Today (November 28) is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Kibeho. The Blessed Mother appeared to several Rwandan teenagers in the little village of Kibeho in the early 1980's as "The Mother of the Word". She had much to tell them and some of the messages have been put into book form by Immaculee Illibagiza. (These apparitions have been approved by the church as being authentic.) One thing that she told the teenagers was that unless people changed their hearts, and got rid of hatred, the rivers would run red with blood. This prophecy was fulfilled about a dozen years later when nearly a million people were killed in three months in an effort to exterminate the Tutsi tribe.
You might have heard of Immaculee as "the woman who spent three months in the bathroom". She hid in a small bathroom with 7 other women for 3 months while the killers hunted them. Her entire family, except for a brother, was killed in the genocide. Yet, she has forgiven the killers and lives today to spread the messages of Our Lady of Kibeho. (Side note: Her books are awesome!)
I have had a couple of incidents that I attribute to the intercession of Our Lady of Kibeho. The first was about 3 years or so ago. We had begun to pray the Seven Sorrows Rosary, and were listening to the tape. One of the things that it mentioned was "complete sorrow and sincere repentance for sin." I was listening and said in my prayer, "yeah, that's what I want." The following Sunday, I was taking someone's place at the Adoration chapel, and really had no agenda for my time there. I started to pray, going along with the format in one of Immaculee's books that I had recently gotten. And that was when it hit. All of the things that I had never mentioned in confession. "Hold on, Jesus, let me get a pencil." He talked and I wrote. It was a list! I was rather impressed that my "request" was processed so fast! The next weekend, I was back in the confessional..."Bless me Father...it's only been a couple of weeks, and I didn't plan to be back so soon, but God had other plans..." My good priest had only one word when I finished, "wonderful". Not too many days later, I got an email from him asking me if I would consider being a Eucharistic minister.
Last year, on the Feast of Our Lady of Kibeho, I went to an Adoration Chapel near my house. I asked Our Lady of Kibeho to bring "home" a friend of mine, who hadn't been to confession in over 35 years. She had been coming to Mass for the last couple of years, but couldn't quite take that final step. I had been talking to her for years.... Within the month, she came to work one Monday and said she needed to talk to "that man" (our priest) before Christmas. She was too afraid to make the call, so I contacted him and set up a meeting, and went with her. I waited in the church, while they took care of confession in his office. She was "home" for Christmas, and she said that when she received the Eucharist for the first time in all those many years, she could feel the warmth spread through her. Since then, it has been neat to watch different things in her life fall neatly into place. In particular, she has lived in a substandard mobile home for years, but has been powerless to do anything about it. Now she has found a home, secured the financing, and is taking steps to prepare a spot to put it. Hopefully by this Christmas, she will again be "home".
Our Lady of Kibeho, pray for us!