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About Immaculee Ilibagiza
Immaculée Ilibagiza is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide that took the lives of nearly one million Tutsis. Men, women and children, including her entire family except for one of her brothers, were massacred at the hands of Hutu marauders. Immaculée found shelter at a pastor's home, where she and seven other women hid from the deadly rebel mob in a 3-by-4-foot bathroom for 91 days. During those 91 days of unimaginable suffering, Immaculée found her faith, taught herself English, and most incredibly, committed herself to a life of peace, hope and forgiveness, even for those who had murdered her family.
After the Genocide finally ended, Immaculée found work at the United Nations, emigrating from Rwanda to the United States in 1998. She has gone on the receive five honorary doctoral degrees, write seven books about her faith and her life journey, and is the recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace.
Immaculée's first book, Left to Tell; Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust (Hay House) was released in March of 2006. Left to Tell quickly became a New York Times Best Seller. To date, it has been translated into seventeen languages and has sold nearly two million copies. Immaculée's story has also been made into a documentary entitled The Diary of Immaculée.
Left to Tell has received a Christopher Award "affirming the highest values of human spirit," and was chosen as Outreach Magazine's selection for "Best Outreach Testimony/Biography Resource of 2007." Left to Tell has been adopted into the curriculum of dozens of high schools and universities, including Villanova University, which selected it for their "One Book Program," making Left to Tell mandatory reading for its 6,000 students.
Immaculée has written six additional books in recent years - Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide, Our Lady of Kibeho, If Only We Had Listened, Visit from Heaven, and The Boy Who Met Jesus, and The Rosary: The Prayer that Saved my Life.
She has appeared on 60 Minutes, The CBS Early Show, CNN, EWTN, CBS Evening News, The Aljazeera Network and in The New York Times, USA Today, Newsday, and many other domestic and international media outlets. She was recently featured in Michael Collopy's Architects of Peace project, which has honored legendary people like Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.
Today, Immaculée is regarded as one of world's leading speakers on faith, hope and forgiveness. She has shared this universal message with world leaders, school children, multinational corporations, churches, and at events and conferences around the world, including a recent presentation to over 200,000 people in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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Incredibly, Immaculee survived the slaughter. For 91 days, she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor while hundreds of machete-wielding killers hunted for them. It was during those endless hours of unspeakable terror that Immaculee discovered the power of prayer, eventually shedding her fear of death and forging a profound and lasting relationship with God.
She emerged from her bathroom hideout having discovered the meaning of truly unconditional love—a love so strong she was able seek out and forgive her family’s killers. The triumphant story of this remarkable young woman’s journey through the darkness of genocide will inspire anyone whose life has been touched by fear, suffering, and loss.
Much like what happened at similar sites such as Fátima and Lourdes, the messengers of Kibeho were at first mocked and disbelieved. But as miracle after miracle occurred in the tiny village, tens of thousands of Rwandans journeyed to Kibeho to behold the apparitions. For years, countless onlookers watched as the Mother and Son of God spoke through the eight seers about God’s love, sending messages that they insisted were meant not only for Rwandans, but for the entire world, to hear. Mary also sent messages to government and church leaders to instruct them how to end the ethnic hatred simmering in their country. She warned them that Rwanda would become “a river of blood” —a land of unspeakable carnage —if the hatred of the people was not quickly quelled by love.
Some leaders listened, but very few believed: the prophetic and apocalyptic warnings tragically came true during 100 horrifying days of savage bloodletting and mass murder. After the genocide, and two decades of rigorous investigation, Our Lady of Kibeho became the first and only Vatican-approved Marian (that is, related to the Virgin Mary) site in all of Africa. But the story still remains largely unknown.
Now, Immaculée Ilibagiza plans to change all that. She made many pilgrimages to Kibeho both before and after the holocaust, personally witnessed true miracles, and spoke with a number of the visionaries themselves. What she’s discovered will deeply touch your heart.
His name was Segatashya. He was a shepherd born into a penniless and illiterate pagan family in the most remote region of Rwanda. He never attended school, never saw a bible, and never set foot in a church. Then one summer day in 1982 while the 15-year-old was resting beneath a shade tree, Jesus Christ paid him a visit.
