In this video, Fr. Stephen Grozio, CM, Provincial of the Vincentians of the Eastern Province, USA, discusses the apparition of Mother of the Word and reflects on how we can embrace the Blessed Mother’s example during Lent.
The apparition of Mary, Mother of the Word, is very interesting because it’s the only approved apparition of our Blessed Mother in the continent of Africa. She appeared to several teenagers, and three of those apparitions have been approved by the Catholic Church. The first apparition happened on November 28, 1981, and the last one on November 28, 1989. She appeared in the city of Kibeho in the Southern portion of Rwanda.
The first girl, Alphonsine was only 16 years old when Mary appeared to her. She asked her who she was, and she said, “I am the Mother of the Word.” The Mother of the Word of God! Mary told Alphonsine that she wanted all young people to grow in the faith, to come closer to God, to pray the rosary. She was concerned for young people. Many of her classmates did not believe her, and she asked Mary if she could appear to others. And she did. Seven people reported that they had apparitions, although only two others were recognized by the Church.
Some of her messages were very worrisome. The three young women, in their apparitions, saw a river of blood, saw people killing one another, saw dead bodies in the streets. These apparitions happened in 1981, and 13 years later, we all know that a terrible genocide struck the country of Rwanda. Mary tried to prepare all the young people and especially these three young women for that terrible time. Mary asked Alphonsine and Anathalie and Marie Claire to pray the rosary and to do penance. To put her Son, Jesus, at the center of their lives. That message is true for all of us. In fact, she even told the three young women that her apparition was not just meant for them, or the people of Kibeho but for people of the whole world. And so us too, during this time of Lent— we can pay special attention to doing acts of penance, to praying the rosary, and to be kind to one another.