She started appearing to a high school student named Alphonsine in November of 1981, two months later to Anathalie, then two months after that to Marie-Claire. Over a decade before the Rwandan genocide destroyed an entire nation, including the apparition site, thousands of pilgrims from all over Rwanda came to witness the miracles for themselves. The messages were often recorded and broadcast. Mary wept as she told the visionaries how the deeply rooted hatred they all harbored within their hearts would end in a violent bloodbath. During a vision Our Lady gave Marie-Claire a string of beads--the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows--and taught her and everyone present how to pray it. The author includes these instructions given to Marie-Claire in this book--it's the primary reason I bought it.
Marie-Claire was murdered in the genocide, along with her husband. Alphonsine is now a cloistered nun in the Republic of Benin in West Africa. Anathalie remained in Kibeho as she promised Our Lady many years ago, and will stay there until Our Lady tells her otherwise. Mary's appearances to these three women are the only approved Marian apparitions on the Continent of Africa, and now that war subsides, the shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows has been built in Kibeho at the apparition site.
The other five visionaries have not been authenticated, though investigation may continue at some time in the future:
- Segatashya, a pagan boy converted in a bean field by Jesus Himself, was shot to death by a firing squad.
- Vestine, a Muslim girl who died after the genocide of illness, was also visited by the Lord Jesus.
- Stephanie was 14 when she began seeing Our Lady. She disappeared during the genocide.
- Valentine, who still receives public visions of Our Lady today, lives in Belgium.
- Agnes is married with two children, and still sees Jesus privately.