Kibeho, about 162 kilometres south of Kigali was approved by the Vatican as a holy site after claims that the Virgin Mary appeared to three Rwandan children before the genocide.
Hundreds of Catholics, including 60 priests, 30 nuns and brothers and over 100 Christians on Thursday set off for Kibeho in Rwanda to officially receive the statue of Virgin Mary, which was offered to Uganda.
Kibeho, about 162 kilometers from Kigali was approved by the Vatican as a holy site after claims the Virgin Mary appeared to three Rwandan children before the genocide.
It was named "Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrow" in 1992 and every year thousands of catholic pilgrims from across the world including Ugandans visit the holy site.
Msgr Lawrence Ssemusu, the second vicar of Kampala Archdiocese, said the statue will be positioned permanently at St Charles Lwanga Parish, Ggaba for devotees to venerate.
Upon arrival at Kibeho, the team was welcomed by authorities of Kibeho Shrine. “This is a special pilgrimage. Usually, we travel to Kibeho to pray but this time, we are going to receive the Virgin Mary’s image to bring it to our country,” Ssemusu said.
Ssemusu explained that they will receive the statue of Virgin Mary on Saturday and immediately depart for Kampala. A special mass will be held on Sunday at St Charles Lwanga, Ggaba at 11:30am where the Virgin Mary statue will be situated.
Meanwhile, the delegation’s journey was also affected by the tension at Katuna border. Travelling in three buses, the pilgrims had to use the Mirama hills border in Ntungamo-a distance of about 90km from Katuna. At Katuna, scores of Ugandan motorists and cylists were blocked from entering or leaving Rwanda through their border points.
Among those who travelled to Rwanda is Chairman of the laity Gervase Ndyanabo, the Deputy Managing director of the Vision Group.