Alphonsine Do you like to sing and dance? Are you lucky? If so, you and Alphonsine are alike.
Alphonsine came from a very poor family. Her mother loved her and prayed that she would receive a scholarship to attend the all-girls boarding school. Alphonsine worked in the lunchroom, which was very noisy. One day, even though the lunchroom was filled with other students, she heard the most beautiful voice…..
Would you believe your friend if she came to you and said Mary had appeared to her? Alphonsine’s friends did not believe her. The priests and nuns at her school did not believe her. Some of the students teased her and called her names. One of the meanest students was named Marie-Claire. Even though girls were mean to her, Alphonsine still told the Blessed Mother thank you.
What should Mary do so that everyone will believe she is appearing to Alphonsine? She appears to a girl named Anathalie….
Anathalie Anathalie is a year older than Alphonsine. She loves the Blessed Mother very much and she is very prayerful and devout. One evening Anathalie is not feeling well so she decides to go back to her dorm room to lay down and say her Rosary.
Anathalie felt funny, like something strange was happening. She opened her eyes but she couldn’t see her dorm room. She could only see a lovely meadow and a soft light.
Mary speaks to Anathalie “My child, I am sad because I have sent a message and no one will listen to my words as I desire. My child, you must pray, for people in the world have turned away from God and the love of my son, Jesus.”
Almost everyone believes…. Now that both Alphonsine and Anathalie have received a message from the Blessed Mother, many of the girls at the school believe that the visionaries are telling the truth. Most of the students stop teasing and tormenting the visionaries…..but Marie-Claire doesn’t stop. She even pinches and pushes Alphonsine and Anathalie when Mary is appearing to them. Alphonsine and Anathalie can’t tell Marie-Claire to stop, but someone else can. Can you guess who?
Are you surprised? Marie-Claire and her classmates were singing a song to Mary when Anathalie feels that Mary is coming. Everyone follows her to the Chapel. Marie-Claire is mad! She is so mad she passes out! All of a sudden she is in a beautiful world where she could hear Mary speaking to her. Mary asked Marie-Claire and Anathalie to sing a song together.
The other classmates were amazed! Mary gave Marie-Claire a special mission. She wanted her to tell everyone the importance of the Rosary and teach them the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows.
Mary is everyone’s Mother Mary wanted all the students to pray the Rosary. It does not matter if you are Catholic or Methodist or Baptist. It does not matter if you are Muslim. Mary wanted Marie-Claire to tell all the students that the Rosary is for everyone!
Why Rwanda?? Mary said she came to Rwanda because: it is a humble place where people love God and love Mary and, Mary wanted the people of Rwanda to ask God to forgive them if they were unkind to their neighbors. Mary wanted a church built in Kibeho. Anathalie walks off the podium to show the size. (MS to 21)
Church Approval Many people from all over Rwanda are coming to see the visionaries. The Church must monitor the visions to be sure they are true. Special doctors and theologians come to Kibeho to investigate and verify the apparitions. A year or so later, Bishop Gahamanyi authorized Kibeho as a site for public devotion. (MS to 21)
Vatican Approval 20 years later, the Vatican proclaimed that Mary had truly appeared in Rwanda. It added Kibeho to the small list of Church approved apparition sites. Bishop Misago made the announcement. Now construction on the churchthat Mary wanted could begin.
Daily Prayer Our Lady of Kibeho, pray for us so we can help Jesus to save the world
Rwandan History Hutu people: farmers Tutsi people: cattle herders
Before European colonization (1886) The Tutsi were smaller in number, but controlled the monarchy. Kingship dated from 1400’s. Both could hold lower political positions. Tribal ethnicity was based on occupation…… Hutu could become Tutsi by cattle ownership and marriage into a Hutu family. Tutsi could become Hutu by losing cattle, then farming. FLUID “CLASSES”
European Colonization First Germany (late 1880’s) then Belgium (after WW1) acted as the colonial power over Rwanda. European colonial rulers favored Tutsi over Hutu. Only Tutsi could be educated. Hutu chiefs were replaced with Tutsi chiefs. STATIC “CLASSES”
After World War II Rwanda became a United Nations Trust Territory with Belgium as the Administrative Authority. Reform begun at this time to have democratic political parties. The Tutsi have been the leaders, but they are the minority. The Hutu are the majority……..
Hutu Revolt 1959 Hutu leaders, encouraged by the Belgium military, revolt and overthrow the Tutsi Monarchy. Over 160,000 Tutsi fled to bordering countries. UN grants Rwanda independence in 1962. During this time, anti Tutsi violence occurred. Exiled Tutsi band together to form RPF: Rwandan Patriotic Front. They invade Rwanda. Tense cease fire two years later.
1994 – Critical Year The plane carrying the Rwandan president crashes. The Hutu majority blame the RPF. Massacre of Tutsi people, as well as any Hutu who oppose the massacre. 800,000 people killed in 100 days. (Fort Worth has 750,000 people)
Words of Pope Paul VI If you want peace, work for justice.
Rwanda Today Today, the government tries to provide health services, utilities and a growing economy so that everyone has an opportunity to live a good life. Poverty still remains a great problem, but Rwanda continues to make remarkable progress. (MS to 17)