Mary has appeared at various times in Africa, calling us to return to God. The most well known are: Zeitoun (Egypt); Kibeho (Rwanda) and Ngome (South Africa).
At Zeitoun Mary was seen above the Coptic Orthodox Church by millions, of all beliefs and practices. There was no Message given here but her silent presence spoke volumes. A form of smoke or cloud was seen above the Church that grew denser and denser, then, light flashed and a full sized woman, bluish in colour, appeared. It was a living image that nodded in greeting to the people who welcomed Her. Her Presence brought many healings and conversions.
In the small mountainous country of Rwanda, in Central Africa, thirteen years before the devastating ethnic war, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared giving a Message of Love and repentance to the following young visionaries: Stephanie, Emmanuel, Marie-Clare, Anathalie, Alphonsine, Vestine and Agnes. The local Bishop Jean Baptise Gahamanyi recognized the message as urgent.
The ethnic war claimed the lives of a million people, including 25% of the county’s priests and religious. Our Lady used words, often difficult to translate, to describe the sins of the world. She said the world was racing towards its ruin, that the sins were more numerous than the drops of water in the ocean and that the world is getting more evil all the time. The message of Kibeho is often very challenging, for it calls us to seek repentance from sin and to start living a life based on the Ten Commandments and on the Gospel. The message may be described as a message of hope. If it had been responded to by more of the people of Rwanda, this might have prevented the war.
Ngome (South Africa)
Mary, the Mother of God has chosen Ngome, in the heart of ZuluLand, South Africa, to become a place where we might find a little bit of Heaven in our busy, developing world.
Central Zulu Land, in South Africa, in all its natural beauty was chosen by the Blessed Virgin Mary to make Herself known under the title “Mary, Tabernacle of the Most High”, through Her servant Sr. Reinolda May – a Bendectine nun.
Sister Reinolda was born in Germany on the 21st October 1901 and named Francisca. She had seven brothers and sisters and was brought up on a farm. She was a lively and charming child with a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Due largely to the zealous efforts of the parish priest she was encouraged, along with many of his young parishioners, to consider religious life. Consequently she joined the Missionary Benedictine Sisters but after having been taken ill she had to return soon after this to her family. Having recovered she tried a second time. This time she was accepted.
Sr. Reinolda, was sent to South Africa where she first worked as a seamstress. She made her final vows on 12th February 1928. She learned the Zulu language with enthusiasm and determination. Later she became a midwife and was made head of the maternity department at Nongoma hospital. Not far from here, at Ngome, the Benedictines had a large farm.
Sr. Reinolda was renowned by her peers to be self-disciplined and level headed, calm and composed, kind and always smiling, good to the mothers whom she nursed, and dedicated to teaching. Her students looked forward to her lectures – she often improvised when explaining things in the primitive hospital. She took the initiative in solving problems and her creativity shaped her style of prayer. She became one of the best known Catholic missionaries in Zulu Land. Sr. Reinolda put herself at the service of others, encouraged people to go to Church, and had a deep concern for lapsed Catholics and the welfare of the poor. Her gentle and friendly personality made her popular. She encouraged many to pray the Rosary and told them to teach others to do the same. She taught the Zulu’s to pray the Rosary and to go to Church often.
During the time that she worked at the Catholic Mission hospital at Nongoma she experienced ten Visions of “Mary, Tabernacle of the Most High”.
Sr. Reinolda felt a pressing urge to spread the Message that Mary had brought to her..
Many have responded to Our Blessed Mother’s call.
In 1975 Sr. Reinolda celebrated her 50th anniversary as a Benedictine nun. At the age of 74 she retired from her position as head of the maternity department. She continued to visit the sick, comfort the dying and reconcile the lapsed to the Church. She spent the last 8 years of her life at the missionary station near Inkamana where, on 1st April 1981, she died. Her funeral brought an unusually great number of mourners. She was laid to rest at Inkamana Abbey cemetery.
Ngome today is a haven of peace for many pilgrims. People feel very close to God here. The Shrine is positioned above the thick forest in which the streams have formed a pool. A wooden Cross and benches are found near the edge of the water. The beautiful and captivating surrounds of the Chapel bring comfort to pilgrims and are conducive to prayer.