The feast day of St. Charles Lwanga is celebrated on June 3.
The Society of Missionaries attracted many converts in Uganda. The converts soon became teachers of the faith also. Uganda was ruled by King Mwanga who was violent and a pedophile. The Christians who lived and taught at King Mwanga’s court tried to protect the pages from the King. The leader of the 200 Christians was Joseph Mkassa. He confronted the King after a Protestant missionary and his companions were killed. Mwanga ordered his execution. Before he was beheaded and burned on Nov. 15, 1885 Joseph forgave Mwanga, but asked for repentance.
St. Charles, who was 18 when he converted, became the new leader of the Christian group. For six months the persecution lessened. Then, however, King Mwanga became angry and killed another student of Christianity with a spear. He ordered the royal compound sealed so no one could escape. Charles baptized four catecheumens (students) that night. The next day the king ordered the 15 boys and men to be executed because they refused to give up being Christians. They were ordered to walk 37 miles to be executed in Namugongo. Three died on the journey. After seven days in prison, they were burned to death. Thirteen Catholics and eleven Protestant’s died.
The Catholic faith was practiced in secret without clergy. After the death of King Mwanga, there were 500 Christians and 1000 catecheumans waiting to receive the sacraments again.
The 22 Catholic Martyrs of Uganda were canonized.
Do not be ashamed to confess the cross, for angels glory in it.
Quote of St. Cyril of Jerusalem; Feast day March 18
June is the Month of the Sacred Heart.