Jesus asked the startled young man if he'd be willing to go on a mission to remind mankind how to live a life that leads to heaven. Segatashya accepted the assignment on one condition: that Jesus answer all his questions-and all the questions of those he met on his travels-about faith, religion, the purpose of life, and the nature of heaven and hell. Jesus agreed to the boy's terms, and Segatashya set off on what would become one of the most miraculous journeys in modern history.
Although he was often accused of being a charlatan and beaten as a result, Segatashya's innocent heart and powerful spiritual wisdom quickly won over even the most cynical of critics. Soon, this teenage boy who had never learned to read or write was discussing theology with leading biblical scholars and advising pastors and priests of all denominations. He became so famous in Rwanda that the Catholic Church investigated his story.
The doctors and psychiatrists who examined Segatashya all agreed that they were witnessing a miracle. His words and simple truths converted thousands of hearts and souls wherever he went. Before his death during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Segatashya continued his travels and conversations with Jesus for eight years, asking Him what we all want to know:
· Why were we created?
· Why must we suffer?
· Why do bad things happen to good people?
· When will the world end?
· Is there life after death?
· How do we get to Heaven?
The answers to these and many other momentous, life-changing questions are revealed in this riveting book, which is the first full account of Segatashya's remarkable life story. Written with grace, passion, and loving humor by Immaculée Ilibagiza, Segatashya's close friend and a survivor of the Rwandan holocaust herself, this truly inspirational work is certain to move you in profound ways.
No matter what your faith or religious beliefs, Segatashya's words will bring you comfort and joy, and prepare your heart for this life . . . and for life everlasting.
Nearly two decades later, Immaculée continues to pray the rosary every day and marvels at how she is constantly renewed and richly rewarded by this glorious prayer. It has helped her in every possible way, from strengthening her faith to changing heartache into happiness and landing her a dream job . . . and that’s just for starters. She has witnessed—and been the recipient of—the rosary’s ability to create miracles so often that she vowed to share its blessings with as many people as she could.
In these pages, Immaculée reveals how the rosary’s abundant benefits can be reaped by each and every one of us, regardless of our religious affiliations. In this moving and uplifting book, the New York Times best-selling author recounts her personal experience of discovering the power and the beauty of the ancient beads—and shows all of us how to enrich our own lives by exploring and embracing the mysteries, secrets, and promises of the prayer that indeed saved her life.
Un día de verano de 1982, cuanto este chico de 15 años descansaba de su trabajo bajo la sombra de una acacia, Jesús le visitó y le pidió si estaba dispuesto a cumplir una misión: recordar a la humanidad cómo vivir en la tierra de modo que pudieran ir al cielo. Segatashya aceptó con una condición: que Jesús respondiera todas sus preguntas sobre la fe, la doctrina, el sentido de la vida, cómo era el cielo y el infierno… Jesús accedió a la proposición del chico y este inició uno de las viajes más milagrosos de la historia moderna.
La inocencia de Segatashya y el corazón sincero de este adolescente, pronto se impuso a la desconfianza de algunos. Sin saber ni leer ni escribir, llegó a debatir con especialistas en Sagrada Escritura, con sacerdotes y teólogos… Llegó a ser tan famoso en Ruanda, que la Iglesia estableció una comisión de investigación para establecer si las apariciones de Jesús eran reales. Los médicos y psiquiatras que le examinaron llegaron a la conclusión de que estaban siendo testigos de un milagro. Sus palabras, las verdades que expresaba de un modo sencillo, convirtieron los corazones de miles de personas allá por donde iba.
Antes de su muerte, durante el genocidio de Ruanda de 1994, Segastashya continuó viajando por Ruanda y por los países vecinos, conversando con Jesús y preguntándolo todo lo que cada uno de nosotros queremos saber: ¿Por qué hemos sido creados? ¿Por qué tenemos que sufrir? ¿Por qué le pasan malas cosas a los buenos? ¿Cuándo finalizará el mundo? ¿Hay vida después de la muerte? ¿Cómo se va al cielo? Las respuestas a estas preguntas cruciales se encuentran en este fascinante libro, que es el primer intento de poner por escrito la increíble historia de Segatashya.
Escrito con pasión, gracia y ternura, este libro de Immaculée Ilibagiza, que fue amiga de Segatashya y que sobrevivió al terrible holocausto ruandés, llegará a conmover el corazón de los lectores de un modo profundo. Da igual si no se es católico, las palabras de Segatashya nos llenarán de alegría y de calor, y prepararán nuestro corazón para esta vida y para la futura que no tendrá fin.