By Paschal Norbert
NAMUGONGO, JUNE 3, 2022 (CISA) – Pilgrims from all works of life on the morning of June 3, braved a heavy downpour to access Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine Namugongo for the 2022 Martyrs Day Celebrations animated by the Catholic Diocese of Fort Portal under the shepherdship of Rt Rev Robert Muhiirwa Akiiki.
The June 3 official Uganda Martyrs Day Celebrations marks the culmination of a series of events beginning with the grand entry of foot pilgrims from the diocese of Fort Portal on May 31, the Tanzanian Pilgrims Mass, on June 1, and the Vigil Mass, on June 2.
The annual Martyrs Day celebrations resumed this year after a two-year hiatus following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and government directives banning all public gatherings in the country. For the past two years, Ugandans and pilgrims from all over the world followed the events online.
It is, however, the second time that the Catholic Diocese of Fort Portal is leading the national celebrations at Namugongo from 1997, when the event used to attract a paltry 3000 pilgrims and now, 2022, where the event attracts the participation of millions internationally.
Uganda’s Martyrs’ Day commemorates the late 19th-century martyrdom of a group of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic men who were ordered by then-King of Buganda Mwanga II to be put to death for having converted to Christianity.