Sue Mita, Immaculee Ilibagiza and Eustace Mita in front of a government building that was famously attacked during the Rwandan Civil War. Please note the destruction still visible to this day.

Papal Foundation President Eustace Mita and his wife Sue traveled to Rwanda in July to visit the site of a future Basilica which will be built to honor Our Lady of Kibeho. Kibeho was declared a holy land by then Pope John Paul II in 2001 when he formally recognized the 1981 apparitions of the Virgin Mary at the site.

Eustace and Sue traveled there with their friend Immaculee Ilibagiza, the well-known author and speaker who survived the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and who wrote about her experience in her 2006 NY Times best-seller, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust. Immacullee has dedicated herself to sharing the message of forgiveness and of the apparitions of Our Lady.

Our Lady of Kibeho is the only known Vatican approved Marian apparition site that does not have a Basilica built to commemorate the apparition. Because of this, Immaculee, along with the Mitas, have had a dream of building the Basilica to honor Our Lady of Kibeho for many years and Our Lady has sent the message: the time is now. You can learn more about the apparition of Our Lady of Kibeho by watching this interview with Immaculee below:

Bishop Célestin Hakizimana of Gikongoro Diocese in Rwanda has said that a steering committee will be established soon to help fast-track the implementation of the basilica project in Kibeho Holy Land. It is expected to have a seating capacity of 10,000 and a compound with capacity to accommodate up to 100,000 pilgrims.

Here are some of the highlights of Eustace and Sue Mita’s trip:

Eustace & Sue signing The Book of Our Lady of Kibeho

Eustace, Sue, Immaculee and pilgrims praying with the Bishop

Eustace and the Bishop visiting the future site of the Basilica

Eustace with the Bishop

Immaculee, Sue, Eustace and the Bishop pray at one of the apparition sites where Our Lady appeared to one of the visionaries