Martyrs’ Biography

ST. JOSEPH MUKAS BALIKUDDEMBE

St. Mukasa Balikuddembe
St. Mukasa Balikuddembe

He was a Muganda, born at Mawokota County in 1861; he started his service as a page of Kabaka Muteesa I and continued as a majordomo to Kabaka Mwanga II.

During the absence of the Catholic Missionaries, the Church booted with Joseph as its leader, he had a healthy look, bright, intelligent and tall for his age.

He was baptized on April 30, 1882, by Fr. Lourdel Simeon Mapeera, beheaded and his body burnt on Sunday, November 15th, 1885 at Nakivubo at the age of approximately 26. He was the first Catholic Martyr in Uganda.

ST. JOSEPH MUKASA BALIKUDDEMBE IS THE PATRON OF POLITICIANS AND CHIEFS.

ST. ANTHANASIUS BAZZEKUKETTA

St. Anthanasius Bazzekutta
St. Anthanasius Bazzekutta

He was a Muganda born at Bukuma near Mulajje Parish in Bulemeezi County. He served both kabakas Muteesa I and Mwanga II where he was put in charge of the king’s ceremonial robes, ornaments, and polishing of the mirrors. Earlier, he caught smallpox and was approached by Raphael Sembuya who suggested that baptism was the only remedy for his illness, on recovery; he continued studying the Catholic religion and was baptized on the night of Monday 16th November 1885 by Fr. Lourdel Simeon Mapeera. He was speared and later hacked to pieces on the 27th of May 1886 at Nakivubo on his way to Namugongo at the age of about twenty years.

ST. ANATHASUIS BAZZEKUKETTA IS PATRON OF BANKS, TREASURERS AND COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES.

ST. DENIS SSEBUGGWAAWO

St. Denis Ssebuggwawo
St. Denis Ssebuggwawo

He was a Muganda, born in about 1870 at Lukumbi in Bulemeezi County. He was presented to Kabaka Mwanga together with his twin brother and served in the private section of the royal enclosure.

He was a devoted musician with a melodious voice and was converted to Christianity by Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe. He was baptized on the 16th of November 1886 by Fr. Lourdel Simeon Mapeera and was scourged by Kabaka Mwanga himself on the 25th of May 1886, then beheaded and hacked into pieces in Munyonyo on the 26th of May 1886 at the age of about sixteen years.

ST. DENIS SSEBUGWAWO IS A PATRON OF MUSICIANS AND CHOIR

ST. MUKASA KIRIWAWANVU

St. Mukasa Kiriwawanvu
St. Mukasa Kiriwawanvu

He was a Muganda, born between 1861 and 1866 at Nakasawula in Kyaggwe County and as Kabaka Mwanga’s page, his task was to help serving food to the guests. He was also a great wrestler, powerful with long limbs taking the physic of his father who was an athlete and sports personality. He was the only one martyr who received the baptism of blood since; he was already in prison for striking one of the Christians (Gyaviira) who called him “Magulumpaali” (long legged)

He was burned on the 3rd of June 1886 in Namugongo after reconciling and forging themselves with Gyaviira. He died at the age of between twenty to twenty-six years.

ST. MUKASA KIRIWAWANVU IS THE PATRON OF HOTELS, BARS, AND RESTAURANTS.

ST. ANDREW KAGGWA

St. Andrew Kaggwa
St. Andrew Kaggwa

He was a Munyoro who was captured by a party of raiding Baganda fromKkooki parish in Bugangaizi County. He started his services with Kabaka Muteesa I as a page and then later Kabaka Mwanga II as a bands master.

He was enrolled as a catechumen in 1880 with Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe and was baptized on April 30th, 1882 by Fr. Lourdel Simeon Mapeera. He was also properly married in the Church to Clare Batudde Nakazibwe and was martyred on the 26th of May 1886 as ordered by the kingdom chancellor. Kaggwa’s hands were cut off and taken to the chancellor, then later he was beheaded in Munyonyo at the age of about thirty.

ST. ANDREW KAGGWA IS THE PATRON OF TEACHERS, CATECHIST, AND FAMILIES.

