Rugamba family: closure of the diocesan phase of the beatification process

Further progress in the beatification process of the Rugamba family: on 23 September 2021, their file was sealed and sent to Rome, marking the end of the diocesan phase of this process.

The beatification file of this Rwandan family is substantial. It contains no less than 5,000 pages divided into 17 volumes. On 23 September, the file was sealed by the Cardinal Archbishop of Kigali, Mgr Antoine Kambanda, to send it to Rome to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. More than 1,000 people attended the ceremony, which took place in the Regina Pacis Church in Kigali.
 
Cyprien and Daphrose Rugamba and six of their children were murdered at the very beginning of the Rwandan genocide, on the night of 7 April 1994, after a night spent adoring the Blessed Sacrament. Cyprien and Daphrose were married in 1965. Cyprien was an unbeliever. He was a man of science and an artist. He is known throughout Rwanda for his poetry and songs that speak of the beauty of Rwandan culture. As a man of science, Cyprien became convinced that the Rwandan people are one: one people, one language, one culture. He used to say: “There are no Hutus, no Tutsis, there are only Rwandans. This stance did not please the ruling power.
 
Cyprien and Daphrose’s marriage had a difficult start. Daphrose prayed faithfully for her husband’s conversion. After 17 years together, Cyprian was converted by a mysterious illness. From then on, together with Daphrose, they became a radiant and evangelizing couple. They met the Charismatic Renewal and received the outpouring of the Spirit. They gave themselves unstintingly to the service of the poor. Cyprien continues to compose songs in which he exalts love, forgiveness, and the unity of the Rwandan people, while other artists everywhere promote violence and hatred. Cyprian, an apostle of unity, proclaims: “There are no Hutus, no Tutsis, there are only children of God. He becomes a true prophet of love in a country that is preparing for genocide! With Daphrose, he founded the Rwandan Emmanuel Community in 1990.
 
Their life was told in the documentary film J’entrerai au ciel en dansant.
 
The Rugamba cause is significant for Rwanda: it is the first cause of beatification in the country and the cause of a whole family. The Cardinal wishes to make this event a sign of hope for all the families of Rwanda and of Africa, who are experiencing typical difficulties in family life and who will be able to find in the example of the Rugamba family strength and courage to overcome these difficulties by relying on the grace of God.

Prayer for the beatification of Cyprien and Daphrose Rugamba and their children who died with them.

Holy Father, we pray to you for the beatification of the servants of God Cyprien and Daphrose Rugamba and the children who died with them. Through their intercession, may we always have, like them, a heart burning with love for you, an unceasing zeal for adoration, an active compassion for all those who suffer. Help us to give ourselves unstintingly to the service of the evangelisation of families and the poor. In communion with Cyprien and Daphrose Rugamba, we entrust to you especially couples who are experiencing marital difficulties and people who find it difficult to forgive their enemies, and we ask you to make us instruments of your peace. In communion with the children who died with them, we pray for all the little ones, especially children, who are victims of abuse and violence. Through the intercession of the servants of God, we dare to ask you, according to your will, for the grace of… (a prayer is expressed) Lord, grant us the peace and grace that we ask of you in faith. Amen.

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