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Tuesday 18 May |
Saint of the Day: St. John I
Daily Prayer
And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Saint Charles Lwanga and the Martyrs of Uganda

Patron saints of Equatorial Africa

CHARLES LWANGA

Rachel Strohm CC

Martyrs (d. 1886 and 1887)

Their story

+ This group of martyrs includes 22 royal pages of Uganda’s King Mwanga.

+ Led by Charles Lwanga and Joseph Mukasa, the young men were killed because of their Christian Faith and their refusal to obey the immoral and abusive orders of the king. Also killed with the Catholic martyrs honored today, are a group of Anglican martyrs. All shared the same fate, regardless of their faith tradition.

+ Although the king believed the murders would bring an end to Christianity, the number of catechumens grew from 800 to 3,000 in the year after the martyrs’ deaths.

+ The Martyrs of Uganda were canonized in 1964, during the Third Session of the Second Vatican Council. Saint Charles Lwanga and his companions are honored as the patron saints of Equitorial Africa. The various churches of the Anglican Communion also honor the Martyrs of Uganda on this day.

Spiritual Bonus

On June 3 we also remember Saint Kevin (or Ceomgen) of Glendalough. A monk and hermit, he was a close collaborator of other important early Irish saints, including Saint Comgall and Saint Columba. Saint Kevin died in 618 and is one of the patron saints of Ireland.

For reflection

These African martyrs inaugurate a new age… Africa is the new country of Christ. A clear witness of this fact is the direct simplicity and unshakeable fidelity of these young African Christians.”—Pope Saint Paul VI

Prayer

O God, who have made the blood of Martyrs
the seed of Christians,
mercifully grant that the field which is your Church,
watered by the blood
shed by Saints Charles Lwanga and his companions,
may be fertile and always yield you an abundant harvest.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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