ST. JAMES BUUZAABALYAWO

St. James Buuzaabalyawo
St. James Buuzaabalyawo

He was a Muganda, born to Ssebayigga at Ttabazimu in Mawokota County between 1856 and 1876; He was brought up in the household of his royal niece, princess Namukaabya. Andrew Kaggwa sent him to prince Mwanga (who later became king) to put him through prayer and catechism because of his considerable influence. He was baptized on the 16th of November 1885 by Fr. Girault, and later on, beaten by Kabaka Mwanga for trying to teach him Christianity. He was burnt alive on the 3rd of June 1886 at the age of about twenty-six years.

ST. JAMES BUUZABALYAWO IS THE PATRON OF TRADERS AND MERCHANTS.

ST. ANATOLI KIRIGGWAJJO

St. Anatoli Kirigwajjo
St. Anatoli Kirigwajjo

He was a Munyoro, who was captured from Kyaka County in Toro and presented to Kabaka Muteesa I by Kisomose before 1862. He served in the inner enclosure mainly the king’s house (Twekobe); he was also a skilled hunter and a good herdsman. After the death of Kabaka Muteesa I, Kiriggwajjo despite being assigned by Kabaka Mwanga II to a place of great responsibility he turned it down in preference to join his countryman Andrew Kaggwa which annoyed the kabaka. When the Christian persecution broke out, the Kabaka singled him out for despising him and Anatoli was burnt alive on the 3rd of June 1886 at the age of about twenty.

ST. ANATOLI IS THE PATRON OF HUNTERS AND HERDSMEN, DAIRY FARMERS, AND VETERINARY DOCTORS.

ST. PONSIANO NGONDWE

St. Ponsiano Ngondwe
St. Ponsiano Ngondwe

He was a Muganda, born at Bulamu in Kyaggwe County. After serving Kabaka Muteesa I, he was enrolled into the militia and was given a plot of land in Kigoowa where he found a Christian named Cyprian Kamya to whose home he went for religious instructions at night. He was good at playing musical instruments and he was baptized on Tuesday, 17th of November 1885 by Fr. Pierre Girand. He was arrested by Mukajanga, the chief executioner after Kabaka Mwanga levied cattle and one herdsman accused Ngondwe who had been put in charge of the collections of stealing Mukajanga’s cow. He was speared by Mukajanga on the evening of Wednesday, 26th of May 1886 at the age of between thirty-five to forty years at Ttakajjunge.

HE IS THE PATRON OF SOLDIERS, POLICEMEN AND MILITIA.

ST. BRUNO SSERUNKUUMA

St. Bruno Sserunkuuma
St. Bruno Sserunkuuma

He was a Muganda, born in Buddu, who started his carrier as a page with Kabaka Muteesa I where he lived outside the royal enclosure at Kitebi and worked as a gatekeeper by 1876. He then became one of the first pages under Joseph Mukasa Balikudembe to convert to Christianity and was baptized on the 15th of November 1885 by Fr. Girault. On becoming a Christian Bruno had to manfully master his temper and control his passions since in his previous life he was violent, over beating, loose living, imprudent and drunkard. The Christian persecution met him living in seclusion in one of the corners of the palace devoted to prayers, penance, teaching of religion and works of mercy. On his way to Namugongo, he constantly encouraged the others not to give up their faith; he was burnt alive on the 3rd of June 1886 in Namugongo.

ST. BRUNO SSERUNKUMA IS A PATRON OF THE TEMPTED, TO TOO MUCH DRINKING, VIOLENCE, LUST OF THE FLESH AND THOSE NOT IN PROPER MARRIAGE.

 

ST. CHARLES LWANGA

St. Charles Lwanga
St. Charles Lwanga

He was a Muganda, born in 1861 at Birinzi in Buddu County. He was the head of Kabaka Mwanga’s pages working in the court of great audience hall and a great wrestler yet with exceptional leadership skills.

He was baptized on the 15th of November 1885 by Fr. Girault and during the Christian persecution, Charles displayed unshakable faith and exceptional Christian bravery in whom the Christian martyrdom was centred.

