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3 JUN commemorated the Martyrdom of Christians in Uganda

3 JUN commemorated the Martyrdom of Christians in Uganda

Karoli_Lwanga_and_his_followers
An icon of the Roman Catholic martyrs, Charles Lwanga and Companions. Click to enlarge

Yesterday, Friday 3 JUN, marked the 140th anniversary of the order by King Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda that those who had converted to Christianity were to be executed. The murders occurred over the period NOV 1885 to JAN 1887. In all, 22 Roman Catholic converts and 23 Anglican converts were martyred. This past DEC 2015 we covered the visit of Pope Francis to both the Catholic & Anglican shrines near Namugango Unganda. While visiting the Anglican shrine, Francis dedicated the newly renovated museum.

The tradition in Uganda is to walk from one’s home to the site of the shrine to the martyrs. Some pilgrims walk hundreds of miles. The Episcopal News Service reports that more than 200,00 pilgrims were camping near the Anglican shrine, with more travelers on the way. The Roman Catholic shrine is about a mile away and also is camped about by pilgrims. In addition to the Ugandans, pilgrims have also come from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. A large influx of folks arriving by transport were expected on 3 JUN. There are also pilgrims from North America and Europe in the throng.

The Roman Catholic Church beatified the Catholic martyrs in 1920 by Benedict XV. Paul Vi canonized them as saints in 1964. During the canonization service, Pope Paul remembered the Anglican martyrs saying, “Nor, indeed, do we wish to forget the others who, belonging to the Anglican confession, confronted death in the name of Christ.”

The main image of a diarama in the Anglican shrine museum is from the Episcopal News Service article.
The icon is by Albert Wider – http://www.heiligenlexikon.de and declared to be PD, Copyrighted free use, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=576642</em>.

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