LIRA, JUNE 5, 2015 (CISA) – Over three million pilgrims from different parts of the world gathered for the celebrations of the Uganda Martyrs day on June 3, at Namugongo shrine in Uganda.
500 pilgrims from the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret in Kenya walked 700 kilometres for over a month to the shrine for the event.
According to Vatican Radio, Fr Justice Oyugi Ogonda, their chaplain said that the group had an exciting spiritual journey and thanked the people of Uganda for warmly welcoming them along the way.
Pilgrims from 19 Catholic dioceses in Uganda and from various African countries arrived at Namugongo on foot to commemorate the day.
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda also attended the function.
Uganda Dioceses takes turns annually to organise the day’s liturgy and this time it was led by Lira Diocese that led the procession, choir, liturgical dances and the mass presided over by Bishop Joseph Franzelli of Lira Diocese in Uganda under the theme “Faithful to the end.”
In his homily, Bishop Franzelli reminded those present the importance of their faith urging them to demonstrate good examples in families and to their surrounding environs.
He went ahead to outline some societal vices including corruption, dishonesty, immorality, abuse of power among others and asked Christians to speak out against those vices.
“A true Christian should not be afraid of being unpopular when he or she speaks out against vices,” he said.
The day is commemorated annually in remembrance of the martyrdom of the 45 young Ugandan men who were burnt to death following an order by King of Buganda, Kabaka Mwanga ll for converting to Christianity.