To punish him, Ssenkoole, the assistant chief executioner separated him from the other Christians and was burnt in a slow fire from feet to the head, on Thursday, 3rd of June 1886 at Namugongo Busaale towards noon. His martyrdom site is the spot where the altar of the Uganda Martyrs Shrine currently stands. Charles died at the age of 25

ST. CHARLES LWANGA IS THE PATRON OF THE AFRICA YOUTH AND OF CATHOLIC ACTION.

ST. KIZITO

St. Kizito
St. Kizito

He was a Muganda, born in about 1872 at Waluleeta in the county of Bulemezi. He served Kabaka Mwanga as a page in the private quarters of the enclosure, worked much as the Kabaka’s errand boy whom he often sent to collect cattle selected for slaughter for the royal table. He was jolly and constantly besought Fr. Lourdel Simeon Mapeera for baptism but due to his age, the priest was always reluctant, so he was baptized by Charles Lwanga on the 26th of May shortly before they were sentenced to death. He was burnt alive in Namugongo on the 3rd of June 1886 at the age of 14.

ST. KIZITO IS THE PATRON OF YOUNG CHILDREN ESPECIALLY THOSE BELOW FIFTEEN YEARS.

ST. MATHIAS KALEMBA MULUMBA

St. Mathias Mulumba
St. Mathias Mulumba

He was a Musoga, born at Bunya in about 1836. Along with his mother, the Baganda raiders brought Mathias into Buganda and sold him to Magatto who treated him as his own and gave him a name from his own clan “Kalemba.” Because of being loyal and trustworthy Kalemba rose up to the post of an assistant county chief of Bulemeezi and Ssingo consecutively. Because it was the traditional duty of his master, the chief of Ssingo, to erect and repair building of the royal enclosure, Mulumba came to contact with the missionaries while heading the team that built their first dwellings. He was then baptized on the 28th of May 1885 by Fr. Girault. Likewise, the execution got him repairing the Mengo palace that had been burnt down, where he was arrested and his hands and legs cut off on the 27th of May 1886 at Old Kampala (where Old Kampala Parish currently stands) on his way to Namugogngo. Mulumba then died after 3 days on the 30th of May 1886 at the age of about fifty years.

HE IS THE PATRON OF CHIEFS AND FAMILIES.

LUKA BAANABAKINTU

St. Luke Baanabakintu
St. Luke Baanabakintu

He was a Muganda, born in 1851 at Ntolomwe, Gomba County and was in the service of the chief of Ssingo. He overlooked the servants living out of the chief’s enclosure, the wood-cutters, porters, and cooks. Within Ssingo County, Baanabakintu was given a smaller chiefdom called Kiwanga because of his excellent service. He was baptized on Sunday 28th May 1882 by Fr. Girault and then assisted Mathias Mulumba in the instruction of catechumens with whom the martyrdom got him in Mengo. They were arrested on the 26th May 1886 and he was taken to Namugongo where he was burnt alive on the 3rd of June 1886 at the age of between thirty to thirty-five years.

ST. LUKE BANABAKINT IS THE PATRON OFSAILERS, FISHERMEN, MECHANIC, STUDENTS AND BLACKSMITH.

ST. NOA MAWAGGALI

St. Luke Baanabakintu
St. Luke Baanabakintu

He was a Muganda, born in about 1850 at Nkazibaku and because of his gift in pottery; turning of various kinds, which he developed while serving the Mukwenda, he became so popular. He built a small house for himself on the land of Mathias Mulumba whom he helped in giving Christian instructions. After the death of his father, he took up his mother and sister and provided for them. He was baptized on Sunday 1st November 1885 by Fr. Lourdel Simeon Mapeera and later his mother and sister. The Christian persecution found him in Mityana where he was speared in the morning, tied on a fig tree and wounds inflicted on his defenceless body so that animals would become maddened by the scent of blood, his agony lasted until evening, being feed on by dogs.

ST. NOA MAWAGALI IS A PATRON OF THE POOR, OF THE TECHNICIANS AND THE ARTISTS.

