What to Know about Namugongo Martyrs Shrine-Uganda Safari News
Lying 16 kilometers east of Kampala off Jinja Road, Namugongo was formerly a place of execution of all people who committed grave offenses in the kingdom of Buganda. It is here that 14 of the 22 Uganda Martyrs who offered their life to Christ were burnt alive, on the orders of king Mwanga in 1886, having refused to denounce their Christian faith. Following the holocaust of these Martyrs which reached a climax on 3rd June, 1886 Namugongo has steadily taken on the image of attraction as a place of pilgrimage and various people from all over the world under take safaris to Uganda to Shrine especially on 3rd of June each and every year.,
On 6th June 1920 Pope Benedict XV beatified the Uganda Martyrs. Pope Paul VI canonized them on Mission Sunday, 8th October, 1964 in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome. The same Pope honored the Martyrs with a pilgrimage on 31st July to 2nd August 1969 – the first visit ever when the pope under took safaris to Uganda lying in African Continent. In 1935, 49 years after the holocaust, the Mill Hill Missionaries founded a Catholic Parish at Namugongo. They dedicated it to Our Lady Queen of the Martyrs.
The big imposing Shrine dominating Namugongo today stands exactly on the spot where the small original parish church stood and it is the same spot where Charles Lwanga was burnt alive.
Besides the shrine itself, there are other interesting features which are of interest to travelers on safari tour to Uganda and among these include;
The lake which is centered in the middle of the shrine green gardens. Remembering the work executed by St. Charles Lwanga when still a page in King Mwanga’s palace, when he spearheaded the excavation of the legendary Kabaka’s lake at Mengo, a Martyrs’ lake was excavated at Namugongo. Many pilgrims on Safaris to Uganda have often drawn water from this lake and later given authentic testimonies about this water healing them of different diseases.
The Pavilion (Island) perfectly suited next to the lake is another unique feature at Namugongo with a clear view that can be seen from all angles of the over 15 acres Shrine compound. It is inside this pavilion where the main celebrant sits on big occasions like Martyrs’ day, June 3. This grass thatched pavilion, also in circular form like the Shrine is supported by 4 pillars and can accommodate more than 300 priests and a number of bishops that visit the city.
Being a memorial place in Uganda, Every 3rd June the Catholic Church and their counterpart of Anglican persuasion flock into this place from all over Africa most of them by foot to commemorate this day in honour of their Religious heroes. The unique architecture of African hut, the temple of worship in this place is a great tour destination which must be explored by almost all visitors on Safari tours to Uganda.
Uganda Safaris/Uganda Safari News
Prime Uganda Safaris &Tours Ltd