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Saturday, June 3, 2006
Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and companions

Memorial (1969 Calendar): June 3

Today is the Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and companions, martyrs. I've never heard of them before this week, so I did some research on them. St. Charles Lwanga was born in 1865 at Bulimu, Buganda, Uganda. He was a servant of King Mwanga of Uganda. In 1885 he converted to Catholicism and for that he was burned to death in 1886 at Namugongo, Uganda because they refused to give in to the homosexual demands of King Mwanga. Yet, St. Charles did not scream in pain as he burned to death. He even helped arrange the sticks for the fire and said he was pleased to die for the True Faith. The Gift of Fortitude was very strong in him. St. Charles Lwanga is one of 22 people that we remember for dying for their faith in Uganda.

Again we see the example of a martyr. Yesterday was the Optional Memorial of Ss. Marcellinus and Peter and the day before that was the Memorial of St. Justin. All of them martyrs because they died for Jesus Christ - they refused to deny Him. This love and devotion, as evident by St. Charles, continues today. St. Justin died for our Lord in 165 AD while St. Charles Lwanga gave the same sacrifice in 1886. Yet, as I posted about before, the Age of Martyrs continues because each year people still die for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Canonization of St. Charles Lwanga:

"The African martyrs add another page to the Church's roll of honor - an occasion both of mourning and of joy. These African martyrs herald the dawn of a new age. If only the mind of man might be directed not toward persecutions and religious conflicts but toward a rebirth of Christianity and civilization! Africa has been washed by the blood of these latest martyrs, and first of this new age (and, God willing, let them be the last, although such a holocaust is precious indeed). Africa is reborn free and independent."

From the homily at the canonization of Saint Charles Lwanga and companions by Pope Paul VI

Photos of the Canonization:


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