Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Uganda Martyrs: St. Charles and Companions

Ven. Pope Paul VI venerates the ground once soaked by the blood of the martyrs.

Martyrs for chastity.

Though gay bashing and the murder of homosexual men is criminal and unjust, the unfortunate victims cannot be considered martyrs, or canonized by the Church because their murder was a civil hate crime. Saints are made saints because of their heroic virtue and because they exemplify the Christian life and teaching. Martyrs are martyrs because they suffered for the faith, their death is their witness to Christ and the Gospel.

The Martyrs of Uganda are canonized saints because they were killed out of hatred for the faith, and in particular, because they refused to submit to homosexual sin. Though St. Sebastian has been adopted by gay people as a patron (the saint's physique as depicted in art plays a big part here), he was martyred out of hatred for the faith. It is important to understand that martyrs of chastity were killed because they resisted sexual sin, even in cases when they may have been violated against their will.

The martyrs help us and obtain the graces we need to follow Christ.

It is providential that the feast day of this group of martyrs, put to death for refusing King Mwanga's homosexual advances, is celebrated during what has come to be known as Gay Pride Month. Though many Christians were killed by Mwanga, a group of his pages were sentenced to death for resisting homosexual relations with the king. Homosexuality remains a cultural taboo in Uganda to this day, although it is believed the king learned and acquired the practice from the Arabs. (Source) Since certain cultural taboo were more or less ratified by Christianity, while other practices such as polygamy were condemned, Mwanga sought to rid the country of the new religion and all Christians.

The story of the martyrs is at once gruesome and edifying. 

Imagine accepting torture and death rather than committing a sexual sin which has become so commonplace in our day? The sacrifice of the martyrs demonstrates that conquering sin is indeed possible for anyone, and their witness offers the Christian great hope, reminding us how they "endured the opposition of sinners", thus encouraging us to, "not grow despondent or abandon the struggle." Their intercession is powerful before God, for their blood cries out on our behalf, reminding us... "In your fight against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood." - Hebrews 12: 3-4

St. Charles and Companions pray us.  

Fr. James Martin, S.J. has an excellent account on the Ugandan Martyrs here.

1 comment:

  1. just a heads up Video sancto just uploaded a sermon on St. Charles and his companions:



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