When I show myself to someone and talk to them, I want to turn to the whole world. If I am now turning to the parish of Kibeho it does not mean I am only concerned for Kibeho or for the Diocese of Butare, or for Rwanda, or for the whole of Africa.I am concerned with and am turning to the whole world.”
The apparitions began in November 1981 when six young girls and one boy claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. But only the visions of the first three — 17-year-old Alphonsine, 20-year-old Nathalie, and 21-year-old Marie Claire — have received Bishop Misago’s solemn approval. Because there were reservations about the other four visionaries, and the supposed visions of Jesus, Bishop Misago didn’t confirm the authenticity of either those visions or visionaries.
The Virgin appeared to them with the name “Nyina wa Jambo”, that is “Mother of the Word”, which is synonymous to “Umubyeyl W’ Imana” that is, “Mother of God”, as she herself explained.
“She had a seamless white dress and also a white veil on her head. Her hands were clasped together on her breast, and her fingers pointed to the sky… I could not determine the color of her skin,” said Alphonsine, “but she was of incomparable beauty.”