‘The Truth Will Make You Free.’
With less than a month to the 2016 Uganda Martyrs Day celebration at Namugongo Catholic Shrine, the theme for this year’s event has been chosen.
The theme,which has been extracted from the book of John 8:32, is ‘The Truth Will Make You Free.’The June 3celebrationswill be animated by the Diocese of Kiyinda-Mityana onbehalf of Kampala Ecclesiastical Province. The theme was unveiled on April 21, 2016 by the Rt. Rev. Joseph Antony Zziwa, Bishop of Kiyinda Mityana and Vice Chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) at a Press Conference that was held at the Uganda Catholic Secretariat (UCS) premises.
“The Diocese of Kiyinda-Mityana last presided over the Martyrs Day celebrations in 1994 that was shortly after the visit of Pope John Paul II to Uganda 1993,” Bishop Zziwa said. “The same Diocese is privileged this year to take the celebrations to a higher level following the successful Pastoral visit of Pope Francis to Uganda last year, and the improvement of Namugongo shrine and grounds.”
The annual celebration commemorates the heroic faith of the 45 Martyrs, both Catholic and Anglican, who were burnt to death on the orders of KabakaMwanga II, the then king of Buganda between 1885 and 1887. Twenty two Catholic Martyrs were beatified on June 6, 1920, by Pope Benedict XV, and on October 18 1964, Pope Paul VI canonized them as Saints.
Of the twenty two Martyrs who were canonized, four of them including St. NoaMawaggali, St. Matthias Mulumba, St. Luke Baanabakintu and St. Ambrose Kibuuka came fromSingo County Kiyinda-Mityana. In addition to the Catholic Martyrs, there are two Catechists from Paimol: Blessed DaudiOkelo and Blessed GildoIrwa who were killed in 1915. The two Catechists were beatified by John Paul II on 20th October, 2002.
Meanwhile, Kiyinda-Mityana Dioceseis working hand-in-hand with theUganda Catholic Secretariat as the Central Organizing Committee, to make the required preparations. So far, 11 committees have been formed comprising of members from Kiyinda Mityana, the Catholic Secretariat, and government representatives.
The preparations and the actual celebrations have been estimated to cost at least Ushs450m.
“We are calling upon Christians, God loving and good will people to contribute generously towards this grand and special event in the life of the Church, which also invigorates the faith,” Bishop Zziwa explained.