Beatification Process for CYPRIEN & DAPHROSE Rugamba ..

In September 1990, Cyprien and Daphrose Rugamba started the Emmanuel Community in Kigali, Rwanda. On the 7th April 1994, the first day of the genocide in Rwanda, they were assassinated with 6 of their 10 children. The couple’s reputation for holiness throughout the country impelled the Emmanuel Community to request the opening of their cause for canonization.

Brief biography

Cyprien (1935-1994) and Daphrose (1944-1994) came from the same parish in the south of the country. After two and a half years in seminary, Cyprian continued studying history in Burundi and in Belgium. He worked in senior management. An acknowledged specialist in Social Sciences, he devoted much of his time to poetry, music and choreography. Daphrose became a teacher. She later gave her time to her children. The couple married in January 1965 but experienced major difficulties in their marriage until the conversion of Cyprian in 1982 – for which his wife prayed ardently. From that moment they became a couple where love, tenderness, sensitivity and complicity were visible to all. The testing of their marriage and the healing action of conversion gave them particular strength in evangelizing African couples. They lived a life of intense faith in the charismatic renewal and in prayer groups. They showed compassion especially for sick people and street children. They encountered the Emmanuel Community in 1989 through Fidesco during a visit to Paray-le-Monial. Back in their own country, they started a household (a weekly sharing group). The first Community Weekend took place on 22-23rd September 1990. The Emmanuel Community in Rwanda was born. At the time of their death three years later, the Community had a hundred members in Rwanda. Today there are 1,000.

Their pacifist attitude and the public statements of Cyprian denouncing the calls to violence and the mention of ethnic groups on identity cards in a climate of growing civil war, placed the Rugamba couple on the list of important persons to assassinate. They were killed on the first day of the genocide in their house with 6 of their 10 children.

On Friday, 18th September 2015, at 3.00pm in the Cathedral of St. Michael in Kigali, Archbishop Thaddeus Ntihinyurwa of Kigali chairs the opening of the cause for the canonization of Cyprien and Daphrose Rugamba and the Mass of thanksgiving.  Even though there are two different processes for the two spouses, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has asked that there should only be one prayer for them both. In 2022, this prayer also includes the children who died with them

Watch this video to discover their story

Holy Father,
We pray for the beatification of the Servants of God, Cyprien and Daphrose and the children who died with them.

Give us through their intercession, to always have like them a heart burning with love for you, an incessant zeal for adoration, and  an active compassion for all who suffer.
Help us to give of ourselves freely for the evangelization of families and of the poor.

In communion with Cyprien and Daphrose Rugamba, we especially entrust to you couples who experience marital difficulties and people struggling to forgive their enemies, and we ask you us instruments of peace. 

In communion with the children who died with them, we pray for all the little ones, especially the children, victims of mistreatment and violence 

Through the intercession of these Servants of God,
we ask you Lord, according to Your will,
the grace of … (a prayer is expressed)
Lord, grant us peace and the grace that we ask in faith.