Uganda has today the 3rd of June, 2020 marked her first-ever Scientific Martyrs Day Celebrations 2020.
Unlike the other past 99 celebrations that were characterized by hundreds and thousands of pilgrims since the beatification in 1920 and canonization in 1964 of the Uganda Martyrs, the 100th celebration will remain historical due to the fact that it was celebrated with less than 50 pilgrims including the church leaders and media reporters having the lay faithful following the proceedings on live television and radio broadcasts.
In a Mass led by His Grace Rt. Rev. Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese helped by other priests and a choir of few people in the Namugongo Martyrs shrine basilica under the theme
“With the Uganda Martyrs filled with faith and hope, we shall overcome”, the Archbishop urged Christians to strengthen the domestic churches referring to their home by reciting the morning, evening and other related prayers daily.
He also stated the different challenges being encountered as a result of the pandemic such as instabilities among families hence calling and praying for peace through the Uganda martyrs, health challenges that resulted into contraction of the virus by the medical personnel and poverty.
In this Scientific Martyrs Day Celebrations 2020, he was assisted by various priests, for example, Rev. Vicent Lubega the parish priest of Namugongo Martyrs shrine.
In addition, Rev.Fr. Muwonge the in charge of the Uganda martyrs history, Rev. Fr. Pius Male the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Kampala who also read the gospel from John 12:24-26 and other three priests identified as the relatives of some of the Uganda Martyrs.
It should be remembered that the main annual celebrations were
canceled in a letter dated 29th/04/2020 written to the Cardinal, Archbishops,
Bishops, Priests and all the lay faithful due to COVID-19 by the Chairman
Uganda Episcopal Conference Rt. Rev. Joseph Antony Zziwa the ordinary of
THE MIRACLES THAT LED TO THE CANONISATION OF THE UGANDA MARTYRS
The miracles whose recognition by the tribunal justified this final verdict concerned two Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (White Sisters): Sr. Rechildis Buck and Sr. Mary Aloyse Criblet. Both of them had contracted the plague while attending to Sr. Philothy, of the Bannabikira, who had caught it herself in similar circumstances. The bacteriological analysis confirmed that it was bubonic plague;
Dr. Ahmad, who was treating them, consulted a second doctor and, although they tried various types of medicine, there seemed to be no possibility of saving the patients’ lives.
A novena in honor of the Blessed Martyrs was immediately started in Rubaga Cathedral and the Martyrs’ relics were placed on the dying Sisters.
Three days later, to the doctors’ amazement, both patients were completely cured.
During the process of canonization long debates took place between specialists on the possibility of a cure from the type of medicine that had been used.
The conclusions were that not only was the medicine ineffective in itself, but even if it had been effective, it could not have produced such immediate results. The two main witnesses were the doctors who had attended the case, Dr. Ahmad, a Muslim, and Dr. Reynolds, a Protestant.
With this background, Uganda Martyrs were beatified on 6th-June-1920 by Pope Benedict XV and later declared as saints on 8th-June-1964 by Pope Paul VI.
The Holy Uganda Martyrs List and what they Patronize:
St. Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe -Patron of Politicians and Civil Servants.
St.Anthanasius Bazzekuketta-Patron of those in in charge of Finance, Treasury and Banks.
St. Denis Ssebuggwawo-Patron of Singers, Musicians and Choirs
St. Mukasa Kiriwawanvu -Patron of Restaurants, Hotels and Pubs
St. Andrew Kaggwa- Patron of teachers, catechists and families
St. Anatoli Kiriggwajjo –Patron of hunters and herdsmen
St. Yakobo Buzaabalyawo –Patron of merchants and co-operatives.
St. Pontian Ngondwe –Patron of the soldiers, policemen and militia.
St. Gonzaga Gonza –Patron of prisoners, travelers, ill-treated and those in trouble.
St. Bruno Sserunkuuma –Patron of the alcoholic, the violent, those with lust of flesh and improper marriages.
St.Kizito Omuto -Patron of young children particularly those below the age of 15
The Holy Uganda Martyrs List and what they Patronize continued
St. Charles Lwanga-Patron of the African youth and of catholic action
St. Matia Mulumba –Patron of Chiefs and Families
St. Luka Banabakintu –Patron of fishermen, sailors, mechanics, students and black-smiths.
St. Noah Mawaggali –Patron of the poor, technicians and the artists.
St. Adolf Ludigo –Patron of farmers and herdsmen
St. Mbaaga Tuzinde- Patron of vocations mainly seminarians, aspirants, postulants and novices.
St. Gyaviira Musoke –Patron saint of traffic communications and those troubled by witchcrafts.
St. Achilles Kiwanuka Patron of journalists, press writers, printers and artist.
St. Ambrose Kibuuka –Patron of societies and youth movements such as scouts
St. Mugagga Lubowa Patron of clubs, community development, culture and home craft
St. John Maria Muzeeyi –Patron of Doctors,nurses, hospitals & patients
Bl. Jildo Irwa was a catechist and was killed in 1918
Bl. Daudi Okello was a catechist and was killed in 1918
Compiled by Musisi Frank
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