See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, The 22 Martyrs of Uganda. Martyred 1886-1887

If they had opted for dialogue, would they have won the martyr's crown?
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One of the twenty two Ugandan martyrs who converted from paganism, Charles was the chief of the royal pages in the king's court, as such he also was a moral force amongst his companions and became their leader even in death. He was the best athlete in the kings court and considered "the most handsome man of the Kingdom of Uganda." He instructed his compatriots in the Catholic faith and personally baptised the younger pages. Charles encouraged the boys and young men to live chastely and resist the homosexual advances of the perverted king Mwanga.
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A superstitious pagan, Mwanga at first tolerated Christianity. Katikiro, a deputy in the court convinced the king that the Christians were dangerous, persuading him that if they refused to offer sacrifice, partake in the the activities the king desired, and if they would not massacre or make war, they would be no good for the kingdom, and if the kingdom became Catholic, it would destroy the country. Charles was sentenced to death and accepted his sentence with great joy and peace. He was executed by being burnt to death, after first arranging his own pyre and laying down upon it. Never crying out in pain he simply twisted and moaned, "Kotanda! (O my God!)." He died June 3, 1886.
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Pope Paul VI canonized Charles Lwanga and his companions on June 22,1964. His feast day is June 3.
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The stories of his companion martyrs are just as gruesome and terrible as those related in the early Roman martyrology. St Charles and companions suffered for the faith and for their refusal to commit mortal sin with the king through homosexual acts. Today, many writers usually just say: "They were put to death because they would not accede to the king's unreasonable demands."

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:14 AM

    Very good question: "If they had opted for dialogue, would they have won the martyr's crown?"
    There is a place for dialogue but there are truths that are not up for debate as one of your bishops reaffirmed recently.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "If they had opted for dialogue, would they have won the martyr's crown?"

    Nope - just a dunce's cap.

    ReplyDelete


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