho) — “the visionaries sometimes cried, their teeth chattered, they trembled. They collapsed several times with the full weight of their bodies during the apparitions, which lasted nearly eight hours without interruption. The crowd of about 20,000 present on that day was given an impression of fear — indeed, panic and sadness.”
Recounts another author, Immaculée Ilibagiza, in the more recent book, Our Lady of Kibeho, “The tone and energy of the apparitions that day seemed different from the start. When [seer] Alphonsine Mumureke entered her state of ecstasy, her heart opened to Our Lady by offering her the song of welcome: Tuje None Kugushima Mubeyi Udahemuka (‘We Come Here to Thank You, Faithful Mother’). Yet she was cut off by the Holy Mother after just three words. ‘I am too sad to hear my children sing,’ the Blessed Mother told her. The young woman began to sing the song again to cheer her, but the Virgin stopped her again. After many minutes of mournful silence, the Queen of Heaven began to weep.” When asked why she was crying, Mary responded by shedding more tears as the visionary also became upset in front of the huge crowd. Alphonsine later described the message in depth to a commission formed by the bishop.
After speaking to that seer about the state of the world — and having her repeat three times into the microphone “You opened the door and they refused to come in. You opened the door and they refused to come in. You opened the door and they refused to come in,” and had her sing a song called Queen of Heaven and Earth, the Blessed Mother of Kibeho — Our Lady of Sorrows, and also called there Our Lady of the Word — showed Alphonsine, who was 17 at the time, disturbing images of what was in the future.
While those present obviously could not hear Mary, they recorded what the seer was saying during the lengthy apparition.
“Suddenly Alphonsine let out a gut-wrenching scream that cut through the startled crowd like a razor,” writes Ilibagiza. “”‘I see a river of blood! What does that mean? No, please! Why did you show me so much blood? Show me a clear stream of water, not this river of blood!’ the seer cried out, as the Holy Mother revealed one horrifying vision after another. The young woman was subjected to so many images of destruction, torture, and savage human carnage that she pleaded, ‘Stop, stop, please stop! Why are those people killing each other? Why do they chop each other?”
Tears reportedly gushed from the visionary’s eyes while she uncontrollably trembled. As images of the future continued, wrote Immaculée, Alphonsine was shown “a growing pile of severed human heads, which were still gushing blood. The grotesque sight worsened still as Our Lady expanded Alphonsine’s vision until she beheld a panoramic view of a vast valley piled high with the remains of a million rotting, headless corpses, and not a single soul left to bury the dead.”
Incredibly, precisely this scenario played out in 1994 when ruling Hutus began a savage campaign to eradicate the Rwandan Tutsis. In fact, three to five thousand Tutsis were reportedly slain inside a church where they sought refuge — a building that Spirit Daily visited during a recent tour of the area and is less than half a mile from the site of these apparitions. Thousand more were killed outside.
Among the few survivors was a seer who claims she was told by Jesus that she would survive the massacre.
Overall, between 800,000 and a million Tutsis — the tribe of the main seers — were killed over the course of less than a year — most in the first three months, starting in April — in what has been called the most rapid rate of genocide in known world history.
A common means of killing was hacking by machete.
Many were those who were decapitated, their skulls and bones ending up in huge piles or their corpses stacked along roads and abandoned or simply thrown in the Kagera River — leading to an article in The New York Times on May 18, 1994, that uncannily fulfilled the prediction with a subhead that said, “Blood in the River” and reported that “The waters of Rusumo Falls, which flow through Government-controlled territory before arriving here, provide evidence of a continuing slaughter. Dozens of bloated bodies bob in the eddies of the churning water. Many are women and children, some no more than five or six years old.” While it is not known if it related to the visions of a tree aflame, the newspaper reported in the same article that “late last week, relief officials saw a village in flames on the Rwanda side of the river in rebel-controlled territory.”
Meanwhile, allusions to a “monster” and “open” abyss might be interpreted as the explosion of demonism in this nation where even a U.N. official said Hutus had seemed to turn “inhuman” and sheer “evil” and where a missionary was quoted by Time Magazine as saying, “There are no devils left in hell. They are all in Rwanda.”
