Pilgrimage to our Lady of Kibeho – Rwanda

Posted by on July 22, 2017

 Your Spiritual Pilgrimage to”Our Lady of Kibeho” – Rwanda

A meaningful – Spiritual Pilgrimage to our Lady of Kibeho to the Shrine honoring her in Rwanda


 Kibeho is a small town in southern Rwanda where a group of young people, notably three girls reported visions of Mary – the mother of Christ beginning in 1981 and they occurring until 1989,  Those visions – apparitions were sanctioned by the Catholic Church and public devotion was also sanctioned in 1988 and the apparitions were declared authentic in June of 2001 by the Vatican.

In the apparitions of the Virgin Mary among many other themes, there was a foretelling of what was to come in the Spring and Summer of 1994 with visions of rivers of blood and mutilated bodies – those 100 days of sorrow – the Genocide against the Tutsi People where a million people were cruelly slaughtered.

The carnage even reached the “Our Lady of Sorrows Church” – it became one of the worst places to be during the genocide – 28,000 people are said to have lost their lives here in what was to be a safe haven – a Holy Place of refuge became a den of death and the church was burnt down by the Interhamwe.

Today – once again the Kibeho is a place of peace and pilgrimage – thousands come here from all over Rwanda, Africa and beyond to see this Sanctuary and Shrine in the Land of a Thousand Hills – Rwanda.


 Day 1 – Arrival in the Land of a Thousand Hills – Rwanda:

Welcome to the Land of a Thousand Hills and a Million Smiles – Rwanda

The Pilgrimage to our Lady of Kibeho begins when youArrive at Kigali International Airport and are met by your knowledgeable Catholic Driver-Guide who will take you on your pilgrimage to Kibeho.   Activities for the day Depend on your arrival time in Rwanda.  Many flights from Europe arrive late evening which does not allow for a tour of Kigali.  If you, however, arrive earlier we will adjust the itinerary to show that.

We take a 15-minute drive into Kigali and check into Hotel  Des Mille Collines – also known as Hotel Rwanda – the hotel with a lot of history in Kigali.

Today – the Hotel Des Mille Collines is a 4 Star Hotel with a beautiful garden, swimming pool, fabulous restaurant, poolside bar and a place where you can get snacks of all kinds including Rwanda’s famous Goat Brochettes, you can also have beef or chicken.

The rooms come with a balcony overlooking the garden and pool and the city of Kigali. They come with bath, TV, WiFi, and other amenities to make you feel at home.

Dinner, if needed, can be taken in the Restaurant which is on top of the Hotel and you can see the Kigali city lights twinkle at night.  Darkness comes here just past 6 pm and dawn is just after 5:30 am in the morning.

The Hotel Des Mille Collines is on a Bed and Breakfast Basis and you have a great selection to choose from including a lot of fruit, eggs prepared just the way you like and a variety of baked goods.

Lodging – up-market:  Hotel Des Mille Collines – moderate – Heaven Boutique Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast


 Day 2 – Our Lady of Kibeho:

Breakfast at Hotel Des Mille Collines which yo will enjoy and we head for Butare which is now called Huye – the town is the educational center of Rwanda and not only includes the National University of Rwanda but has a Catholic University and the largest Catholic Cathedral in Rwanda and was built in the 1930’s in memory of the Belgian Princess Astrid.

While visiting Kibeho for our pilgrimage we will stay overnight at Butare’s best hotel Centre d’Accueil Mater Boni Consilii (our Lady Mother of God counsel).  This is a unique hotel since it comes with a chapel in the Hotel and Virgin Mary is on every page of their website.  This hotel is owned and managed by the Sisters of the Mother of Good Counsel who owns and manages one Butare’s finest hotels with good TripAdvisor Ratings.  The profits go to help orphans, the handicapped and other marginalized people

They have a nice restaurant, bar, and garden for you to enjoy.  The rooms are most comfortable and well-furnished for your enjoyment.

Food is good and the service is most friendly

We will have an early lunch here and then proceed to Kibeho which is a short distance from Butare on a dirt road – you will notice once again the beautiful scenery on the way to the Basilica at Kibeho which is named “Our Lady of Sorrow” and the shrine of “Our Lady of Kibeho.”

We visit the church which was built according to instructions given in the vision (however it is not the dimensions that were given due to lack of funds).

