Rwandan genocide survivor, Immaculee Ilibagiza, speaks at Saint Mary’s Parish in Manahawkin, New Jersey about her plight and profound faith experience that helped her find the strength live through the 1994 genocide. She and seven other women were hidden in a 3′ x 4′ bathroom for 91 days turning to the rosary to drown out the anger and fear inside her, and the evils that lurked just outside the door. Nearly one million of her extended family, friends, neighbors and fellow Rwandans massacred. After the genocide, Immaculée came face-to-face with the man who killed her mother and one of her brothers. After enduring months of physical, mental and spiritual suffering, Immaculée was still able to offer the unthinkable, telling the man, “I forgive you”.
Photograph by Jeffrey Bruno for Aleteia