Honorary Rwandan Grand Prior, HM King Kigeli V passes away (October 2016)
The Grand Chancellor and his Lady Wife with HM King Kigeli V in a private audience on the latter's 80th birthday earlier this year.
The Chancellor of the Royal Household of Rwanda, the Chevalier Boniface Benzinge with the Supreme Grand Prior and the Grand Chancellor being introduced to HE The President of Malta at the International Lazarite Congress in April 2016.
In Memoriam: It is with deep regret that the Supreme Grand Priory of the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem announces the passing away of the Honorary Grand Prior of the Grand Priory of Rwanda, His Majesty King Kigeli V of Rwanda. Kigeli V Ndahindurwa (Jean-Baptiste Ndahindurwa; b. 29 June 1936 - d. 16 October 2016) was the last ruling King (Mwami) of Rwanda, from 28 July 1959 until the overthrow of the monarchy on 28 January 1961.
The titular King resided in the city of Oakton, Virginia, United States. In exile, he is known for heading the King Kigeli V Foundation, which aims at promoting and expanding humanitarian work for Rwandan refugees, and for his activities in maintaining the cultural heritage of his formerly reigning royal house. He was also a Knight Grand Cross of Merit of the Companionate of Merit of the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.
The Supreme Grand Priory announces that events throughout the 72 jurisdictions of the Order are suspended for a period of mourning of four days, from Monday 17th October to Thursday 20th October. On Friday 21st October, at the Investiture Service of the Grand Priory of Macedonia in Skopje, the Grand Chancellor of the Order will lead a vigil in honour of HM Kigeli V.
The Supreme Grand Priory also announces that the head of the Grand Priory of Rwanda temporarily rests on the Chancellor of the Royal Household of Rwanda, the Chevalier Boniface Benzinge. Further instructions will be given at a later date.
May God rest his soul and may all your prayers be directed to this wonderful and majestic man who kept Rwanda and its people in his heart through thick and thin.