 Take your time in the church and include a visit to the Genocide Memorial – you can also spend some time outside  the statue is of “the Lady of Kibeho.”

We then continue to Nyarushishi Hill to see the large bronze statue of Christ, called, Divine Mercy Statue.The Statue came from the Chicago area in the USA.  In Chicago, the Statue was moved around to different churches and many Catholics enjoyed having the statue at their Church.

The Divine Mercy Statue of Christ made its way to Rwanda where since 2004 it has graced the top of Nyarushishi  Hill and has been a blessing to Rwandans and to visitors from afar who come here on a spiritual pilgrimage such as yourself.

We return to Butare for dinner – pay a visit to the Chapel – not many hotels in the world have a Chapel on premise.

Lodging – up-market:  Centre d’Accueil Mater Boni Consilii

Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner – Breakfast


 Day 3 –  Kibeho -Apparition Pilgrimage Visit:

Breakfast and we depart with a packed lunch and plenty of bottled water we head back to Kibeho spending the day attending the apparition for the day.

Nathalie Mukamazimpaka one of the original visionaries at Kibeho resides on the grounds of the Kibeho Church – across from the dorm where she lived when she was a student.  During the 1994 Genocide, she fled into what was then Zaire to seek refuge, returning in 1996 when the Benebikira Sisters had just come back to Kibeho and reopened their convent, the school, and the health center.

Today she most often greets visitors to Kibeho and assists them in any way possible to make pilgrims to the church and shrine most comfortable.  This is the only Marian Shrine in Africa and Nathalie Mukamazimpaka has dedicated her life to prayer at the church and shrine of “Our Lady of Kibeho.

Standard program for pilgrims at Kibeho

9:30  – Arrival at Kibeho

10 am – Spiritual Talk on the message of Kibeho

11 am – Confession

12 am – Holy Mass

Afternoon meeting with Nathalie Mukamazimpaka one of the three visionaries whose visions by the Vatican

Return to Butare and stay overnight at Centre d’Accueil Mater Boni Consilii

Dinner

Lodging – up-market:  Centre d’Accueil Mater Boni Consilii

Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner – Breakfast


 Day 4 – Departure from the Land of a Thousand Hills:

 Breakfast and we depart for Kigali – a three-hour journey or less.

One of Rwanda most special products is it World Class Coffee – its Arabica Bean Bourbon Coffee is sought after worldwide and sold in a multitude of outlets from Costco to Starbucks. Arabica Beans may have their origin Ethiopia but they were perfected in Rwanda since 1994 when the present government pulled off the muzzle of the coffee industry, raised the standards and today you have a coffee that is considered the best in the world by many.

Lunch at one of Kigali’s famous Bourbon Coffee restaurants which is simply a delightful place and should you live in Washington DC, Boston, or New York you can get a taste of Rwanda at one of their restaurants.

Afternoon – a meaningful visit to one of Rwanda’s Sacred places – the Gisozi Genocide Memorial where 250,000 victims of the Genocide are interned – ther e is also a children’s section.  Inside of the Memorial one can learn about how the Genocide happened.

Time permitting we shop for some souvenirs from Rwanda before reaching the airport for departure.

It is our hope that the Pilgrimage was a most meaningful experience for you.

Please Note – one can easily add a few other attractions and things to do in Rwanda such as Gorilla – Chimpanzee Tracking, Wildlife game drive at Akagera Park, relax on Rwanda’s Costa del Sol along Lake Kivu with its sandy beaches and more.  You can also cross over into Uganda and continue your time in Africa including a visit to the famous Namugongo Martyr’s Shrine in Kampala where 45 young men were executed for their faith, 22 of them were canonized into sainthood and June 3rd is the annual celebration with over 100,000 pilgrims gathering for an interfaith service there.


 Special Feast Dates throughout the year are:

The solemnities and Marian feasts celebrated at Kibeho can be classified into two categories: Those directly related to the Apparitions of Kibeho and those usually celebrated by the universal Church.

January 12th: Anniversary of the apparitions of Nathalie Mukazimpak

March 2nd: Anniversary of the apparitions of Marie Claire

May 31st:Dedication of the church of Our Lady of Sorrows (Kibeho)

August 15th: Assumption of Mary

September 15th: Our Lady of Sorrows

November 28th: Our Lady of Kibeho (anniversary of the apparitions


If you are interested in a Pilgrimage to our Lady of Kibeho- Please Contact us.