ST. MBAAGA TUZINDE

St. Mbaaga Tuzinde
St. Mbaaga Tuzinde

He was a Muganda, born in about 1869 at Ruyonga, in Busiro County, he was also known as the son of Mukaajanga, the chief executioner because of the blood pact between their grandparents who were very close friends. He served Kabaka Mwanga II in the great audience hall in charge of the food for the visitors. His other duty was to carry the royal stands in the canoe of the Kabaka. His nickname “MBAAGA” which mean “AM I THE BUTCHER” was given to him at the palace where the dependents of the king one day asked for meat they expected in their meals and he asked them whether he was a butcher. When persecution broke out he was baptized by Charles Lwanga and in an attempt to save his life, Mukaajanga sent him to his relatives to convince him to renounce his faith but in vain. At the last moments on the 3rd of June of 1886, when the Mukaajanga tried for the last time and failed, the boy was hit on the back of the head and his lifeless body thrown in the fire at Namugongo at the age of about seventeen.

ST. MBAGA TUZINDE IS A PATRON OF VOCATIONS MAINLY OF THE SEMINARIANS, ASPIRANTS, POSTULANTS AND NOVICES.

ST. GYAVIIRA

St. Gyaviira
St. Gyaviira

He was a Muganda born at Sseguku, he worked as a massager for Kabaka Mwanga under the command of Charles Lwanga. He then attained the name Gyaviira “the place where he comes from is feared by all” on entering the Kabaka’s service because his father was appointed the guardian of the important shrine of the god Mayanja at Sseguku. On converting to Catholicism, Gyaviira abandoned all his charms against the wish of his parents and when Christian persecution broke out, on their way to Namugongo, Gyaviira and Kiriwawanvu who had beaten him earlier for calling him long legged forgave themselves and were burnt alive on the 3rd of June 1886 at Namugongo at about seventeen years of age.

ST. GYAVIIRA IS A PATRON OF TRAFFIC, COMMUNICATIONS AND THOSE TROUBLED BY WITCHCRAFT.

ST. ADOLF LUDIGO

St. Adolf Mukasa
St. Adolf Mukasa

He was a Munyoro, born at Musazi in Mwenge a county of Toro but on being given to Kabaka Muteesa I as a page he attained the Kiganda name Mukasa and was also nicknamed Ludigo because of his resemblance with a Munyoro chief Ludigo. He was put in charge of the Kabaka’s gardens where pages were supposed to work. He got into contact with the missionaries while the palace was at Kasubi, he was baptized on the 16th of November 1885 by Fr. Simeon Lourdel Simeon Mapeera and on anticipating his death, Ludigo was very happy and wore to his best then was burnt alive on the 3rd of June 1886 in Namugongo at the age of about twenty five year.

ST. ADOLF LUDIGO IS THE PATRON OF FARMERS AND HERDSMAN.

 

ST. ACHILLES KIWANUKA

St. Achilles Kiwanuka
St. Achilles Kiwanuka

He was a Muganda, born at Lugala in Ssingo County. He became famous as a gate-keeper of the Mukwenda since his father had been a deputy county chief for a long time, and at a young age, he was selected to go and serve Kabaka Mwanga II together with his distant brother and clan-mate Ambrose Kibuuka. He worked in the great audience hall and also sometimes served as a messenger, while at the palace, his clan mate Lubinga pursued him to burn his amulet and put him under Christian instruction. During his free time, he also learned how to read and write and was baptized on the 16th of November 1885 by Fr. Lourdel Mapeera and was martyred on the 3rd of June 1886 in Namugongo at about seventeen or eighteen years.

ST. ACHILLES KIWANUKA IS A PATRON OF JOURNALIST, PRESS WRITERS, PRINTERS AND CLERKS.

ST. AMBROSE KIBUUKA

St. Ambrose Kibuuka
St. Ambrose Kibuuka

He was a Muganda, born in Ssingo County and Just like his brother Achilles Kiwanuka enrolled for catechism and was baptized on the 16th of November 1885 by Fr. Lourdel Mapeera after the death of Joseph Mukasa Balikudembe. Kibuuka, “a name of the tribal god who was shot out of the cloud by the banyoro” was burnt alive on the 3rd of June of 1886 at Namugongo at the age of around seventeen or eighteen

ST. AMBROSE KIBUUKA IS PATRON OF SOCIETIES AND YOUTH MOVEMENTS LIKE SCOUTS.

