Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: Our Lady of Kibeho

Our Lady of Kibeho: Mary Speaks to the World from the Heart of Africa by Immaculée Ilibagiza, November 28, 2008. 240 pages. Published by Hay House. Source: borrowed from my mom.
Thirteen years before the bloody 1994 genocide that swept across Rwanda and left more than a million people dead, the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ appeared to eight young people in the remote village of Kibeho. Through these visionaries, Mary and Jesus warned of the looming holocaust, which (they assured) could be averted if Rwandans opened their hearts to God and embraced His love.

Mary also sent messages to government and church leaders to instruct them how to end the ethnic hatred simmering in their country. She warned them that Rwanda would become "a river of blood"-a land of unspeakable carnage-if the hatred of the people was not quickly quelled by love. Some leaders listened, but very few believed. The prophetic and apocalyptic warnings tragically came true during 100 horrifying days of savage bloodletting and mass murder.

Much like what happened at similar sites such as Fátima and Lourdes, the messengers of Kibeho were at first mocked and disbelieved. But as miracle after miracle occurred in the tiny village, tens of thousands of Rwandans journeyed to Kibeho to behold the apparitions. After the genocide, and two decades of rigorous investigation, Our Lady of Kibeho became the first and only Vatican-approved Marian (related to the Virgin Mary) site in all of Africa. But the story still remained largely unknown.

Now, however, Immaculée Ilibagiza has changed all that. She has made many pilgrimages to Kibeho, both before and after the holocaust, has personally witnessed true miracles, and has spoken with a number of the visionaries themselves. What she has discovered will deeply touch your heart!
First Sentence
It' a difficult confession for me, but if it hadn't been for the apparitions of the Blessed Mother and Jesus at Kibeho, I may never have fully believed in God.

Our Lady of Kibeho was a tremendously powerful read. Immaculée Ilibagiza's story of how she came to a greater love for our Lord, the story of the apparition of Mary in Kibeho, and her experience during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda combined to make one unforgettable read.
  • Despite where the story leads, Our Lady of Kibeho is a story that is filled with hope, faith, and love. What's incredible about this book, beyond the apparitions that took place in Kibeho, was that given all she had been through, Imacculée never came across as bitter in her writing. 
  • As much as I enjoyed learning about Our Lady of Kibeho, it was Immaculée's writing the I loved best as it felt like sitting down for a discussion with a close friend (or family member). She just had this way about telling the story of the apparitions in Kibeho, and her personal journey to a deeper love of God, that was just so natural. While she did not gloss over all she has been through, she also did not overly embellish what happened. It was all rather refreshing to see the entire story unfold. 
  • Going into this book, I had never heard of Our Lady of Kibeho nor the apparitions that took place in the 1980s. That being said, I really enjoyed how she took the time to tell about each of the girls that saw were visited my the Blessed Virgin Mary. She did not hold anything back; from the skepticism they faced to how some of them lost their lives during the genocide. She really just gave a robust telling of what happened and how it affected everyone.

  • I will say it again! This book is full of HOPE! Something the world is in sore need of these days! Thank you, Immaculée Ilibagiza, for sharing the incredible story of the apparitions in Kibeho and your story! Did I cry while reading it? Yes! Did I stay up way too late reading? Sure did!! Yes. would I read more of her books? In a heartbeat! Do I think you should read this book? ABSOLUTELY!!

Final Verdict: Our Lady of Kibeho- This book is a call for an increase in hope and faith. Give this book a chance, that is all I ask!

About the Author:
Today Immaculée is regarded as one of world's leading speakers on peace, faith, and forgiveness. She has shared her universal message with world dignitaries, school children, multinational corporations, churches, and at many conferences. Immaculée works hard to spread her message and to raise money for her Left to Tell Charitable Fund which directly benefits the children orphaned by the genocide.

Immaculée Ilibagiza is a living example of faith put into action. Immaculée's life was transformed dramatically during the 1994 Rwandan genocide where she and seven other women spent 91 days huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor's house. Immaculée entered the bathroom a vibrant, 115-pound university student with a loving family - she emerged weighing just 65 pounds to find her entire family had been brutally murdered (with the exception of one brother who had been studying out of the country).

You can learn more about Immaculée Ilibagiza and her story by visiting the following pages.
Website | Goodreads
A copy of this book was borrowed from my mom. All thoughts are my own. 

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