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Feast of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions

Feast of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions

We’re so happy to celebrate the feast day of some of Africa’s most famous Saints, St. Charles Lwanga and his companions! They are also known as the Uganda Martyrs, and the city of Kampala is home to their famous shrine, which is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year.  
Ugandan Martyr Shrine

Who were the Uganda Martyrs?  

The Uganda martyrs were 22 men and boys from the court of the Ugandan king, Mwanga II, who often forced himself on his page boys. These young men had converted to Christianity and bravely resisted the advances of the king, knowing that in so doing they were risking their lives.  

The king, angered by their refusal, decided that they should be put to death. Knowing that martyrdom was coming, several more boys who wished to become Christians were baptized by St. Charles Lwanga, who was the leader of the pagesThe group of pages did not renounce their Christian religion, despite knowing that they would soon lose their lives. 
Who were the Uganda Martyrs?

How did Uganda Martyrs die? 

This heroic group of saints were condemned to a brutal death: a forced march of many milesat the end of which they would all be burned alive. Several of the martyrs were killed along the road, but the remaining young men walked for two days until they reached the place where they would be brutally put to death. They all went joyfully to their execution, knowing that their suffering would soon be over and they would enjoy their heavenly rewards. Their faith gave them the courage to remain strong.
What is St. Charles Lwanga the patron saint of?

What is St. Charles Lwanga the patron saint of?  

Pope St. Paul VI canonized St. Charles and his companions in 1964, and they are venerated throughout Africa and around the world. St. Charles is now the patron of African Catholic Youth Action. 

Today, please join us in prayer to the Uganda Martyrs and ask their intercession especially for the young people we serve through our CARITAS ministry: 

Prayer 
St. Kizito being baptised by St. Charles Lwanga

O God, who have made the blood of Martyrs 
the seed of Christians, 
mercifully grant that the field which is your Church, 
watered by the blood 
shed by Saints Charles Lwanga and his companions, 
may be fertile and always yield you an abundant harvest. 
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, 
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 

(from the Roman Missal)
 



Photo by Wulman83, Wikipedia