KIHEBO, AUGUST 17, 2018(CISA) – “The celebration of the ascension of Mary Mother to heaven should be a time for us to remember the role she played on Earth by begetting Jesus our Savior. It should also be an opportunity to reflect on how to spiritually change our character and commit to do well to all to make the world better as we forge our way to heaven,” Bishop Célestin Hakizimana of the Catholic Diocese of Gikongoro has said.
The bishop was addressing thousands of pilgrims from all over the world who turned up at Kibeho, to mark the ascension of the Virgin Mary to heaven.
Pope John Paul II declared Kibeho a holy land in 2001, following apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the 1980s.
The site hosts thousands of Catholic faithful who travel from all over the world every year on Assumption Day.
Between 30,000 and 50,000 were expected at the event according to the Bishop. “We started receiving pilgrims since last week and we have hundreds already at Kibeho,” said Hakizimana while speaking to The New Times Tuesday, August 14.
François Habitegeko, the Mayor of Nyaruguru District, said the celebrations of Assumption Day and other events at Kibeho help the business community generate income through hosting pilgrims of whom some come weeks ahead of the event.