Build a Pilgrim Guesthouse for the Marian Shrine in Rwanda
Project Code: 145-05-19
"Nyina wa Jambo," or "Mother of the Word," is the title by which the Blessed Virgin Mary is known, loved and revered at the Shrine of Kibeho in Kibeho, Rwanda. This shrine, officially recognized in 2003 by the Catholic Church, is on a par with such shrines as Lourdes and Fatima and is the first Marian shrine of its kind on the African continent.
The number of pilgrims coming here is rising steadily. It was in 1981 that Our Lady first appeared to three young girls. One year later, they saw a dramatic vision which, just over a decade later, was to become a horrific reality. The girls saw rivers of blood, people murdering one another and countless unburied corpses, decapitated heads, and more…
The genocide of 1994, which within the space of just 100 days, claimed close to a million lives, and likewise the massacre that took place one year later not far from Kibeho itself, when 5,000 people were brutally murdered in an internal refugee camp, made terrifyingly clear what can happen when people forget God and give themselves over to hatred. This was the warning Our Lady had come to bring.
As a result, the shrine of Kibeho has also become a place of memory, where the victims are remembered and the people of Rwanda today seek, with God's help, to ensure that such a thing may never happen again.
The pilgrims who come to this shrine are ministered to by the Pallottine nuns who maintain the shrine. Many of these pilgrims have come from far away, sometimes on foot, sometimes walking for well over a week. Not a few have traveled barefoot because they possess no shoes. They carry canisters of water on their heads, yet they barely eat. Vast numbers of them endure the cold, the rain and weariness as they strive to follow the call of the "Nyina wa Jambo" and seek help and consolation from her.
The small town of Kibeho lies at an altitude of over 6,000 feet and in the rainy season especially, the nights can be bitterly cold. Small wonder, then, that many pilgrims fall sick on the way. Others are already suffering from various infirmities and have come in search of healing. The Pallottine Sisters care for them all with great devotion. But even the healthy pilgrims still need help and support of various kinds.
Now the Pallottine Sisters are planning to extend their convent in order to be able to accommodate more pilgrims. Otherwise many are forced to sleep outside in the cold and rain, because there is nowhere else for them to stay. The plan is to develop a center to accommodate up to 60 people. ACN is hoping to be able to help with a contribution of 7,200. Will you join in building this pilgrim guesthouse for the Marian shrine in Rwanda?
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