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Arcbhishop Emmanuel Obbo (front right) at Namugongo Shrine Arcbhishop Emmanuel Obbo (front right) at Namugongo Shrine 

The Blood of the Martyrs has brought us here

“The blood of the Martyrs has drawn all of us here to Namugongo,” Uganda’s Archbishop of Tororo, Emmanuel Obbo, told a large gathering on Martyrs’ Day.

Paul Samasumo – Vatican city.

Uganda Martyrs’ Day celebrations

Organisers and local media have said that over two million people took part in this year’s celebrations to mark Martyrs' Day on Sunday, 3 June 2018.

The theme for this year’s celebrations was: “Let Us Walk in the Light of God as a Family” (1 John 1:5-10). The Liturgy at Namugongo, Uganda’s holiest Catholic shrine, was animated by the faithful of the Archdiocese of Tororo.

Centenary for Blessed Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa 

“The Martyrs themselves are role models for our Christian families in Africa, Uganda and especially in Tororo, this year,” Archbishop Obbo said.

“This year we also venerate Blessed Daudi Okelo and Blessed Jildo Irwa, the two young Catechists martyred while they were on their way to evangelise their relatives. The relatives caught and then killed them -100 years ago in Gulu Diocese, north of Uganda. The two were beatified by Pope St. John Paul II,” Archbishop Obbo said in his homily.

Ugandans urged to make the Martyrs proud

The Archbishop urged Ugandans to live lives that would make the Ugandan Martyrs proud.

“The search for quick money by hook and crook –including kidnapping, human trafficking and what about Witchcraft and devil worship … These do not make the Martyrs proud,” the Tororo prelate said.

In the last three years, Uganda has been rocked by an upward trend in kidnappings. Most of the abductions seem to be for ransom. This has led to a climate of fear of losing loved ones.

Appeal to young people

Archbishop Obbo also made a passionate plea to Africa’s young people and told them not to allow themselves to be used as tools of political or criminal violence. He encouraged young people to stand firm in their faith as did St. Kizito, the youngest of the Uganda Martyrs.

“The youngest, Kizito, like others demonstrated his readiness to die for Christ on that Ascension Day of Thursday, 3 June 1886. Before disappearing into the flames to be burnt alive with other Christians, he (Kizito) recited the ‘Our Father,’ together with others,” Archbishop Obbo said.

05 June 2018, 13:20