“My body will be here,” the girl told him. “But I’ll be away until Sunday.”

They were not just “visions,” nor mystical “travels” as many mystics have reported. During the events in Kibeho, the seers went into such a deep sleep or really coma that priests and doctors were convinced that one was dead — and began to talk of burial. There have been cases of this reported with certain mystics, but not ones associated with formal sites of apparition.

The first to experience this was also the first visionary, Alphonsine Mumureke — who is now a nun in a town about an hour from Rome. Her episode occurred during March of 1982, when the Blessed Mother invited her to travel to a “special place.” It would be an “overnight trip,” she was told — with a “return” on the 17-year-old girl’s birthday.

Before they went, Our Lady supposedly warned Alphonsine to instruct the school director that while it would appear as if the girl were dead, not to bury her! — an instruction that was naturally met with stunned disbelief. “My body will be here,” the girl told him. “But I’ll be away until Sunday.” A note was also penned to the bishop.

The details of these journeys are in the book Kibeho, by Father Gabriel Maindron, and Our Lady of Kibeho, by Immaculee Ilibagiza (and Steve Erwin). Indeed, on that Saturday, March 20, Alphonsine was found lying in bed at the school dormitory, in what appeared to be a deep slumber, still fully dressed, her skin waxen, her hands neatly folded over her chest.

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