Thursday, June 2nd was the Feast Day of St. Eugene. The next day, Friday, June 3rd, was the Feast Day of the Ugandan Martyrs - St. Charles Lwanga and Companions. St. Charles and 12 young Catholic men were martyred on Friday, June 3rd,1886 in Namugongo, Uganda. The youngest martyr was Kizito, age 14. Many Anglican Christians were martyred that day also. The martyrs were canonized by Pope Paul the VI in 1964. Today there is a shrine in Namugongo and each year millions of Africans make a pilgrimage to the shrine to celebrate the feast day. St. John Paul II visited the shrine in 1993.
This is a picture of the celebration held this year sent by Fr. John Bosco, pastor of our Twinning Parish/Our Lady Queen of Apostles in Nkokonjeru, Uganda. He writes: “Almost everyone is talking about the Namugongo pilgrimage and many people just walked to the shrine, even from as far as the Republic of Kenya and Tanzania! People who attended the Martyrs’ Day were in the millions!”
Let us pray the Uganda Martyrs prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, who wonderfully strengthened the Holy Martyrs of Uganda St. Charles Lwanga, and their Companions; and gave them to us as examples of faith and fortitude, chastity, charity, and fidelity; grant, we beseech Thee, that by their Intercession, the same virtues may increase in us, and that we may deserve to become propagators of the true faith. Who lives and reigns in the world without end. Amen.