The Uganda Martyrs executed in Kampala at the orders of Kabaka Mwanga between 1885 and 1887 were forty five young men: twenty-two Roman Catholics and twenty-three Anglicans. To this number we can add other two: the two young catechists who were killed in Paimol near Kalongo in Northern Uganda on 18 October 1918. They too had refused to renounce the new reI igion of which they were the catechists. The Comboni Missionaries had arrived from Italy in Northern Uganda in 1911 and announced there the Good News of Christ.
God gave these young Christians a special grace to accept death rather than renounce the gift of faith they had just received. Pope Paul VI recognised and canonised them on 18 October 1964 as Holy Martyrs because they poured out their blood for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Each one of us should make some self-examination by asking: “How much do I know the Uganda Martyrs?” “How has this knowledge influenced the decisions I take in my life?” Together, let us now pray with, and to these Martyrs, who are our own martyrs, saints, brothers, and ancestors in the faith, to intercede for us so that we live the life of Christian witness and become Saints.
The Martyrs Basilicas
Namugongo Martyrs Shrine
The Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo is one of the largest Christian pilgrimage destinations in Africa dedicated to the 22 Martyrs and saints of Uganda who were martyred between 1885 and 1887 by the king of Buganda, Kabaka Mwanga II. The Shrine is located in Kira Municipality, Wakiso District, in Central Uganda. approximately 15 kilometers (9.3 miles), by road, northeast of Kampala City.
Munyonyo Martyrs Shrine
Munyonyo Martyrs' Shrine is the starting point of the last journey of young Christians for their execution in Namugongo on 3 June 1886. Having been sentenced to death in Munyonyo on 26th May (Wednesday), the condemned then began upon their own walk to Calvary – a two day journey to Namugongo, which they reached on 27th May (Thursday). Some had already been killed in Munyonyo, others were killed along the way, but the majority were burned alive in Namugongo on 3rd June