Kazo: St. Paul Catholic Parish holds Martyrs day celebrations
By Racheal Nuwahereza
Hundreds of believers have today gathered at St. Paul Kazo Catholic Parish, Kazo Town Council, Kazo District to commemorate the Uganda Martyrs Day 2022.
Rev. Fr Braise Ndyabangira, who led the mass told the believers that to endure persecution with the energy and supernatural power(Holy spirit) like that of the celebrated martyrs in order to receive prizes from the Lord.
He told believers that the lives of the persecuted Innocent believers are celebrated and that everyone should bear in his or her heart that he/she can become a martyr with Faith.
Father Ndyabangira noted that some cases of today’s local persecution include; Hatred, Domestic Violence, and Prolonged Sickness among others. He however told to the Church that the ones who endure these kinds of persecutions shall prosper and overcome every situation.
He further urged the church to pray constantly because there are people the same kind of ignorance and arrogance of a man like Kabaka Mwanga II, the then Kabaka of Buganda Kingdom.
From the start of his reign in 1884, King Mwanga II, viewed foreign missionaries as a great threat to his kingdom and power. He expelled missionaries and threatened converts to renounce their new faith or face execution.
On June 3rd 1886, 32 young men were burned to death at Namugongo for their refusal to renounce Christianity. They were a combination of Anglican and Catholic converts. In total, 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity were executed between January 31st 1885 and January 27th 1887.
Mwanga’s actions led to a British backed revolution which overthrew the King in 1888. Mwanga negotiated with the British and in exchange for handing over some of his sovereignty to the British East Africa Company, the British helped reinstate Mwanga to the throne in 1889. In 1897, he was disposed and he converted to Anglican while in exile.
In 1920, the Catholic Church beatified the 22 Catholic martyrs and in 1964, they were canonized as Saints of the universal Church.
Each year Uganda Martyrs Day attracts millions of pilgrims with many coming from beyond Uganda flock Namugongo in commemoration of the martyrs in form of prayers, pilgrimage, merry making and singing praises.
Story by Mwebaze Deus