Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (11: 27-33) in which the chief priest, scribes, and the elders of the Temple question where Jesus gets his authority from. Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little about Ugandan martyrs, St Charles Lwanga and his companions whose memorial we celebrate today.
Fr Paul says many Christians, Catholic and Protestant, were killed by the Ugandan king Mwanga. Some of them were servants in the king’s palace or even his personal attendants. Charles Lwanga and his twenty-one companions (the youngest, Kizito, was only 13) were executed for being Christians, for rebuking the king for his debauchery and his murder of an Anglican missionary.
They died between 1885 and 1887. Most of them were burned alive in a group after being tortured.
Within a year of their deaths, the number of catechumens in the country quadrupled. St Charles Lwanga is the patron of Catholic Action and of black African youth, and the Ugandan Martyrs’ feast day is a public holiday in Uganda.
So today, Fr Paul invites us to pray ‘St Charles Lwanga and his companions…Pray for us!’.