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We have been reporting on a remarkable new book recalling apparitions in Kibeho, Rwanda. To recap: starting on November 28, 1981, Mary began appearing to school girls in a remote African village, showing them future events and appearing with remarkable beauty. There were seven main seers. The experiences of three have meet with full Church approval, as announced in 2001 through the Holy See after two decades of investigation.

During that apparition, the Blessed Mother focused, curiously, on what is called the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows -- an older devotion that she introduced to them by carrying a black rosary.

The Rosary is special to the Blessed Virgin -- who taught one of the seers, Marie-Clare Mukangango, how to pray it and said it would be the girl's "mission in life to reintroduce it to the world," states the book, one of the best we have seen on apparitions.

The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows consists of seven groups of seven beads, with three additional beads and a Crucifix.  The seven groups of seven Hail Marys are recited in remembrance of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Those seven sorrows: The prophecy of Simeon. The flight into Egypt. The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple. Mary meets Jesus carrying His Cross. The Crucifixion. Mary receives the body of Jesus from the Cross. The body of Jesus placed in a tomb.

Three Hail Marys are added in remembrance of the tears Mary shed because of the suffering of her Divine Son. These are said to obtain true sorrow for our sins.

At Kibeho, the Blessed Mother urged a seer named Anathalie Mukamazimpaka to read the classic mystical book Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis -- saying that she should open to a random page and plant the first words she read deeply in her heart.

"The young woman [Marie-Clare] brought us serious messages, too, such as the warning that humans' time on earth is nearing the end and that many of God's children have fallen into sin," noted the father of the author, Immaculée Ilibagiza (who also wrote a bestseller on the brutal Rwandan civil war). "Mary told her that she was here to convert hearts back to Jesus and encourage people to say the Rosary because it's the most important tool of prayer and conversion we have to fight evil and receive God's love."

The apparitions correctly foresaw the civil war that would devastate Rwanda and during Mary's appearances there were extraordinary sun miracles and even an occasion during which a gentle rain fell, healing onlookers who were ill. One seer who died in the war claimed an apparition of Jesus.

But back to the Rosary:

"It held deep meaning for Mary, who said that she'd soon teach Marie-Clare how to pray this special Rosary," reports Ilibagiza in the book, Our Lady of Kibeho. "The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, I discovered, had been used by Christians for hundreds of years, but had somehow become lost in history. Until, that is, Marie-Claire's apparition -- at which point the special rosaries began to appear all over Rwanda."

"The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows contains all the power you need to change your life for the better, obtain peace and happiness, realize your true potential, fulfill all your dreams, and grow closer to God's light," states the bestselling author, who then explains how to recite it (see below).

"I speak from experience when I promise that you'll never regret learning this wonderful Rosary and that you'll lose track of the countless blessings that praying it will bring into your life," says the author. "It's my hope that more people than ever before will learn just how amazing this Rosary is."

This Rosary, the Blessed Mother reportedly emphasized, was not just for Catholics but those of all faiths. "What I am asking you to do is to repent," said the Virgin of Kibeho. "If you say the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows and meditate on it well, you will find all the strength you need to repent of your sins and convert your heart.

The Blessed Mother said that prayers "have no meaning if they do not come from the depths of your heart, and you cannot open your heart to the Lord without humility." She especially wanted the Rosary prayed on Tuesdays (the day the first apparitions started) and Fridays.

A key song the seers were taught included the lyrics: The Blessed Mother is truly the Virgin. I will pray for her help all day and all night. I will pray for her help in sorrow, I will pray for her help with every breath."

"The world has become deaf and cannot hear the truth of the Word," said Mary, who came under the title of Mother of the Word. "Today people no longer know how to apologize for the wrong they do through sin; they put the Son of God on the Cross again and again.

"That is why I have come here. I have come to remind the world -- and especially you here in Rwanda, where I still can find humble souls and people who are not attached to money or wealth -- to hear my words with open hearts. Pray my Seven Sorrows Rosary to find repentance."

[resources: Our Lady of Kibeho, The Imitation of Christ, and The Day Will Come]

[see also: Rosary of the Seven Sorrows and Sorrowful Rosaries]

[resources: Tampa Michael Brown retreat and Detroit retreat: spiritual warfare, preparation, protection]

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