Kampala (Agenzia Fides) – 2018 Uganda Martyrs Day is celebrated on 3 June, an event that gathers pilgrims at the Namugongo Catholic Shrine. Since Saturday 26 May the faithful have thronged Munyonyo Martyrs Catholic Shrine to take part in a 10 km pilgrimage dubbed ‘Walk of Faith’ to be held on 3 June. The ‘Walk’, is part of the pilgrims’ spiritual preparation for the UMD celebration, dedicated to martyrs. This will be third edition of the ‘Walk of Faith’ pilgrimage since its launch in 2016.
The symbolic pilgrimage begins from Munyonyo Martyrs Shrine since it is the place where King Mwanga II made the decision to execute the Martyrs, and concludes at St. Matia Mulumba Parish in Old Kampala, a place where St. Matia Mulumba (one of the Catholic Martyrs) was killed.
The first three Catholic Martyrs, namely, St. Denis Ssebuggwawo, St. Andrew Kaggwa and St. Pontiano Ngondwe were killed at Munyonyo on May 26, 1886. However, some were killed along the way, while others were burned alive in Namugongo on June 3.
The Walk will be flagged off by the Archbishop of Tororo, Most. Rev. Emmanuel Obbo and the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, who will also be the chief walker. During the walk, the pilgrims will make two stopovers for prayers at strategic sites where some of the Martyrs were killed, before proceeding to the final destination at St. Matia Mulumba Parish where they will have a celebration of Holy Mass, presided over by Archbishop Obbo of Tororo Archdiocese.
Meanwhile, Novena prayers will be held at Namugongo Catholic Shrine from May 25 to June 2, 2018. Catholic faithful across the country are called upon to participate in the novena prayers seeking the intercession of the Martyrs.
The Uganda Martyrs Day celebration usually attracts millions of pilgrims from across the world to commemorate the heroic faith of the Catholic Martyrs, who were burnt to death on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II, the then king of Buganda between 1885 and 1887, for refusing to denounce their faith. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 30/5/2018)