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Memorial of Charles Lwanga Companions (Martyrs of Uganda)

by Isiyaku Ahmed
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By Emmanuel Gandu

Brutal Execution

3rd June 2022 is the memorial of the Martyrs of Uganda in the Catholic Liturgical calendar.

The Martyrs of Uganda are part of the group of 23 Anglicans and 22 Catholics who were brutally executed in Uganda between 1885 and 1887 for converting to, and refusing to renounce Christianity.

Beatification and canonization

For this rare show of martyrdom, the 22 Catholics whose ages ranged from 14 to 50 were beatified in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV, and later Canonized Saints by Pope Paul VI on 18 October 1964.

They include Charles Lwanga, Kizito (14 years old), and Matthias Kalemba Mulumba (50 years old).

Choice of name by knights of the church

In another mark of recognition for the Martyrs of Uganda, the Knights of St. Mulumba Nigeria named their Order after one of the Martyrs – Matthias Kalemba Mulumba.

The Knights decided to settle for the name Mulumba because:

(1) Matthias Mulumba was earlier:

(a) Worshiper of the African Traditional Religion.

(b) Converted to Islam.

(c) Converted to Christian Anglican, and finally

(d) Converted to Catholicism.

(2) Matthias Kalemba Mulumba was the oldest (50 years) of the 22 Martyrs of Uganda.

(3) The need to have an African indigenous Saint name for the Knights group founded in Africa by Africans.


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