When one is still riding a wave of grace from a place where Mary is said to have appeared, it seems like a strong sign that the site is unusually powerful. Such was the case with Kibeho in Rwanda.
But what of the visionaries?
They continue to present an enigma.
Of the initial seven (and then more than a dozen, followed by a rash of seventy) only three (the initial visionaries) have been approved by the local ordinary.
And so: we must be cautious.
One of those not formally accepted by the bishop was a fascinating one: Emmanuel Segastashya (who was shot to death during the 1994 genocide). Segastashya is interesting because when he first allegedly encountered the Lord (on September 16 in 1982, while tending to cows and crossing a bean field), the boy was a pagan from a home of non-believers as well as illiterate — unschooled, a nomad with no idea of Christianity. Yet here he was, ten months after the apparitions had occurred in Kibeho, saying that the Lord — Who supposedly appeared to Emmanuel dressed in black, in the local garb, in front of an incredible Light — had not only appeared to him but instructed him on the Sign of the Cross, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, sin, charity, and the sacrament of Penance, to such an extent that afterward this teenager from a land of mud-brick huts was able to speak at great length on these subjects!
Segastashya is also intriguing because if translations are correct, he foresaw world history coming to a climax — along with the Second Coming. That’s territory the Church is understandably wary about, to such an extent that one is made to wonder if such predictions factored into the diocese’s decision thus far not to list Segastashya (who had many impressive characteristics) among the formally sanctioned. Quietly, at least one approved is said to have hinted at the same and likewise to have seen Jesus. The Church only recognizes the appearance at Kibeho of Mary, Mother of the Word.
At one point, Segastashya quoted Jesus as saying: “I will come like a traveler, but if I walk past a deaf man, he will hear. If I walk past a blind man, he will open his eyes and see; if I walk past a mother, she will be full of joy. The one who is under a bridge, I will find him. Let it not be said that one must not live on the top of a mountain, because perhaps God cannot reach this place. Even if you are under a hill, I will find you.”
Interestingly, Segastashya was also told (allegedly by Mary) he himself would die soon (which of course occurred; this aspect is impossible to deny) and further quoted the Lord as saying: “Tell all men there is not much time left. I will return soon. Therefore, hurry to do good, for Satan will one day disappear from this world, and then you will never be tempted again. But hurry, there is little time left. Do not be afraid but have faith! For the one who does good will come with Me to Heaven. Today the world is full of hatred, and you will know My return is near, that I am on My way, when you hear and see the wars of religion. Know too, that it will not be easy to recognize Me.” Because Emmanuel was not approved, we must consider his messages in that light.
While the three approved seers have never been definitively confirmed as being told by the Blessed Mother that we are approaching the Second Coming, that idea is also openly asserted by another of the unapproved ones, Agnes Kamagaju, who numbered among those first seven.
According to Father Gabriel Maindron, who documented much of the phenomena, on one occasion during Agnes’s alleged apparitions there was “the miracle of the sun, then another sun appeared which spun but with a different brightness from the first, and appeared to the right of it. The motion was one of coming and going, one sun passing in front of the other. It was like a game played with two plates. Some said they saw three suns, but others saw two. On the right side, the sky became all red, a living red like blood. This phenomenon lasted for quite some time. Then two black horizontal lines of light divided the sun into three equal parts.
“Other signs in the clouds included the Face of Jesus, a Cross or a crown of thorns. Others saw a column of fire and a pure sky, azure blue as everyone imagines the sky.”
On one occasion, Agnes claimed to have a message from Jesus saying that they should not seek too much after signs because the sign He gives may be as what followed: the stars and moon suddenly blinked out — putting thousands in utter darkness.
Such reportedly spectacular phenomena make one take a second look at the other claims.
With all the alleged seers there was a strong warning about chasing riches of the world, which is a huge factor in the world’s current descent (Kibeho itself is dirt poor, which is why Mary said she chose it). Emmanuel said those who have focused on worldly matters will regret it, perhaps sooner than they think. The great power: prayer from the heart.
If nothing else, these words brought to mind the opinions and visions of Maria Esperanza — the main seer at the Church-approved site of Betania in Venezuela.
Esperanza also believed Jesus was soon going to manifest and said, “It is very different than what people think. He’s going to come in silence, because otherwise He would be killed again. People will realize He is among us little by little. I’m seeing Him right now: He has His mantle covering His hair. He has a robe like white and black. His first presentation will be like this, because in those days an innocent person whom He loves a lot will die, an innocent person. This will shock the world, will move the world. Many people will believe. He will disappear for some days and reappear again. And when He disappears, people will go back to their mess, to the crazed things. He will bilocate, He will multiply Himself, to assist everyone, in their homes, because this will be a definite thing. He will come and knock on every door. And then people will realize it is truly Him.”
That bears both similarities and perhaps some differences with the “1990 prophecy” we have often analyzed, which stated that:
“I will come not as a man of flesh, but like My mother, who already nurses Me and holds Me in her arms, as a light and power. I will manifest Myself in a series of supernatural events similar to the apparitions but much more powerful. In other words, My second coming will be different than My first, and like My first, it will be spectacular to many but also unknown initially to many, or disbelieved. Yet truly I tell you, the arrogance of the world will have been broken, and so many more than normal will believe.
“I will come in towering light.
“My mother held me in her arms at Medjugorje, as an infant.
“I will come as she has come, in light.”
While that has verbiage in common to what Esperanza said — in that apparitions of Jesus, as she foresaw, might “disappear and reappear again,” and come with silence — it also agrees with the passage from Matthew 24 which states that what will be seen is “the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.” That seems to relate more to apparitions, during which Mary often arrives on a cloud with a flash and glorious light. Will it be the case that both types of manifestation, if any, will occur?
To be cautious, we also recall the admonition from Matthew (24:23-28): “If anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”