Most of the pilgrims inside the shrines both at the catholic and Anglican sites had occupied open spaces as organizers have been preparing and decorating the shelters for the celebration due tomorrow. However, the weather abruptly changed and everybody rushed to get a shelter.
The Greater Kigezi group was received at Namugongo by former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, the vice chairperson of the organizing committee of this years Martyrs Day celebrations. The four Dioceses will jointly lead the June 3 service at Namugongo Anglican Martyrs Shrine this year.
The journey and subsequent events are in remembrance of the suffering and death of at least 45 religious converts who paid the ultimate price for defending their newly found faith. Under the orders of Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda, the Christian converts were put to death between 1885 and 1887.
The annual pilgrimage attracts over two million people from all around the world in honour of the martyrdom of 45 young men who converted to Christianity between 1885 and 1887, to the annoyance of the then King of Buganda, Mwanga II. The young converts were burnt to death after they refused to denounce Christianity.
Monsignor Kauta made what he called a personal appeal to journalists to avoid such stories during this years Martyrs Day Celebrations. I am simply making this appeal to you as a preacher but also as a representative of the church. We get awkward storiesthey make bishops nervous and they hurt us badly, he said.
Mrs Theresa Obbo, chairperson of the pilgrims committee, said as of Wednesday, over 400 international pilgrims from Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania had registered and confirmed participation on June 3, 2018, at Namugongo Catholic Shrine.
According to Emilian Kayima, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, the offences for which they were arrested include petty theft, dealing in counterfeit, obtaining money by false pretence and smoking Marijuana among others.
Archbishop Nkoyooyo is currently in the United Kingdom UK where he travelled early this year to receive treatment for cancer. His medical condition came to the limelight following reports which indicated that the archbishop required close to 265 million Shillings to cater for his hospital bills. While addressing thousands of Christians at the martyrs day celebrations at Nakiyanja Namugongo today, Archbishop Ntagali said he visited the retired archbishop last week in London.
At Nakiyanja, the Anglican shrine, Namirembe Diocese organised this years celebration. Canon Henry Ssegawa, the vicar of Namugongo Martyrs Church, says at least 1,000 pilgrims walked on foot to the site, with 25 dioceses sending pilgrims. The guest preacher is Bishop Nathan Gasatura of Butare Diocese in Rwanda.
Deborah Kuganja, manager Brothers Supermarket in Kyaliwajala town, just metres from the catholic shrine, says she has not sold as much as she had anticipated. Maria-Goretti Nakatudde, a food vendor says she was not sure if she would be able to recover the capital she invested into her business.
Two teenage children from Lira Catholic Diocese have walked to Namungongo Martyrs Shrine to pray to God, through the martyrs, to guide them through their education. Gloria Ayao has a single parent who has no money to pay her tuition. She wants to become a nun. Flavia Ejang lost both parents while still a toddler. Raised by her grandmother, she wants to become a teacher.
A pilgrim from Lira district has collapsed and died on her way to Namugongo Shrine to celebrate this years Martyrs Day. According to Samuel Okwir Odwe, the Moroto County Member of Parliament, Scovia Moro, died at about 11:00am when the pilgrims had just reached Matugga trading centre in Wakiso District.
A total of 1547 pilgrims from Hoima Catholic Diocese on Friday evening set off for their expedition to Namugongo Martyrs Shrine ahead of the commemoration of the 45 Christians who were killed for their faith on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda between 1885 and 1887.
The day is commemorated every year in honor of the martyrdom of 45 young men who converted to Christianity between 1885 and 1887 to the annoyance of then King of Buganda, Mwanga II. The young converts were burnt to death after they refused to denounce Christianity.