Among the victims was one of the original three seers, Marie-Clare Mukangango.
Most escaped — two miraculously (as too did the seer at the Wisconsin site narrowly escape the fire, which like the Rwandan debacle occurred about a dozen years after the prophecy). Later, when Tutsis regained control of Rwanda, thousands of Hutus were killed in reprisal — many at the very spot of the 1981-1982 apparitions. “Kibeho was a scene of carnage and desolation, a place where death had swept through with the intensity well known to Rwanda,” reported The Times on April 23, 1995. “An estimated 2,000 members of the Hutu ethnic group were killed here on Saturday and more than 600 wounded, senior United Nations military officials said, shot by Rwandan Government troops or trampled to death in the ensuing panic.” Bodies lay crumpled, some hardly visible among the piles of burlap sacks, cooking pots and clothes: a mother whose child was still tied to her back, a young boy thrown over the torso of a man, another curled up in between the ashes of cooking fires. And everywhere there was blood, flies, and bits of brain, reported the paper.
Many were killed in the same school in which the apparitions had first occurred — making the prophecy all the more dramatic and — perhaps — unprecedented.
Meanwhile, the apparition site also became a sanctuary as more than two hundred thousand refugees flocked to Kibeho in the aftermath of the mayhem.
It’s not clear if all seven of the original seers were shown the prophetic images of devastation. The Church has accepted only three of them — Alphonsine, Marie-Clare, and a third, Anathalie Mukamzimpaka, who also narrowly escaped the killings — although all seven were allegedly receiving apparitions by the time of the horrid August 19 images.
The last, Emmanuel Segatashya — who, like Marie-Clare, died during the holocaust — claimed to have begun witnessing the supernatural on July 2, 1982. The Church accepts only the happenings of the first three months (which would end the last week of February, 1982) and has expressed reservations about “personal developments” in the lives of some of the other seers — the number of whom subsequently exploded into the dozens. Bishop Misago accepted the apparitions of Mary but none that were supposedly of Jesus, Who was allegedly seen by the later visionaries.
If the prediction of genocide was as important to official sanction as has been reported, the fact that perhaps seven seers — more than the approved three — were granted correct prophecies on August 19, 1982 of the genocide is an interesting afterthought. “As visionary after visionary stepped onto the podium that day, each received the same images from the weeping Virgin,” wrote Immaculée — whose bestselling book on the genocide itself, Left To Tell, has been featured on shows like 60 Minutes. “For hours, their horrified cries echoed through the hills, describing rivers of blood, savage murders, and the putrefying remains of hundreds of thousands of people. For some it must have seemed terrifyingly obvious that the seers were speaking about Rwanda.”
One of the unapproved seers says she was even told by the Blessed Mother to go to the president of Rwanda with the specific warning that Hutus and Tutsis would massacre each other.
Historically, in most other cases of apparitions, the predictions by Mary have been expressed symbolically or in a general fashion that leaves room for interpretation. The famous third secret of Fatima included images of priests falling as they ascended a hill and described an angel ready to torch the world — interpreted by many as symbolizing warfare, the persecutions of Catholics by Communists, and the threat of a global nuclear holocaust. As in Rwanda, the call at Fatima was for repentance. The closest to Kibeho in terms of prophetic specificity may be the apparitions in 1846 at LaSalette, France, where the Blessed Mother — in another Church-approved apparition — warned that if irreverence continued, France would suffer from disease and famine — both of which occurred a year later when the potato crop failed in France as well as Ireland.
At LaSalette — in a part of the prophecy that was rejected by the Church — Blessed Mary, seen here too weeping, also foresaw huge problems in the Church, including occultism and sexual immorality.
As in Kibeho, she warned of coming global disasters; in Rwanda, she urged recitation of the Seven Sorrows Rosary.
The accuracy of the Kibeho predictions are sobering in that Alphonsine was quoted as saying that not only Rwanda but the world faced an abyss and catastrophe. “As the vision began to fade, Mary asked the stricken Alphonsine to sing another song, this time repeating two lines of verse seven times each,” writes Immaculée.
“First: There will be fire that will come from beneath the earth and consume everything on earth…
“And then: The day will come to take those who have served You, God, we beg you to have mercy on us…”