.- The Marian shrine at the site of the first apparitions of Our Lady on the African continent to be approved by the Holy See – which did so in 2001 – is in need of aid in order to serve the local population and pilgrims, said the Polish missionary in charge of the shrine in Rwanda. Referring to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows in Kibeho, 160 km west of the Rwandan capital, Kigali, Fr Zbigniew Pawlowski, SAC said, “Please, help us build up an infrastructure for the local people here and the pilgrims as well!,” in his meeting yesterday with the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
“The region and the population here are heavily affected by civil wars and unrests,” said the priest. “Currently, the Marian shrine here is lacking basic equipments: There is neither drinking water nor electric power supply. The Church is trying to provide basic education and health care facilities for the suffering population.”
The Kibeho apparitions of Our Lady, which took place from 1981 – 1989, are the first ones in Africa to be approved by the Church, both locally and by the Holy See in 2001.