President of Poland, Andrzej Duda visits Kibeho Holy Land

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 8 February 2024 at 06:05

The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, who embarked on a three-day working visit to Rwanda since 6th February 2024, has made a historic visit to the holy land in Kibeho, located in Nyaruguru District.

President Andrzej Duda explored Kibeho, renowned for the apparitions of the Virgin Mary, on Thursday, February 8, 2024. His visit was met with a warm reception from various officials, including the Governor of the Southern Province, Kayitesi Alice, and the Mayor of Nyaruguru District, Dr. Murwanashyaka Emmanuel.

Leaders in the Catholic Church of Rwanda, including the Archbishop of Kigali, Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, and the Bishop of Gikongoro Diocese, Hakizimana Célestin, also extended a warm welcome to President Duda.

Kibeho holds significance as one of the most renowned places in the world within the Catholic Church due to the Virgin Mary’s apparitions in this area. The first apparition occurred on November 28, 1981, when the Virgin Mary appeared to a girl named Mumureke Alphonsine, who was studying at the ‘Mère du Verbe’ school in Kibeho.

Subsequent apparitions took place, including Mukamazimpaka Anathalie and Mukangano Marie Claire, both students at the same school. This annual pilgrimage site attracts thousands of devout pilgrims each year.

Father Harerimana François, the director of the Virgin Mary Sanctuary in Kibeho, recently told IGIHE that President Andrzej Duda’s visit marks a historic moment, as he becomes the first Head of State to explore the sacred grounds, further enhancing the area’s reputation.

President Andrzej Duda, accompanied by his wife, commenced their working visit to Rwanda on Tuesday, January 6.

The itinerary ncluded a visit to Kigali Genocide Memorial, participation in Rwanda-Poland Business Forum, talks with President Paul Kagame and the signing of a cooperation agreement between the two countries. The agreements cover various sectors, including technology, environmental protection, geology, and energy.