Kibeho, Rwanda: Our Lady of Sorrows Church

The genocide in Rwanda:

In the 20th Century mankind has witnessed more bloodshed and inhumanity than perhaps at any other time in history. Certainly this is true in Rwanda, where over 800,000 people died in the years 1994-1995.

About the warning given:

All of this was foretold in an event that received little attention at the time. In 1981, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a group of teenagers with terrifying messages. For many who read them they seemed to be too far over the top to be believed. The children reported that there would be “rivers of blood”, and headless bodies as well as other gruesome details that seemed unbelievable at the time.

Sadly, the visions were just a preview of what was to come some 13 years later.

The local Bishop approved these apparitions of Our Lady as worthy of belief in 1988.

War broke out between the rival Tutsi and Hutu tribes in 1994, and many atrocities were committed by both sides. One of the worst atrocities of the war occured right in Kibeho. As the rebel army, dominated by Tutsis, gained victory many Hutus fled to a refugee camp in Kibeho. And at this camp, in front of U.N. observers, as many as 30,000 people were massacred. While some of those in the camp were certainly guilty of genocide themselves, many others were simply caught up in the war.

At this time, many of those who had read the prophecies remembered the chilling phrase “headless corpses floating down the river”. Few imagined how true this would be. Among those killed was one of the visionaries who had received the message.

Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica now stands on the site of the massacre.

Getting There:

Address: B.P. 341 Butare / Rwanda, Central Africa

GPS coordinates: 2° 38′ 10.5468” S, 29° 32′ 48.3396” E

Tel:    + 250 78 830 73 76,    + 250 78 855 91 92       + 250 78 884 09 59


Click here for the official website of the Sanctuary

Map location below is approximate.

Photos courtesy Kibeho Shrine.