ST. MUGAGA LUBOWA

St. Mugagga Lubowa
St. Mugagga Lubowa

He was a Muganda born in about 1870. He was named Mugaga by his mother meaning “WEALTHY” at Jjalamba in Mawokota County, expecting the boy to amass some fortune in future. He was then presented to Kabaka Mwanga by Sseddu-Kakinda who had raised him up as his own child and he was put to work in the private section of the enclosure that kept him busy and could only get religious instructions at night thus not publically known as a Christian. When the Christians were being sentencedd to death, the chancellor tried to save him but he turned him down. He was baptized by Charles Lwanga on the 26th of May 1886 and burnt alive on the 3rd of June 1886 in Namugongo at the age of sixteen.

ST. MUGAGGA LUBOWA IS THE PATRON OF CLUBS, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, CULTURE AND HOME CRAFT.

ST. JEAN-MARIE MUZEYI

St. Mugagga Lubowa
St. Mugagga Lubowa

He was a Muganda, born Musoke at Minziiro in Buddu County in between 1852 and 1857 but because of his prudence, maturity of judgment and also looking older than his face because of eye-affliction, he attained the name Muzeyi (Kiswahili word to mean old man) among his peer. He was also very intelligent, so quick to understand, with a remarkable memory which enabled him to learn by heart and had exceptional devotion and knowledge in traditional medicine of various diseases. It is Bigomba an official in the private apartment of the king that put him in the service of Kabaka Mutesa I and was baptized on 1st of November 1885. After the death of Kabaka Muteesa I, he chose to leave the service in the palace.

Christian persecution got him working with the Missionaries. He was arrested, beheaded and his body thrown into the swamp of Jjungula between Mengo and Namirembe hills on the 27th of january 1887 at the age of thirty-five.

ST. JEAN-MARIE MUZEYI IS THE PATRON OF THE RELIGIOUS, DOCTORS, NURSES, HOSPITALS AND LEARNERS.

GONZA GONZAGA

St. Gonzaga Gonza
St. Gonzaga Gonza

He was a Musoga from the bush back clan. His father was Gonza of the family of Zibondo of Bulamogi.

He was captured by Kasoma Tegusaaga Bulusi who treated him as his son because he was obedient, trustworthy, intelligent and hard working. When the king wanted good boys for service, Tegusaaga selected Gonza who was put to serve in the private section of the enclosure of Joseph Mukasa Balikudembe. He was converted into a Catholic and baptized on 17th November 1885 by Fr. Lourdel at Nalukolongo Mission Station. He was also speared to death by Mukajanga on 27th May 1885.

ST GONZA IS THE PATRON OF SAINT OF PRISONERS, TRAVELERS, ILL TREATED AND THOSE IN TROUBLE

BL. DAUDI OKELLO

Okello
Okello

He was born Okello, of the Acholi tribe about 1900 at Ongon Payira in Northern Uganda. He was a catechist who instructed those that wished to join Catholicism. On request, Daudi accepted to go and teach the word of God in Paimol, an area that was known for political and tribal disputes as a result of submission to the British government. He was baptized on the 1st of June 1916 by Fr. Caesare Gambaretto, received First Holy Communion and Confirmation on the 15th of October 1916. He was martyred by raiders who dragged and pushed him to the ground, then speared him several times on 18th of October 1918 at midnight at the age of about eighteen years. His body was not buried until later when some people tied a rope around his neck and his body to a nearby empty termite hill.

BL. JILDO IRWA

Jildo
Jildo

He was born Irwa, of the Acholi tribe in about 1902 at Bar-Kitoba in Kitgum, he was an assistant catechist who was zealous in his work, without coerced, he offered to go with his head catechist to Paimol. He helped Daudi, with his interesting village games, noisy and merry meetings to gather children for instruction. He was baptized on the 6th of June 1916 at the age of about sixteen; He then received his First Holy Communion and Confirmation on the 15th of October 1916. On sensing martyrdom, he strengthened Daudi because they had done no wrong. One raider furiously grabbed Irwa out of the hut and speared him then another beheaded him on 18th of October 1918 at the age of about sixteen years.

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